Thursday, March 06, 2008

Voting for change

"Voting for change" is the current mantra. What does that mean, really?

It could mean a change from the Bush regime. It could mean a change of ruling parties. But I think it is more obvious than that.

It means voting for someone who isn't a white male. The Republicans can't offer that sort of change. All their candidates were whiter shades of pale, wearing different color ties and spouting variations of the same old conservative themes. Their debates offered nothing to liberate us from centuries of white male rule.

The Democrats began the primary season with a large group of white men plus one white woman and one black man. The voters went for change and the various white men fell to the side as the primary season moved along. The final two candidates represent a visual and a visceral choice for those of us who are not white men.

Intellectually, we are all supposed to be above all that. We are supposed to say we voted for our candidate because they are the best one regardless of race and gender, and yet-- if you are a member of a group that has been so long oppressed, you will view this as an opportunity that has never been available in in your life time before.

Oh sure, Victoria Woodhall was nominated by the Equal Rights Party in 1872, but had no chance of winning the power seat. Likewise, Shirley Chisholm a century later took on the quest for president to make a statement, but with no hope of winning. Jesse Jackson made some inroads in delegate counts in the 1980s, but we had to move into the 21st century to find ourselves with viable alternatives to white male rule -- who amazingly, are now facing off against each other.

I expect it may make some people uncomfortable to talk about this election in terms of race or gender. But we are kidding ourselves if we think racism and sexism are largely defeated. Likewise, it is obvious to me, as a white female, that I am very much drawn to the idea of finally seizing the ball from the team that has always controlled it and handing it over to a woman or a black man.


Dave P. said...

A big part of meaningful change is in how candidates get elected and how business gets done in DC. One of the reasons I'm so pro-Obama is that he endorses the grass-roots, fifty-states strategy that began to take hold with Howard Dean's campaign, and that Dean subsequently instituted as chair of the DNC. The Clinton campaign uses the model that Bill Clinton and the DLC used in the 90s: rely on big-money donors and count on winning a handful of swing states.

This Ari Berman column lays it out very well

Stoop Davy Schadenfreude said...

heh heh heh heh heh "change" uh-huh

Village Green said...

Dave P -- I appreciate the intellectual viewpoint, but find myself pulled by primal forces that scream "give the girls the ball for a change."

Stoop Davy -- supposedly the older one gets, the more cynical one's view point, but I find cynicism not particularly healthy on a daily basis.

Thanks both of you for your comments.

Stoop Davy Schadenfreude said...

Not healthy for whom?
Yup, certainly no cynicism warranted here ... ksnksnksnksnksnksnksnksnk ...

Village Green said...

Snoop -- I am well aware of the Obama property problem. That one has been around for awhile, conveniently ignored by his supporters. Very risky to declare yourself above and beyond influence.

The cynicism I disliked was in this article as it is all really the writer's long-held opinion that no matter what you do nothing will change. That's never been my philosophy of life.

Stoop Davy Schadenfreude said...

Oh now I do feel shabby. I've been cynical, but not in an even-handed, fair, or balanced way. Let me fix that:

As for the Maximum Leader's nakedly villainous philosophy of life, which you somewhat overstate above, he's certainly right about the power dynamics of Washington going unchanged by Obie, whether Obie is the wide-eyed naif he affects to be OR the sleazy Chicago hack that he turns out to be. All hail the wicked wisdom of the Maximum Leader.
aka “Huck Foley (groveling minion)”

Stoop Davy Dave said...

At time like this, I miss our old pal Ebo. He certainly would have caught onto this much quicker than I did. But here’s the problem.
As you note, you are “well aware of the Obama property problem,” yet you show no sign that it bothers you even slightly. So one of two things is true: (1) There’s an innocuous explanation for this bizarre real estate transaction. But you don’t present such an explanation or even hint at what its existence, so the other thing, (2) is true: there’s not an innocuous explanation. Therefore Sen. Obama is financially entangled with this Chicago sleaze-dem, Reszko, in some way, and it’s just not important to you. There’s a term for this kind of moral indifference, and it’s “cynicism.”

Village Green said...

Stoop -- I didn't vote for Obama so his property problem isn't something I need to defend and I don't. I also don't feel the need to slam him to hell and back because he may be the Democratic candidate and if so I will vote for him. There are no perfectly pure politicians anywhere. It is all a matter of who reeks less, I suppose.

Stoop Davy Dave said...

Agreed. You big cynic you.