Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Is that all you’ve got to say for yourselves?

All right, everyone knows what day this is. This is "supertuesday", and there’s a lot of buzz and noise in the netherworld. But the problem is that most of it is just that: noise.

Not signal.

Dynasties of Kennedy spread the news of their support to Barack Obama, who gladly accepts, never mind that he’s supposedly representing “change” as opposed to Hillary who’s just the “surrogate of her husband” while welcoming the endorsement of what’s certainly the oldest and most powerful dynasty around in the Democratic party. But then, who cares about coherence and intellectual honesty these days?

And then there’s all the journalists, all the writers of opinion pieces. I swear, they’ve sent all those who like Hillary on leave for a few days, so they can come to Belgium and enjoy the Carnivale week, and put all those who love Barack so much on forced assignment. Of course, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, and an opinion piece is just that. Opinion. You can say you like Barack better because he likes your favourite TV series, and you hate Hillary because really she should know Bollywood movies better. Still, I, for one, would love a bit, a tiny little bit of content in these articles.

I’d like people other than Paul Krugman (whom I’ll never cease to admire for the seriousness and depths of his articles) to come up with real stuff. With ideas. With the things that the candidates defend, and what they’ll do. I’m fed up with all those Clinton haters all bashing Hillary with “she’s a surrogate for her husband”, “it may be unfair but still it’s valid to consider that her husband would be back at the White House and we’d have a third Clinton term”. Get over it, people, get over your fake niceness, and be real. Be frank, say it: this woman’s candidacy disturbs you. It disturbs you deeply. You cannot imagine that she’d be the US president. You cannot imagine that she wouldn’t be under her husband’s thumb. In short, you cannot imagine a woman in power.

And of course, you all cover this up neatly by attacking Bill while feeling oh so sorry for Hillary, who doesn’t deserve it, for whom it’s so unfair, but.

You also cover it by drooling all over Barack Obama, who should be getting tired of all the spit drenching his costume and shoes by now. You pretend you believe in the incredibly naïve at best, and deliberately misleading dovish declarations that “with Barack, there’ll be an end to partisan wars.” Of course there won’t be. Everyone knows this. The first among those in the Obama campaign team who knows it is Barack himself. As his nice and funny experience with one of his main sources of money, Exelon, reveals.

And of course, you cover it by dumping dozens of articles on how hard it’s gonna be for poor Barack, being black and all, on how marvellous, how “truly American” it would be to have him reach the White House. Funny, almost nobody seems to realize that voting for a woman poses at least as much problems. But then, machismo, sexism aren’t things you talk about in good society. Why? Because it’s gone of course, silly! In our civilized societies, it no longer exists. Of course it’s no longer there! Nobody would use sexist arguments, nobody I say. You have to realize, to use a sexist argument, you’d have to say that Hillary is merely a surrogate for Bill, that no matter how you like her, you can’t vote for her, simply because we all know who’ll be wearing the pants, and who’ll be the real president…Ooops.

Hey, I think that’s what all those people are saying out there, making my argument for me. Why, thank you so very much.

I’d have so loved to have this campaign, and the articles I read, to be on contents. On ideas. On policies. On direction. On vision. On the future. Hillary may not have Barack’s charisma. But instead of the nice, pleasing “we’ll all love each other and be friends” or the always catchy (but phony) “I’ll do politics in a new way”, you have depth. You have plans for getting health care to all the citizens. You have strength, a backbone. A knowledge of the world, and of the harshness of it all.

And, if I may, in Hillary, you have a woman. And to have a woman lead the self-proclaimed strongest power in the world, and to have all the sheikhs and Arabian princes bow and show respect and deference to a woman…well, that is something I’d really like to see.

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