Thursday, December 20, 2007


Ugh! Stuff like this is the reason why the Democrats will not win the next election. Election campaigns are too lengthy now. How about we say no one can campaign until the 1st of June before an election, that you must resign from elected office in order to declare your candidacy, and you can only spend ten cents per citizen on your campaign?

And for anyone out there cheering for Ron Paul, aside from his being a reactionary fearmonger, I can't vote for him because of this insanity:


thewmes said...

Still think home schooling is the down fall of the nation Mac?

Norman said...

Hey Mac,
I did not follow your links, but I assume you are calling Hilary's video 'infantile'. Why?
I am not Hilary's biggest fan (though I may still vote for her), but I thought the video was rather smart. In her effort to become the first woman president, Hilary has to navigate a seemingly impossible Scylla and Charybdis, being too much a man and being too much a woman (very rigid categories in the American psyche, and many other psyches). She has to present an ethos that is somehow both, something America has probably never really seen at least with so much prominence. By putting presents around the tree, she gets to play mom, and practically a matriarch: at home, warmly giving out gifts, impeccably wrapped, presumably just purchased from a hectic shopping mall. Conversely, the nature of the gifts make her powerful on a global (nay, earthly) scale, almost like an Earth/mother goddess (Gaia, Tellus, Eirene, Homonoia etc.) bestowing peace and prosperity on all who worship (=vote for) her. I know you don't need me to spell out the symbolism of this commercial for you, but just consider how male leaders are typically portrayed bestowing such gifts on their people and you will have a sense of how difficult it is for Hilary to find a way to construct a feminine presidency. She can't properly portray herself shooting a gun, piloting a jet fighter, wearing any kind of military uniform, passing a football, furrowing her brow, glowering at terrorists, pumping her fist, or doing Bush's simultaneous shrug and "you wanna fight?" move. All of these things would probably emasculate a lot of men (even if Hilary actually had served in the military and had the photos to prove it). What is left for her in the way of symbols? As I say, it is very tough road for her, largely because it's so easy, on a visceral level, to criticize everything she does as either being too masculine or too feminine. Even though most Americans would probably claim to support a woman president "in theory", I doubt very much that most Americans could conceive of a woman president who had a better ethos than Hilary; until we have a woman president, she will always seem something of an unnatural animal (like rock stars with hair down to their ears!, blacks using "Whites Only" restrooms or gays getting married).
I doubt the commercial will go very far in convincing anyone to change his/her mind about Hilary, but I myself, being sympathetic to her plight (if not her ideology), found the commercial very cute and persuasive.
As to the other topic you raise about the nature of the presidential campaign, I agree that campaigns are too long and very often inane and insignificant. I don't know a real way around this other than to have each state elect it's own president and we just draw the winner out of a hat or something. Introducing randomness would certainly take away a candidate's ability to control the outcome and would probably discourage a lot of people from investing millions of dollars in a campaign that only had a 1:50 chance of succeeding. Moreover, I refuse to believe that there's only one person out there capable of running this country. We might get a few duds from time to time, but we already get that, so let's cut out the lengthy campaigns and excessive spending and just make the process more random. It worked for the Greeks (sort of).
Happy Holidays!

Norman said...

P.S. Though I know you don't edit your posts, in your sentence about Ron Paul, I think you have a dangling participle: YOU are not "a reactionary fearmonger", right? I agree with your take on him, though. I learned a lot about these types while campaigning for Ross Perot in the early nineties.

Mac said...

The video is a bit much, but you REALLY should follow the links. That's the main point of my complaint, not the video.

I think universal pre-k is the least of our worries right now. It's a great idea, gov't subsidized childcare under a different name, but come on, take a stand on healthcare or quit.

I just thought the ad was glib, because it seems like she is going to just dole these things out as her gifts. To symbolize them as coming from her is wrong, they are from the treasury of the American people. As bad as she is, there aren't any real alternatives to her, but, the way she's running her campaign (follow the links), is just bad for business.