Sunday, January 27, 2008


Politics is a hilarious sport, as subtle and intricate as a game of Street Fighter II, and this article nicely captures the reasons why. Don't bother reading it though. I'll give you the Be Kind, Rewind-esque summary:

MCCAIN: [fearmongering half-truth and distortion about Romney]
ROMNEY: [inarticulate shriek of rage, followed by:] You say you're sorry!
MCCAIN: I will not say I'm sorry! YOU say you're sorry -- to the TROOPS!
ROMNEY: [whimper of defeat]

Meanwhile, Obama has whomped Hillary in South Carolina by a 2:1 margin. Go team! But of course that doesn't silence the critics who are still whispering that America isn't ready for a black president. Dude, how dumb are you? That's not the question. Of course American isn't ready for a black president -- in the abstract. But people are always ready and willing to crown an individual an Exception.

Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir were both wonderful examples of this phenomenon. I doubt whether either country, if polled, would have said it was ready for a female leader; certainly they haven't elected one since. But the right person at the right time can make at least the majority of the voters, in societies that remain racist, sexist, and generally closed-minded, look past those traits.

It's a bit like going gay for just one person. I feel like the country can go gay for Obama, if you follow my logic. It's not exactly Dr. King's dream fulfilled or anything, but it's a start.


Rebecca said...

So much to say about this post. First, thank you for pointing out that asking if the country is ready for a black president is the wrong question. Do they ever ask if the person being polled is ready, not whether or not they think other people are? I don't really care for that question either, but it is at least a little better than asking people to speculate on other people's level of racism. Second, thank you for saying "female president" instead of "woman president" (even though my linguistics training tells me not to care, it's one thing that still grates on me for some reason). And third, I'm not sure that talking about the country going gay for obama is helping your new found candidate, though it's an apt analogy.

ester said...

yeah, i can't handle the formulation "woman president." i can't put my finger on why exactly it's so awful, either, but it is.

also, you're welcome!

Danny said...

I think it's because "woman president" sounds like "Jew congressman." At least that's why it bothers me.