Sunday, May 04, 2008

Blogging the Media Circus and Campaigns

I don't support Obama because he's black and I don't oppose Hillary because she's a woman. In fact neither aspect influences me in the least. Do blacks in the US have reason to be real pleased with their lot? Do women have a real reason to be pleased? Those of a certain age in both groups have reason to be actually quite bitter. You hear it as well and read it. Women insisting that the election has been stolen from Hillary due to her sex. Hillary is a victim of misogyny and Obama is a part of that conspiracy and any woman who doesn't support her is a traitor to her sex. Obama supporters see racism frequently and sometimes where it is not. Obama black and white supporters talk about an election stolen over race.

I have little of any kind of evidence to back up Hillary's supporters' claims of misogyny, I've heard a lot about Hillary personally, but it seemed to have little to do with her sex. I do have a couple pieces of such a puzzle regarding Barack and it has little to do with the Clinton campaign. The Rev. Wright uproar has not one thing to do with politics. Not one thing. He has a lot to do with the views a certain age group of blacks and black churches. A lot. If you have paid any attention to the history of blacks in this country and the time lines and you wonder what the hell the Rev Wright was talking about you are an ass. Every one of these so-called pundits playing the story and the politicians making hay off it know this. You are being played for fools, every damn one of these offended butt heads know exactly what Wright is talking about and why he is talking about it and they claim to be offended. They are not offended, they are gleeful for the advantage this mess provides. They can appeal to all the worst instincts without seeming to play to them.

You are being played, like the rubes at a carney. This is the bearded lady wolf boy contortionist every day. Chicago black church pastor says something mean about America. See it here, see it now, see the spectacle. Respected analysts have said clearly that Sept 11 was about our foreign policy not hatred of Americans and yet if a black pastor calls it our chickens coming home to roost there is outrage. Do you remember something about black men with syphilis going untreated by the US government to use them as guinea pigs? So a black pastor being suspicious of the US government's motives and actions is divisive? Damn, I'm 55 and white and I remember the early civil rights disruptions and German Shepards mauling marchers. This has nothing to do with the specious claims of god's intentions regarding New Orleans and a gay parade - that is based on not one piece of evidence by a white wingnut pastor. Wright's statements are an outrage? What the hell is going on other than pandering to the worst?

I've watched as two of my favorite political bloggers have folded their tents, Middle Earth Journal and Prepare Yourselves For A Settlement, they have gotten so disgusted with the current political scene that they can't see how to participate. I've watched as some blogs have become little more than candidate's websites or so angry that reading them makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Yes I get angry, sometimes I can feel my eyes tear up from anger and sadness and absolute fury. Then I remember.

I remember that even though I live in one of the whitest states in one of the whitest counties in the United States, most of my neighbors don't play that kind of game. I remember that I am surrounded by decent folks who go out of their way to be kind and friendly. Yes, Republicans outnumber we Democrats 4:3, and that means squat. Virtually none of those Republicans would stand for concrete examples of the policies the BushCo has taken, they followed a Party they thought they could trust. Certainly some refuse to believe, they deny that things have reached the pass they have - and why is that surprising? Almost no one in this community could walk up to Hillary and say, "hey wash my shirt," or Barack and say, "nigger." They can watch the Rev Wright play and be offended, it is outside their experience and media is telling them it is a big deal.

Most of these people still believe that one network or the other will tell them something approaching the truth, they tend to trust. Perhaps it is misplaced trust, there is evidence that media does not find it in their job description to tell us what is going on. There is plenty of evidence that what counts is ratings and not facts. Those of us who pay close attention are something from worried to furious but we are a small number, the political junkies. We try to keep watch, but it is tiring, frustrating, and sometimes it seems hopeless, but those neighbors are still there and a conversation with some one they trust trumps all the Bill O'Reillys and Rush Limbaughs and even Brian Gibsons. Hang in there, write, speak, just don't give it up, don't become too cynical to function, just enough to pay attention. We're worth the effort.


Chuck Butcher said...


Anonymous said...

Oh, there are rubes, all right.

I've never seen one woman call another woman a traitor for not supporting Hillary Clinton's candidacy, but I've lost count of the number of essays and articles I've seen from women who are proudly standing up to declare what a mistake it would be to vote for Clinton because she's a woman; one even going on morning television to let the world know she wouldn't "vote with her vagina."

Where are all the essays countering that strategy against Obama? Where are all the articles declaring how wrong it would be for African-descended people to vote along racial lines for Barack Obama?