And now I’m slightly frightened

6 09 2008

One thing about being a part of the foodblogging community that I’ve become more and more used to is the diversity of the group.  Most of my interests (LGBT studies, human rights, feminism) more or less tend to fall within a certain political range.  There are variances within the group, but you know what you expect to hear.  Foodies aren’t like that – after all, everyone has to eat.  You get quite a range – a lot of moms and a lot of young or middle-aged professional women, many of whom are married, but also some single girls and occasionally guys.  There are a lot of Christians and “family values” folks, which means there are presumably a lot of Republicans.  I don’t have any problem with that, as I’ve always lived in politically diverse areas and had a politically diverse group of friends and colleagues.  But I have to say a post on one foodblog gave me pause.

The woman who writes this blog said that she had been sure she was going to vote for Obama until she saw Palin’s speech.  Now, as a mom, she’s energized and excited about the ticket and changing her mind.  Really?  I think a lot of us liberals are thinking that bullshit won’t work, but there’s a point there.  She’s a young, vibrant mother and a lot of women probably see her and think yeah, that’s me, that’s a badass career mom, go get ’em girl.  Now I know nothing about this particular blogger’s politics, though I gather she’s not very political and may well be an independent, but I wonder how much the “fellow mom” card plays above, say, Palin’s views on reproductive rights, Creationism, and other areas where she’s a conservative extremist.  I wonder if women who want to vote for McCain because of Palin agree (or just don’t care that much) with her stance on the issues, or if they disagree but are simply willing to overlook.  I also wonder if people realise that when they vote for this ticket they’re voting for McCain for President.  There isn’t a young, vibrant mom running for President.  It’s McCain.  An old, votes-with-Bush white guy.  If that genuinely appeals, then fine, but I can’t help but smell some trickery in the air.




5 responses

6 09 2008

I have to say I found Palin’s speech shockingly well done. I spent a good part of it saying, damn she presents herself so cleverly. Never brings up teaching Creationism in school, never brings up how no one should have access to an abortion… I think it’s up to the Democrats to bring out all of these things.

The part that makes me even more frightened is there are a number of people that see her attitudes not as negatives, but as positives. I mean, I never thought Bush could possibly get elected. What happens if McCain really does get elected? Makes me nervous just having to consider it.

6 09 2008

Yep. What you said.

There’s an adorable picture circulating of Sarah Palin with a baby in a sling, signing some legislation. This photo seems to liquidize mommy-brains on contact. I can only hope that the effect passes by November.

6 09 2008

kat – I actually have not had a chance to listen to the actual speech, though I’m going to try to this weekend. I suspected that she probably didn’t mention those things, and so it’s more of a gut instinct. I *hope* that a lot of the people who do have that instinct are moderate or even liberal enough to vote for Obama once they know what Palin is all about ideologically, but you’re right. There are a lot of people out there who don’t understand that caring about families and caring about reproductive choices aren’t mutually exclusive. I spent twenty patient minutes with one woman at our booth at the fair trying to explain a button that said “Pro faith, pro family, pro choice.” Those things aren’t mutually exclusive, but it’s a hard argument to make.

Nina – Perhaps it’s that same little trigger-firing instinct that makes most women my age suddenly want to reproduce when they see a small child (completely absent in my own brain) that is the explanation for my just not getting it in this case. Maybe they’ll come to their senses.

9 09 2008

Love her or hate her, Palin is a political talent. Obama has had similar effects of relatability (I know many in Philadelphia who are voting for him just because of his race), why are we shocked when Palin inspires this type of loyalty too?

Sure, she believes in Creationism, and while I know that it’s pretty extremist and should not be taught as science – it’s also what most christians believe. It’s simple, it’s easy, and so are most Americans.

Recently, Palin won a poll on “who would you most like to have a beer with?” Americans don’t care if their politicians are smart, or support them…they voted for Bush TWICE. Did you see the debates between Bush and Kerry? Kerry nailed him…but in the end, it didn’t matter. They don’t want eloquent, well-schooled or philosophical – they want someone like their uncle jack. Simple, uncomplicated and will give them an easy message.

Americans aren’t going to “do research,” look things up, or care. To her credit, Palin is the first to make people with disabilities or special needs a talking point, showcase a mother/career woman hybrid to the republicans, and precariously balance her image as a strong leader with a “feminine” woman ( a sad, but needed quality for any successful politician who is female) – Hillary didn’t know how to do that one.

Let’s remember that Palin isn’t running against Obama…McCain is…and the Obama camp has struggled with how to criticize her – she’s a vp with all the flaws of their president – lack of foreign policy experience, extreme views (Rev. Wright vs. Creationism of Palin), and she’s a minority (black vs. woman). How to fight it?

Palin was the smartest move that McCain could have made….and not choosing Hillary was likely Obama’s fall if he loses.

I’ll be eager to see how the chips fall.

10 10 2008


You make some good points. I’ve been out of the South long enough that I do seem to retreat into a “bubble” a bit, where I forget that ideas that seem freaking crazy to me are actually quite plausible for many people.

I do remember how the Bush campaigns played out, and being not all that surprised that Americans voted on the kind of “pal” he is and not on the kind of politician he is. It scares me. I know that Americans on average are not the type to research the issues, but I wish there was some way that we could present them in a way that people relate. For example, I know a lot of people have been good about doing excellent YouTube videos that appeal to college students. If people – on both sides – could think of a similar way to appeal to middle aged and older people, we’d be onto something.

It just saddens me. I understand that elections aren’t about issues and that a lot of dirty politics are necessarily involved, but the little thread of idealist I still have left wishes it were different.

Oh, well, maybe that’s just my inner “elitist” talking 😉 Thank you for your comment!

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