Don't Look Back Now!
|With two sensational political conventions over, the campaign has begun in earnest. Despite the call for a new politics and the rhetoric of change from both sides, this is going to be the usual campaign. There will be insinuations and allegations and negative ads and attacks. What is different this time, though, is that this will be a historic campaign, because the racists and the sexists will be put to test. And they know it.
We will either have a Black/mixed race man in the White House or a White woman in the Number One Observatory Circle, the Vice President’s Residence. Americans ought to be proud of this. And the voters even more!
We just finished a primary in which a woman ran for the highest office and she did it for the most part, by downplaying her gender identity. She wanted to rise above it, bringing it up when absolutely necessary. Now we have a woman candidate for the Vice Presidency who is feminine in the classical sense of popular culture, calls herself a lipstick wearing pit bull and is not ashamed to cook one meal a day or have kids after the age of 40.
It seems like we defeated Hillary Clinton and now we have a chance to embrace Sarah Palin. Either way, someone is trying to test us.
We now have Republicans praising every quality of their woman as a virtue and attacking Barack Obama for not choosing a woman as his running mate. Suddenly, they have become champions of women! Would they know if irony hit them in the face!
And Democrats find themselves in an equally strange position. They have to now attack what could be virtues in a woman; balancing family life and career, independence of mind and faith, reconciling the lipstick attractiveness with strong ambition and power. Instead, they are attacking beehive hairdos and the gun totting attractiveness of a woman.
September 7, 2008