Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The World at My Fingertips

I am in a unique situation, and I tend to forget that I am. I quit my corporate job so that I can write, blog and do voice and film work. I have no children. So there are none of the typical demands on me that so many other people have. I don't have to get up at o-dark-thirty to shower and put on my corporate costume, blow my hair dry or do my makeup. I don't have to make breakfast for myself or my family. If I have breakfast, it's because my sweet boyfriend made it for me. I don't have to commute to or from work. I don't have to get the kids bathed, dressed, undressed, make their lunches, pack their backpacks, help them with their homework. Some times I have to feed the cat. That's about it.

Meanwhile, I am on my computer from dawn 'til midnight. I have my Feedreader running and a little message pops up the second some new piece of news comes in. If the Main Stream Media or any blog publishes a news item or post, I know it within seconds. Because I subscribe to vast numbers of media outlets, I get that same piece of news in multiple flavors, from the New York Times to Aljazeera to some blogger in her pajamas. I can see who got there first, who lagged behind, who didn't cover it at all. Over time, I can compare all the different versions and quickly see who's full of shit and who isn't.

Within the hour, more in-depth analysis arrives and I get to read more thoughtful information from somebody who took the raw facts and started to weave them into the context of our lives or the situation at hand. Then the Neocon pundits weigh in, the chicken-hawk ambulance chasers of the news world. They take out their rectal thermometer and take the temperature of their little world. They decide what they are going to say about the news, based on what everybody else (in their limited little lexicon) thinks. They may even try and decide how to "frame" things so they appear to have a better take on it, or in such a way that they will incite controversy, stir up trouble, or otherwise call attention to themselves.

Meanwhile, the comments on the blogs start firing up and I get huge amounts of background links and other information. I sift through it all to get at the truth, if such a thing exists.

What a show I get to watch from my little 4th-floor Parisian perch and my 17-inch screen.

This morning, when I read a Truthdig article about Hillary being way too nuke friendly, I shook my head in agreement and made one of my most common mistakes. I figured that everybody else must know this stuff about Hillary too, and so I wouldn't bother to blog about it. That's when it hit me: the average work- and family-flogged American doesn't have the same advantage as I do. They are too darn busy to do what I do. They probably don't know. They probably get little tiny bits of news as they're driving home from work, or after dinner as they nod off.

I think of all my well-meaning left-leaning friends, my women friends, and although I haven't taken a poll, I would not be surprised if they publicly or privately were rooting for Hillary. It's not the stupidest thing to do. As a Jungophile (someone who reads Carl Jung), I believe that our world needs more women in positions of power. Not women (like Ann Coulter and What's-her-face Malkin) who ascribe to, fawn over and get their rocks off by associating themselves to the paternalistic, overly male-dominated philosophy of current corporate and political power, but women who are brilliant and strategic as well as intuitive, compassionate and inclusive.

Hillary meets many of those standards. She is an amazing fund raiser, which really is the only way to get elected in America. He or She with the biggest campaign fund wins. Plain and simple. She's also a brilliant strategist. And I watched her new TV ad this morning and despite what I think of her, I cried in the end. It got to me, like it will get to many struggling Americans, to think that somebody as exalted as she is, really fucking cares what I think and what happens to me. That somehow my struggle is her struggle and that I will no longer be "invisible" to the President. I told you she was brilliant.

There's just some glaring facts that stand in the way of me supporting her, referencing where she stands on the handy issues chart I posted last week:

  • She supports the death penalty. This stance is nothing more than an abomination in this day and age.
  • She supports the Patriot Act.
  • She supports a border fence. The Berlin wall boondoggle - think of all the industries that would benefit from those ongoing contracts - building, maintenance, etc. I think that instead, we need to build a wall between the US and Canada - to keep Americans from fleeing into Canada, for prescription drugs, non-violence, or sadly, a better place to live.
  • She may say she wants us out of Iraq but out of the other side of her mouth she supports leaving some vague number of troops there for some vague (meaning long) amount of time for "training" and other bullshit like that. I think she's pandering, like the TruthDig article says, to her lobbyist campaign donors in the military industrial complex
  • She failed miserably with her first health care initiative because she's got too many insurance and health industry extortionists/lobbyists sliding money into her campaign coffers. Unfortunately, the only way to improve health care in the United States is to get the insurance companies out of the picture. She's not going to let that happen.
  • She's against same-sex marriage, which is just plain bullshit. I'm not gay but I really despise her (and Edwards and Obama) for her cowardice on this topic. She's pandering to the religious right to try and get their votes. Good fucking luck Hillary, you've already been painted as the Whore of Babylon in those circles. She strokes our collective dicks with her support of same-sex civil unions. That's just a cop-out. She knows that the rights associated with civil unions are not even close to those granted by marriage.
  • She supports the use of nuclear weapons
I want a woman to be President of the United States. I just don't want it to be Hillary. I like Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel. Unfortunately, they probably won't make it. If it ends up being Hillary against a Republican, of course I'll vote for her. But I will be really surprised if all of us little people don't quickly become "invisible" again, the day after she's sworn into office.

I close with a quote from the TruthDig article, something that made me so freakin' mad. But please read the whole thing:

The Globe noted that “When Geraldine Ferraro was the Democratic candidate for vice president in 1984, she was dogged by questions about whether she could ‘push the button’ to launch an attack if the Cold War turned hot.” The paper then quoted Ferraro as saying that Clinton, whom she supports for president, has passed that test: “You can’t do that with Hillary Clinton. Hillary is in a totally different place.”

Great, so forget the hope that a woman president might prove to be more enlightened than macho men in the matter of peacemaking, and instead rest assured that Hillary would have the cojones to “push the button” that would kill us all. Once again, the old Clintonian tactic of triangulation: positioning oneself politically instead of taking a position of integrity.