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Oct. 2nd, 2008

Nola riding (hustle & flow)
I've been thinking about this stuff for a while, but the debate tonight--both Palin's obvious strategies and some of the reactions I've seen already--really brought it into sharp focus.

I am so tired of and angered by this country's culture war. I'm sick of it from both sides, honestly. I'd welcome a VP candidate from Alaska who spoke in a folksy manner if she didn't have policies I find utterly abhorrant; it's so frustrating when I feel that other liberals' hatred for her stems from a place of deep resentment of 'hicks'.

If it weren't for the culture war, McCain and Palin wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Tonight's debate would have looked so different. The whole political landscape would be different. I'm so sick of the democratic party letting itself be constantly defined as elitist when our policies are better for the working and middle class and their policies are better for rich corporate businessmen. And I'm sick of us blaming that redefining on the conservative spin machine or on the middle-America populace that we're so quick to dismiss as stupid--for fuck's sake, are we so powerless that we can barely fight back against accusations of being too rich and snobby? I'm tired of people whining about anti-intellectuallism and why-is-elitist-a-bad-word-anyway. I *hate* it when liberals buy into the culture clashes and lash out against regular Joe six-packs because we feel attacked. It's fucking classist, and it's stupid politics.

I feel like the guys at the top of everything have manufactured this culture war to a large extent, and I'm just--I want an entirely new political discourse. Obama's just another politician, yeah, but I do think he's in a good position to shift things and break down cultural barriers. I think people in this country are beginning to get past these divides, considering Obama's numbers in a lot of Western states and in Virginia and North Carolina, and hopefully the Rovian politics surrounding Palin is the last gasp of this wedge strategy. The last thing we need right now is for the Left to stay stubbornly closed off to the possibility of bridging culture gaps.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 3rd, 2008 06:58 am (UTC)
Man, I hate the culture wars. They were largely absent from this campaign for so long... McCain was a moderate, he differed from his conservative base on a number of those issues. (And I respected him a lot for that, even if I disagreed with his politics.)

The choice of Palin brought a lot of those issues roaring back, and that's done a lot to kill my respect of McCain. It's the same way he suddenly went from a lifelong Episcopalian to a Baptist: he's pandering to the religious right, who IMO have used the culture wars to align themselves with the Republican party and vice versa. They're by no means the only ones at fault, here, but they are the ones who were dancing around cheerfully when the Palin announcement came out and be damned to her qualifications.

Oct. 3rd, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
I know! That's one of the things that really frustrates me about Palin. All of a sudden we have a candidate in the race who's been packaged almost exactly the same way that Bush was, and it's the same manipulative divisive bullshit as it's always been. Obama's been pushing a message of unity since 2004, and it's just getting drowned out.
Oct. 3rd, 2008 09:01 am (UTC)
I think it's interesting that you see these issues in this way. I'm probably blinded to some of that by the fact that I'm poor, from poor people, but very smart and very well-educated.

I think the 'class wars' are a ploy very carefully constructed by the Republicans over the last fourty years. The did their best to do everything humanly possible to keep the Red states poor, ignorant, and religious, and somehow mamanged to convince people that Republicans are the party that does *anything* for them (aside from keeping them poor, ignorant, and religious). Seriously, if you make less than $100K a year, you absoluttely CANNOT afford to be a Republican. This is plain fact. I just do not understand how that party gets away with such STUNNING levels of incessant lying.
Oct. 3rd, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
I totally agree. It's absolutely manipulative, and it frustrates me that a lot of liberals play into it by blaming the people that are being manipulated and not making any effort to bridge divides.
Oct. 3rd, 2008 10:02 am (UTC)
Can I get a distinction between culture wars and class wars, here? There are plenty of liberals who live in "red country" and talk like Them Folks and make the same that Them Folks do who find her *culture* abhorrent.
Oct. 3rd, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
I think I didn't really make myself clear. I don't think that people who hate Palin are classist; I think there are plenty of things that make her abhorrent. I just think she's being used to trigger cultural resentments that some liberals already have, and some of those resentments smack to me of classism.
Oct. 3rd, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
It's entirely possible I misunderstood you at 6am, besides; what you're rephrasing this as makes *much* more sense.

Sorry about that.
Oct. 3rd, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
Did you see Peggy Noonan on the daily show a couple of days back? It was really fantastic, the way she (in her calm, respectful Peggy Noonan way) basically said that these candidates have let down the whole country by getting swept up in this bi-partisan crap, and maybe, just maybe, the economic crisis will allow them to step up from the tiny schoolyard battles they are trying to fight and actually come up with some UPLIFTING RHETORIC that will MOVE this nation to action, and remind us that we are great.

Ugh, I want to vote for Peggy Noonan.
Oct. 3rd, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
I just watched that clip! I loved what she was saying. I think Obama has been trying--I know he has the ability to uplift democrats, and I'd like to see him deliver something as monumental as his '04 convention speech, just directed to the whole nation.
Oct. 3rd, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC)

I like some of your points.

But I am a hick, and I despise Sarah Palin because she's a right-wing religious nut-job. It's nothing to do with class, cause I grew up like she did.

Just saying.
Oct. 3rd, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, no--I'm not saying that we should respect Sarah Palin because all hicks love her or that I have any affection for her. I probably should have worded myself better, but I don't think people's dislike of Sarah Palin comes from any kind of classist place. I just believe that some of the cultural resentments on the left that the republicans are playing on have an element of classism to them.
Oct. 4th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
"cultural resentments on the left"


*baffled Southern liberal*
Oct. 3rd, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC)
I seriously can't believe people are banging on about moose when there's stuff like this floating around.
Oct. 3rd, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah. That's another thing that aggravates me about Palin: she's totally distracted people from McCain, when right now the democrats should really be going for the throat considering his belly-flop of "suspending" the campaign and doing absolutely nothing to help the bailout.
Oct. 3rd, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC)

I think you may find this relevant to your interests. This was the videocast we watched in class yesterday and it sparked some really interesting discussion about why we identify as conservative or liberal and how we can still work together.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )