Monday, February 4, 2008

Pre-Super Musings

I'm fresh out of words of wisdom about the Democratic nominees. It's down to Obama and Clinton, either of whom could win or lose to McCain in November.

All the balls are up in the air.

From one hour to the next, like a pendulum, I favor a different candidate. I'm getting bored with it, to be dead honest. (Besides, we NCians don't get a primary until May.)

I'm told that a large number of non-Democratic Americans won't vote non-white or non-male under any circumstance. It's not hard for me to imagine that that number is large enough to make a difference, politically, but harder for me to imagine that a large majority of Americans can really still feel this way in the 21st century.

Hillary seems the candidate most likely to have the political savvy to get something done in Washington.

I picture her as pretty adept in getting politicos to pull together.

My main problem is that I suspect she lacks the will to move things very far from the status quo.

It hurts, too, that another Clinton presidency would mean that, for 20-24 years, only two families will have "ruled" America--sounds un-American to me, somehow.

At the moment I favor Barack, but I'm troubled by his messianic posing.

He doesn't believe in two Americas, red states and blue states, whereas I would like to see even more colors in the spectrum.

He sees a connection between faith and politics that worries me, even though I realize he's not a Dobson/LaHaye/Robertson type of Christian like Bush.

Unlike Barack, I think a blending of the rhetorics of religion and politics, however expedient right now to the left, however alluring a counter to the rise of Islamo- and Christo-fascism around the world, ultimately compromises the integrity of religion and politics alike.

More troubling to me, such a blending opens the door further to demagoguery--a powerful (too powerful) alignment of political systems of control with mass passions triggered by religious prejudices, however well meaning and ostensibly "liberal."

Obama's website proclaims, "I'm asking you to believe." I'd be happier if it said, "I'm asking you to think," even "I'm asking you to question."

The same message was easier to swallow when I was being asked to "keep hope alive."

I'm troubled that in a pinch, despite the rhetoric of bringing people together, Obama the politician tends to favor the mainstream.

Last fall, he claimed that he was the only candidate trying to pull together the religious right and the GLBT communities--but what his SC "gospel tour" in fact accomplished was to give a platform to the "ex-gay" movement and, when certain members of the gay community cried foul, to accuse them of being "divisive."

Frankly, I don't see anything radical in invoking God to get votes--it's been going on for as long as America's existed. It works, and it doesn't surprise me that somebody on the left has figured out a way of perhaps pulling some votes away from Bible-thumping Republicans.

And I don't see anything progressive in asking gays and lesbians to tread softly around the tender sensibilities of God-fearing homophobes. It wasn't the gays who locked themselves out of the churches in the first place.

And calling the bashers, victims, and the victims, bashers, is merely a red herring that diverts attention from and damages the cause of equality, justice, community, and liberty.

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