Thursday, September 4, 2008

my reaction to the RNC, Palin's speech, media circuses, and the blogosphere. um... part one.

I watched the latter half of Rudy's speech and the first half of Palin's. Sometime after the asinine pit bull joke and the infuriating derision of Obama's community organizing efforts, I stroked out and flipped off the telly to dive into Twitter seeking solace among my peeps. I read the text of the speech on Huffington Post (there's video too) this morning, and have looked over several reactions including this thread on Feministing and more I'll get to later.

My impression, as I sat staring with disbelief, was that the difference in tone between the DNC and RNC, totally disregarding content, was striking and almost shocking. The speakers at the DNC used uplifting and inspiring rhetoric paired with (at least in Obama's case) practical, specific policy plans. When negative language was used, it was used against policies and the current administration. But the overall flavor was a positive call to change.

The RNC struck a decisively different pose. The voice there was scathing and mocking and cocky. Allegations made by liberals not at all endorsed by the Obama/Biden camp were attributed to the Democratic campaign, and a stance of jeering condescension was used whenever anyone referenced Barack Obama.

I watched a hyped-up crowd chanting "Drill, Baby, DRILL" and physically recoiled. I wouldn't feel much more horrified if they'd have yelled "Rape THE Earth! Rape THE Earth!" And the insane thing? Their golden boy is against offshore drilling. The whatthefuckery is still tangled in my brain. I heard some Republican on NPR the other day talking about how they know he'll come around and it sounded like he was being assimilated by the Borg.

I'm deeply shaken and worried about the Republicans' apparent ease at playing very, very dirty politics. It seems to work disturbingly well. I've ordered a copy of One Party Nation so I can learn more about how the conservatives took over my fucking country have maintained power for a long time. They are massively successful at uniting their base. Massively. Did I say 'Borg' yet? When I examine that, I am actually proud of the left for apparently having a more diverse field of opinion but I wonder if we can unite against....

and then the combative language of "common enemy" and the ideas of all I'm willing to sacrifice (like a strongly pro-LGBT agenda, like putting up with religious language that alienates me completely, like I *justnow* found out Obama is pro-death penalty) make me feel disillusioned all over again. But of course I realize that change happens so. fucking. slowly.

I don't think the answer is to sink to that level, but I don't know what the answer is. How one functions in the political arena is totally beyond my understanding. The constant song and dance of getting out a message and trying not to offend anyone... it's all so intricately artificial and confused.


  1. Let me know how One Party Nation is.

  2. I attended a discussion group earlier this week where we discussed individuality vs. community. It was brief, but that's because everyone there had something interesting to talk about and we rambled to another topic, but I digress. Basically, what the right did by aligning themselves with the fundamentally religious was secure a voter base who likes to follow, to be told what to do. They aren't the kind of people who really care to think for themselves, because if they did take a minute to use the amazing critical thinking capabilities we all have as (healthy) humans, they'd realize their world view is completely limiting and ridiculous, completely based on myths and talking points, not on evidence, or ethics. I think as liberals, we really do cover the spectrum; we are the rebels, we are the individuals who refuse to follow, who make our own path, who demand change and progress. And I'll (sort of) refrain from using the "herding cats" metaphor, but honestly, its the truth. The right has really got a good hold on people who are weak-minded followers who want to be told what to do. What an easy crowd of people to manipulate for political gain. Liberals are up against a much bigger challenge when it comes to reigning in all the egos and varied opinions.

  3. @Laura Thanks, you deliciously eloquent righteous babe. Rock. The. Fuck. ON! Wish I'd been there for that discussion:)

  4. @kapgar Review will be forthcoming, I promise.

  5. You are a better citizen than I, to have watched the RNC. I can not even handle reading any of the speeches at this point, I'm too freaked out by the possibility of a red win.

    (PS: it would be exceptional difficult for any anti-death penalty candidate to win the US election. HRC is also, afaik, pro-death penalty.)