Friday, August 29, 2008

The Future Cometh

I just learned a few minutes ago that the USA will either have a woman vice-president or a black president come November. Now I don't like talking politics on the Internet much, but policies aside this makes me proud of our country.

It also reminds me of a joke John Stewart gave at the Oscars this year. Something along the lines of how Hollywood was worried about there potentially being either a woman or a black man in the White House- "How will we know it's the future?!?"


Anonymous said...

Yvette, I am not sure how proud you should be considering John McCain's likely cynical motive for picking Sarah Palin. Walk through the following steps:

1. Ask, and maybe even him directly too: Would John McCain have picked Sarah Palin if, having all the same background, she wasn't a woman? No, really, of course not - some guy like that just wouldn't have been the Veep choice "and we all know it." So,

2. That shows that John McCain was pandering, trying to pull a "See what a cute smart-ass I am, diddling with Hillary supporters and sticking my tongue out at Barack Obama." My mother said, he "looked pleased as punch," with a big smug smart-alec's smirk on his face.

3. Once voters realize that John McCain was pandering like that, taking chances with the well-being of the nation just to play election games, enough of them will be outraged enough to say, no way I will vote for an jackass like that.

Well, hard to respect a jackass like that either, right? I mean, if a woman of great stature and experience was picked instead, it would be a whole different situation.

simon in nz said...

Are you sure Palin makes you proud of your country?

That said, I doubt that the choice of Palin has much to do with her being a woman: I think it's more the fact that she's an evangelical Christian that piqued the McCain campaign's interest. I find it hard to believe that even the most cynical politician would choose a running mate based on sex or race alone.

Yvette said...


I knew my "politics aside" comment would be ignored...

Here's the thing- I know Palin's record and, frankly, am not supportive based on her policy standings (creationism in schools? abortion not allowed even in extreme cases? sheesh). But that doesn't change the fact that even a few decades back I sincerely doubt she would've gotten the nod, just the same as how I don't think Obama would have. And I happen to like indications that this country is capable of moving beyond its darker moments. Cynical indications of the motivation aside, I really don't think "the women's vote" would have been considered a good enough reason to put her on the ticket particularly in the Republican party, and I know a lot of people would agree with me.

Mind I've no plans to vote based on this simple reaction of mine because that would be downright silly. Put it this way- in my old all-girls high school stomping grounds the "girl power!" heads are exploding, mainly because we were rabidly told to want a woman in the White House no matter what, but everyone also was very Democrat. I never bought into that slightly perverted line of feminist thought, and have no plans to now.

Sean said...

Geraldine Ferraro? I don't think a female VP choice is super exciting from a feminist standpoint anymore, especially one who isn't competent. President would have been something...but again, only if she were competent. My mom and my girlfriend's mom are both kinda insulted as women that they just picked her for her gender...I think it would feel somewhat patronizing to me as well.

So, politics aside (as I hope I've left them so far!), I'm only excited by the (insert minority group here) candidate who was chosen for his/her competence, and this year that happens to be on the Democratic side.

Yvette said...

"So, politics aside (as I hope I've left them so far!), I'm only excited by the (insert minority group here) candidate who was chosen for his/her competence, and this year that happens to be on the Democratic side."

Careful there, Sean. I did vote for Obama in the primaries, but arguing which is more "competent," Palin or Obama, is pretty thin ice. I mean people obviously have opinions one way or the other, but by the same token I don't think there's an argument I've heard not heavily based in the political preconceptions of the person giving the argument.

Is it insulting to think someone's so silly as to vote for someone just for their gender? Of course it is. But that doesn't change me from thinking "oh, good for her" in a general way, the same way I think offhand "oh, good for her" whenever I see a woman in any other field where we're grossly underrepresented. I'm not going to decide my vote purely based on this reaction, the same way I'm not going to automatically become bestest buddies with every woman who wanders into the physics department, but at the same time I don't see what's wrong with noticing these sorts of things offhand and saying "oh, that's nice" and moving along with things.

Sean said...

But, I don't think it would be "nice" if there were a female physics grad student in the department who obviously was here only because she was a girl. That would be bad for everyone since she wouldn't do well, the department would waste time and money, and it would make us look bad. That's not what affirmative action is about first cut out incomptent candidates, and THEN you worry about the gender/race/etc balance.

On the experience thing, I don't think it's an opinion. Many senators have run for president (including Hillary, who I voted for in the primaries by the way!), but governor of a state with a population less than half of Cuyahoga county...come on. Would a county commissioner ever be seriously considered for a VP job? (Would a county commissioner ever be seriously considered to be a Senator..? Even that's a bit of a state senate first or something)