Saturday, January 12, 2008

Choo-Choo-Choose Me

I owe apologies to Marin and PJ for all those times I felt that their blogs should be updated more often. Of course, they understand that it came from a place of love. Now that I'm back at work, I wonder how anyone can keep up a blog at all.
It's not just the lack of time, either. I'm too tired to be creative.

But my one day weekend has begun! I spent the first couple of hours catching up with All My Children, and all I can say is that the writer's strike really, really needs to end. The story lines continue, but there are some major lapses of logic, like a character in an insane asylum who has unrestricted access to a phone on the wall (he used it to arrange a murder), and the woman who, knowing she is the target of a sniper, spends time in front of a huge picture window.

My other job for the weekend is to try and pick a candidate for President. This is so strange. I've been voting for Presidents since 1976 and I've never had a real choice before. For better or for worse, the Democrat has been a foregone conclusion by the time California had a choice. Oddly, everyone I know, save one person, is not talking about their choices. All these years, I took it for granted that everyone declared their choices out loud, but that was because we had no choices.

In my liberal Bay Area circle, it seems that it is okay to declare yourself for Obama without being judged. However, a vote for Clinton may mean any of the following: you have fallen prey to the idea of a Clinton dynasty, or you have fallen for an emotional outburst, or strangest of all (from friends born after 1970), you are only voting for her because she's a woman. A vote for Edwards means that you are afraid to back a President who is a woman or who is African-American. It means that you are mainstream and conventional.

I've been spending some time on the three candidates' websites reading about their take on issues. Clinton plans to get everyone out of Iraq, starting immediately, and she has a well thought out plan for Health Care for all. Obama plans to get everyone out of Iraq, starting immediately, and he has a really nice education plan. He's clearly been talking to teachers. There is a nice, hopeful feeling to what he says. Edwards surprised me with his extremely thorough take on pretty much every issue you can think of, and I couldn't find anything I disagreed with. He even had the guts to say that he supports civil unions for homosexuals.

So, what's a liberal Bay Area girl to do? Edwards seems to embody most of what I believe in. But. If I live to my full life expectancy, I've got about 7 more Presidential elections left, and I really have hoped to see a woman and an African-American in the White House in my lifetime. Will there ever be as good a chance as this?

I guess I'm not quite ready to decide yet. I will sit back for a couple more weeks and enjoy this very, very rare occasion of having three candidates that I would be perfectly happy with.


Anonymous said...

Wait wait wait,

"...or strangest of all (from friends born after 1970), you are only voting for her because she's a woman."

"Edwards seems to embody most of what I believe in. But...I really have hoped to see a woman and an African-American in the White House in my lifetime."

So let me get this straight, it really bothers you that people think you would only vote for Clinton because she is a woman, and yet the only reason you would consider voting for her over Edwards is because she is a woman. Same with Obama.

I know you've always been concerned about your image, but this seems a little ridiculous.

vicmarcam said...

I meant that I find the comment about voting for her because she's a woman strange because, truthfully, I thought it went without saying that voting for a woman because she's a woman is a possibility. It was only in the 1970s that help wanted ads stopped being divided into "help wanted men" and "help wanted women," so the idea of a viable candidate is pretty thrilling. So, when people say that, I feel like saying, "Well, there are other reasons, too, but duh!"
If I were concerned about my image, I wouldn't be honestly talking about the reasons I'm torn, and I would not be letting readers infer that I am most impressed with the white man.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you raised your kids, assuming you have kids, but I was raised to believe that people shouldn’t be judged based on race or sex. It doesn’t matter if someone is male, female, black, yellow, red, white, or blue; everyone should be judged equally (as long as they speak English and aren’t Canadian).

I have no problem with affirmative action when it is used correctly, that is when two candidates are exactly equal then the minority should be chosen. But these candidates obviously are not equal to you. It really bothers me that you are using affirmative action incorrectly, especially since you’re doing it in a state that banned affirmative action.

By the way, my word verification for this post is fucjawoc, which to me sounds like a great swear word for star wars.

vicmarcam said...

I'm going to steal a joke from Marin here, but fucjawoc sounds like an unpleasant task.

The people who raised you sound very, very intelligent, and I think they would appreciate that I am torn.

Actually, you got me thinking. I have really changed my mind about affirmative action as I've gotten older. I think I became more aware of how things really are unfair for some people and that the idea of two candidates or two people going for the same position being equal is unrealistic. Humans are so complex that they can never be truly equally qualified for anything. So, that being said, the best we can do is decide among qualified people. For example, if two people who are qualified to teach are going for the same position, and one has more experience, but the other is a man from a population with few male role models, then the greater good may just be to hire the qualified, but less qualified candidate.

Unknown said...

Hey, I posted a comment but it hasn't appeared. Anyway, the gist of it was that, if I voted only according to my ideals, I'd always be voting for Kucinich or, more likely, sending in write-in ballots for myself.

Of course other things factor into it! A major factor for primaries is electability, which is usually code for white, male, Protestant (but not "weird" about it), taller than the other guy (but not by too much), married (but not too many times), and good-looking (but not attractive).

There are so many reasons why people vote for a particular candidate that have absolutely nothing to do with their actual policies. (He's the Terminator, I could have a beer with him, he feels our pain).

So just vote for the person you most want to have as president and don't feel bad about it!

As long as it's one of those three.

vicmarcam said...

So, Marin, voting for President is kind of like choosing a life partner, I guess. Many factors go into it, some important, some superficial but important to the voter anyway. And in the case of the last election, slightly less than half of the country eventually woke up and realized that it made a terrible, terrible mistake, but was too scared/lazy/stubborn to get a divorce.
The mistake was so horrible, though, that I cringe whenever I hear people speculating on which Republican is the Democrats' best hope. In other words, who is so crazy that Republicans will cross over to our side? I don't think such a person exists, given the country's past voting habits.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

And don't underestimate the Republican ability to steal our "elections".
You hope to see a woman and an African-American in the White House? Oh, darling, check the cleaning staff! Me, I wanted Shirley Chisholm (a twofer!) back in the day -- back when we used to assert blithely that "Ronald Reagan was too conservative to be elected."
I'm thinking that, as a white man obsessed with hair, I should go for Edwards. He also talks about the economic power of the corporate world, something that isn't really getting mentioned in the corporation-run media (sorry, am I sounding like a nutty blogger? I should stick to the opera.) I'm not as persuaded of his courage in backing civil unions, though, since he's made it clear he has trouble with gay marriage. Civil marriages are all about property, so it's silly to pretend same-sex couples don't have property issues. I expect the powerful wedding lobby (I'm not kidding -- do you know how much money that industry is worth?) to intervene.
Maybe I shouldn't blog about politics while listening to Urinetown.

vicmarcam said...

Shirley Chisholm! Psst, excuse me, sir, your age is showing. Actually, could you even vote then?

I'm laughing because I was reading your comment and then I got to the end and I actually thought, "Urinetown--that explains it." That's not to say that I disagree with your points. I think, though, that we always have to be careful of people who are taking on corporations while taking money from them (which is pretty much everybody). Maybe we just need the religious right to come in and straighten everyone out.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

Ha ha! Well, I totally have the Bertolt Brecht thing going through my head all the time anyway. It's just the nature of our world that everyone is connected to corporations in one way or another. Some just get more out of it than others.