Although this probably should be an RBOC post, as I promise you, I shall ramble from topic to topic. And yet, I can't organize my thoughts into bullet points. And so, well, there you are.
So the first thing I suppose is that I am collapsing under the weight of the summer teaching. My classes are going along fine, and the students are working hard and everything, but I'm just done. Only three more weeks to go, Thank God, but Gooooddddd. How I'm going to make it through these three weeks I do not know.
In other news, I've embraced my foolishness and am feeling much less disgruntled than I was a couple of days ago. There was a lot of thinking, a lot of taking long, hard looks at myself, and I think I've come to a semblance of calm related to those things that were causing me disquiet. Nothing's resolved, obviously, but I am feeling like some good things were hashed out (both with myself and with another party), and so even though I'm most certainly foolish, I feel as if this is not the worst thing in the world to be for the time being. And I do have some semblance of a path forward plotted out, which does make me feel much better about things in general.
So I suppose now I should turn to politics. First, let me say that when I voted in my primary, I voted for Clinton. That being said, come November, barring something truly unfortunate, I'll vote for Obama. But. I (like many in my state and in other states that people like to dismiss as racist) do feel like I don't really know Obama as a candidate (which is what I said in a lengthy conversation I had with an Obama canvasser prior to my primary). And I'm probably better informed about him than most of the people who claim that they don't know him, but still, I feel like I don't really know him. In all of the conversations about how blue-collar voters and women of a certain age don't respond to him, I don't think that enough attention is paid to why voters of those persuasions might be turned off. So, let me make some wild generalizations based on my conversations with my mom (a lifelong democrat), my stepdad (an immigrant who's independent), and a hometown friend (a lifelong republican who wanted to vote for Clinton in a general election). Here's what I see. I think the people who don't "know" Obama feel like the whole "change" message is a lot of hooey without a whole lot of substance behind it. Yes, lots of people have responded to it. But I think the people who he's not reaching want to hear more from him about what *specific* changes he plans on making and *how.* That's not because they're racist, necessarily, although maybe some are, but rather because they ultimately feel like a guy who was educated at Columbia and Harvard, who is a lawyer (and we all know about lawyers) and who has been in the legislature (and you can't trust anybody in government), isn't all that different from any other person who's been on a ticket. Why should we believe he means "change"? Now, you might say that Hillary Clinton fits the same profile. Indeed, she does. BUT, I think if many gravitated to Clinton they did so based on the "Better the Devil You Know" principle. Sure, she's politics as usual, but we've known her for years, and we know (we think) that she cares about working people and women. I'm not saying Obama doesn't, but I don't see him showing - in all of the boring and simple ways that somebody like my mom wants to be shown - how he does, and how his "change" stuff is part of *her* daily life. So if Obama wants to reach the skeptics out there, who don't give a shit for a rhetoric of change, then he's got to start delivering them some meat and *paying attention to them.* (In other words, he needs to show up and really talk to people in places like Kentucky and West Virginia and South Dakota and Florida and wherever else people don't feel like he's given them any time. He's got the money. He needs to do it, and not just assume that those states won't go his way.) When people say they don't know him, that's what they're asking for. In my humble opinion.
That said, I saw part of an interview with him today on CNN where I did feel like he was speaking that language a bit more. Perhaps as things shake out in the next few months, there'll be less about "change" and "uniting" the country and more about nuts and bolts. NOT that the change and uniting thing should be thrown out by any means, but if he's interested in getting those voters, who are working class, or women, or whatever, and in getting some voters away from McCain, the nuts and bolts stuff needs to come to the fore a bit more. Enough that this is what the media covers about what Obama is doing, at least in part. Actually, the town hall thing suggested by McCain might help with this, although I agree with the pundits that Obama can't let McCain dictate how the campaign moves forward, and that he needs to start setting his own agenda more (this is where the nuts and bolts become paramount, I think). In sum, I think that he needs to stop appealing to our desire for a messiah and start appealing to our desire for a leader. And no, those two things are not identical.
I think he has it in him. I want him to have it in him. And I also would love it if he chose a woman to be his running mate, though not necessarily Clinton. I've been bothered by the fact that in all of the Veep projections that it's Clinton or a range of white dudes plus Richardson. Lots of women might be great, and women do make up half of our population. I'd like to see a better mix in the projecting, if only to show me that Clinton is not a Geraldine-Ferraro-esque token. If Clinton is a Geraldine-Ferraro-esque token, then that means that we've got another 20 years to wait for another "viable" woman candidate. And yes, that puts my panties in a bunch.
That said, the people who are saying that they'd vote for McCain in protest against Clinton not being nominated... my mother included and my friend from hometown included... well, they're idiots. I've explained to my mom why this is idiotic, and to my friend why this is idiotic, but I don't know whether I can convince them on my own. This is why I want Obama to start speaking to them. They're both in Ohio, people. Their votes matter, for real.
Hmmm. What else? I'm not sure that there is much else. During the whole long-hard-look-at-myself phase of the past couple of days I watched both Georgia Rule and The Memory-Keeper's Daughter. This first indicates that I gravitate toward garbage when in times of introspection. Second, though, I did enjoy both. I do love me some Lindsay Lohan, even in a crap movie, and that Emma Watson? AWESOME, even in a made-for-Lifetime-movie.
Yes, I do believe that is all.
5 years ago