Saturday, February 09, 2008

Did She Or Didn't She?

It was so hard to commit to my vote on Tuesday, so hard to feel certain since I found the choices so similar, that as I walked away from the polling place I decided that I didn't want to tell anyone who I'd voted for. My choices are that people are going to think I'm a racist or a sexist, right? Score! That does seem to be the gamut of reactions being tossed about. Better, I thought, to just let it lie. After all, by the time I had this thought my vote was cast, for better or for worse, for sexism or for racism, no going back so no one would care.

But no! As it happens, and thanks to the magic of the internet, I was still sort of in the middle of some conversations about my choice and opinions were still being tossed at me to see if they'd stick. I was feeling a lot of pressure around this belated lobbying until I realized that it was; belated. I've made it clear that I'll happily be voting for whoever the Democratic winner turns out to be.

So far I haven't let the perceived pressure convince me to reveal my vote. Of course there are some people who are convinced I voted for Hillary but what they don't know is that there are an equal number of people who are convinced I voted for Obama.

Convincing voters is still important, but we (and by "we" I mean people who are able to fall on one side or the another definitively, so not me) should concentrate our efforts on those who have yet to cast there vote. It's a close race, anything can happen.

For those of use who have voted and must simply watch to see how it shakes down there are other questions to ponder:

  • Yes, Romney and Rudy have dropped out but when will the other shoe drop? Who will McCain choose as a running mate?
  • Can I afford a house in Costa Rica?
  • Which Democratic hopeful is more (or less) likely to be assassinated?
  • What will happen if s/he is?
  • Who will either Dem choose as a running mate?
  • Who invented liquid soap and why?


  1. Racist vs Sexist?

    Most of the people I talk to feel the decision is Charisma vs Experience.

    The only thing I have heard about race or gender is from a few women who want to vote a woman into the Oval Office, but aren't psyched that she'd be Hillary.

  2. Anonymous9:19 AM

    You raise some excellent questions. How sad is it that it still, in 2008, sex and race is still an issue. Sadder still that you have the same fear as me; that if a Democrat is elected, an assassination attempt is likely. Sigh.
    As for your last question, go here;

  3. It bothers me that people have reduced Hillary's candidacy to gender. It's just not the case.

    I agree with JRH on this one.

    Right now, it's about: who will beat McCain.

    I'm pretty sure the answer to that one is Hillary. The experience thing gets even more important when you go up against the Senator from Arizona.

  4. I didn't tell anyone either (well, my sister). Some people like the curtains on those booths.

  5. Anonymous10:16 AM

    It's shaping up to be an election in November between McLame and either Hillary or Barack. I Will Not Vote For A Republican Under Any Circumstance.

    I do not feel obliged to consider the tired subjects of gender and race because two candidates happen to be a woman and a man of color.

  6. Anonymous11:51 AM

    You should never have to tell anyone how you voted - that's why your vote is private.

    I'm not a fan of Hillary's (though I will vote for her if she's the nominee and I think it's ridiculous that we don't have more women in elected positions), but all the hatred thrown at her is unreal.

    It's interesting that, it seems, people are more willing to call other people sexist if they don't vote for Hillary than they are to call others racist for not voting for Obama. (But if someone calls others sexist for not voting for Hillary, then how can they not expect to be called racist for not voting for Obama? Neither charge is true in most cases, but people can't lodge one complaint without the other.) Early on, a number of people told me that they didn't think Obama was electable - they didn't come out and say why, but the very fact that they didn't say why implied that it was because he's black (he's white too, but that's another topic for another day). Of course they didn't say that THEY wouldn't vote for him...

    I may be wrong, but it seems that, in general, most white people don't want to touch the topic of racism with a ten foot pole - except to say, "Not ME!" Sexism is much more easily brought up because people who are sexist are a lot less inhibited about it, because of a lot less social pressure against it. I'm not saying that charges of sexism are taken seriously a lot of the time, however, just that people are much more worried about being called a racist - possibly because it's easier to claim the person calling you sexist is crazy (I mean, aren't all women crazy? - I don't believe this, but subconsciously a lot of people do, so women are often not taken seriously). A lot of sexism is so commonplace, that, in a weird way, people are more accepting of it, unconsciously or not. Think about it - when was the last time you heard a woman well past her childhood years called a girl vs. when was the last time you heard a grown black man called a boy? I'm definitely not saying there's more sexism than racism, I'm just saying it's often less hidden, because a lot of it is so common, people don't even think of it as sexism...

    Anyway, I'm going in circles. I'm not even sure I'm making sense. But no one should be called a racist or sexist because of who they voted for, unless they actually say something racist or sexist in connection with their vote.

    That being said, it would be very nice if the first president Little Seal has any memory of is either a woman or a person of color, though unless they get elected to a 2nd term, he may not remember them. But they have to get elected first!

  7. Miflohny, I so agree with you about hoping to set a impression with the under 2 set (and realizing it might take two terms). As a Toddler Mommy, I'd love him to see first hand that ANYONE in this country CAN do ANYTHING he or she wants to.

  8. Gerry, none of us are obligated to consider these topics but they're there so some of us choose to consider them.

    I have to say that I haven't heard anyone throw an accusation of racism directly but indirectly they're everywhere. I actually read an interesting post, I think at Red Stapler, about how the term "not ready" has been used as an excuse to keep African American people out of positions of power for years.

    I still question the electability (and survivability) of both the dem noms.

    JRH, the charisma vs. experience thing is a tiny lateral move from racism vs. sexism, I think.

  9. Alex brought up the fact that it seems only left wing candidates/elected officials have ever been assassinated in this country. I thought about it, and I think he's right. But why?

    It's tough for me too. Hillary is stronger on universal healthcare, but Obama didn't vote for the war.

  10. The evil in me says that it's because right wingers are crazy but that would be an inflammatory and unfair thing to say, so I won't. But, historically the people who are anti-liberal are more in line with guns and eye for an eye than the people who are anti-conservative so it's just a risk of the culture I think. Does that make sense?

    What I love most about your comment, Kath, is that the dilemma you're putting out there is based in positives. I'm so trying to keep the debate in my head about what's positive about each candidate but damn if it isn't really tough.