Why I Won't Waste My Time with Those That Still Are Pushing Third Parties and Other Presidential Truths You Don't Want To Hear
>> Monday, October 10, 2016
I wrote some of this back in June, when there were several progressive type folks still clinging to the hope of a Bernie miracle, but it is as relevant now so I'm keeping the bits that speak to that and adding a bit about the wisdom of flushing your vote down the toilet to prove your purity.
For those of you who really wanted Bernie to win, but accepted defeat graciously or even ungraciously and will do what you can to keep Trump from turning the world into a Trumpster fire, all honor to you. I appreciate you looking past your own disappointment for the greater good.
Many of you have likely noted my large repertoire of self-published
novels and anthologies. I had a good reason for doing it, namely, I
couldn't seem to connect with a publisher who appreciated my writing
like, let's face it, I do.
And there's no merit in a story that sits forever in a virtual drawer. So I put them out there, where, they were mostly ignored, but nowhere near as ignored as they were on my computer alone. And, I maintain, that was largely because my marketing skills are not impressive. But the books...
This past year, I've dallied in a field I haven't dallied in in decades, short stories. Prompted first by contests, then a great friend, Chuck Larlham, who enjoyed reading my work and kept finding new opportunities to check out and, ultimately, write a story for. So, after a year, I've got more than a dozen new stories, mostly fantasy science fiction and fantasy, but several that are also in different genres I haven't tried before or, at least, not in a long time.
As I've been rediscovering my writing talent, Chuck's also been key to my sending it out there. I got in JAMM magazine (as I noted previously), have a story accepted in an anthology meant for book club type parties, and another short story in charity anthology to support a charity that works with domestic abuse (Dove).
The publisher for the Dove anthology specializes in science fiction and fantasy and the name could not have been more perfect for me: The Dragon's Rocketship Publishing. They're relatively new and small, which is fine with me, and also accept short stories. So, a story that didn't make any waves in a contest (I seem to do more poorly in those than straight marketing) seemed like something to try because I *liked* it. So did they. They in fact gushed in the way I've been dreaming of a publisher gushing since time immemorial and wanted to know if I could make it into a novel. Well, no, I hadn't intended to make it into a novel, but, oddly enough, I'd written two side short stories that were related to a novel I'd already written (Curse of the Jenri) and was weeks away from self-publishing.
|Not the final cover, just my own concept|
I have read quite a few political posts recently, like more than the rest of my life combined. I started out this election not sure how I felt about Hillary Clinton and growing to respect and admire her the more I educated myself. I will not pretend I'm anything but a dedicated supporter.
But, in addition to all I learned about her dedication and commitment and intelligence and experience and fortitude that I respect about her, nearly as compelling has been the opening of my eyes to her heinous treatment by media (yes even women) and almost everyone else that gets a voice. I found myself getting hot around the collar (and identifying with it from my own history and my own friends during this election) as people felt perfectly comfortable putting the ugliest possible spin on the most trivial and inconsequential items, beating her up, not just once or twice but at every mention for decisions that other people had made: her husband, Congress, other Dem Presidents even Republican Presidents. Even "pro-Hillary" pieces were filled with apologetic comments and praise for Bernie (if written by women) and filled with "of course she's got tons of issues and here they are again but she's better than total insanity" pieces often by men. And those are most of the pro-Hillary pieces. The anti-Hillary pieces are disgusting, beating the same dead horses, spinning everything from her clothes, her tone to the New York Times criticizing her for putting her hand over her heart when she talked. Seriously? Same week Trump is tearing into Gold Star families.
But one I read yesterday, a piece ostensibly praising Hillary, sent me over the edge. I mean I was and am so livid I wrote the bulk of this at 4 am because I couldn't go back to sleep. That's how much it pissed me off. The piece was called "Understanding Hillary: Why the Clinton America Sees Isn't the Clinton Colleagues Know" in Vox by Ezra Klein and it was the absolute pinnacle of self-congratulatory patronizing misogyny I have ever read, masquerading as an apology piece. And it's clear the author had absolutely no self-awareness of it.
Let's start by that title. Let's start by the premise that, though she had more votes than any other candidate (Trump [by nearly 3 million] or Sanders [by nearly 4 million]) this primary, we have to hear again how America can't see the real Hillary, with no awareness that, hey, maybe media's complicit in that.
In case that didn't come through, he makes sure to remind us the first four paragraphs that (a) he's not going to talk (just like every other journalist) about any of her policies or achievements, (b) will remind us (again) of her many failings we need to mention whenever her name comes up, and (c) let's not forget the focus is on why she's so unlikable that everyone's talking about and, of course, (d) she proves the media's point by being everything the media insists she is even if everyone who knows her says she's not like that. Oh, and people that meet her. And people that have studied her history. Why? Because it *has* to be her. It couldn't possibly be that *he's* prejudiced or that *he's* refusing to see her clearly. Nope, we all know, she did it herself even if those that have known her for years say differently.
He spends two paragraphs acknowledging that those that actually know her, have worked with her, think that perception is totally whacked and were angered at how people treated and perceived her that way. Of course, since he's interviewing her, let's not miss the opportunity (again) to confront her with how much people don't like her because that's not rude or unkind or in any way attacky. He actually uses this line to describe his interview with her: "As you watch this clip, remember this is a real human being — a human being who really believes she’s dedicated her adult life to helping others — trying to understand why most Americans say they don’t like her." [My emphasis]
Really? I need you to remind me that she's a real human being? That she has the effrontery to think she's dedicated her adult life to helping others just because she has? And has to be confronted in every exchange with the media on why people don't like her?
Her response is hey people love the work I do and I get very high approval ratings when I do the job [which is absolutely and objectively true] and that she thinks, if the media constantly pounds away at someone indefinitely for years it might affect people's perception of her [as has also been shown repeatedly by studies]. His response? "I don’t buy it. Other politicians find themselves under continuous assault, but their poll numbers strengthen amid campaigns."
Yeah? Welcome to the world of women. And, hey, thanks for being part of the very process you insist isn't behind it. Since he's decided it couldn't possibly be on his side of things (and, in fact, dismisses it as absurd), let's ask the staff and colleagues and confidentes and coworkers what is it about Hillary that doesn't come through on the campaign trail.
He was amazed they all had the same answer, and it was also the same answer that argued she'd be great at governance She listens.
Now listen to his response to this:
He spends a paragraph reminding us that presidents [all men, by the way] are supposed to be great orators first and foremost, then spends three paragraphs explaining how the media scoffed at her listening tours when she was running for senator as if that was perfectly reasonable (although she won). Who would have guessed people appreciate being heard instead of just talked at? You'd think a journalist of all people would appreciate that, but then, apparently not.The first few times I heard someone praise Clinton’s listening, I discounted it. After hearing it five, six, seven times, I got annoyed by it. What a gendered compliment: “She listens.” It sounds like a caricature of what we would say about a female politician.But after hearing it 11, 12, 15 times, I began to take it seriously, ask more questions about it. And as I did, the Gap began to make more sense.
Clinton began her 2016 campaign with a listening tour, as well, and it is worth considering the possibility that these tours are not simply bullshit. This is, to be honest, a possibility I had not really considered until speaking with past and present Clinton aides who have been forced to take their boss’s process seriously.Take a moment and, whether you hate Clinton or not, just think about the prejudice, the patronizing in that paragraph as if a listening tour was (a) strictly a gimmick with no meaning (even though, I reiterate, she won the election for Senate with it) and (b) had any bearing on a person's ability to, I don't know, look out for the best interests of the populace because she bothered to find out what people thought. Take a minute and let that sink in. He's not apologizing for thinking they were bullshit, folks, he's implying you should be as amazed as he was that they they weren't. Who would have thought giving a shit about the actual people would be important. Damn!
I want to be very clear here. I’m not saying that anyone who opposed Clinton was sexist. Nor am I saying Clinton should have won. What I’m saying is that presidential campaigns are built to showcase the stereotypically male trait of standing in front of a room speaking confidently — and in ways that are pretty deep, that’s what we expect out of our presidential candidates. Campaigns built on charismatic oration feel legitimate in a way that campaigns built on deep relationships do not.That's right folks, just because she had far and away the most votes and most delegates, that doesn't mean she should have won. He certainly wouldn't want to credit her with it.And his perception that her campaign felt less legitimate is, he's sure, universal. What we expect. And that couldn't, in any way, be y'know, sexist. [Rolls eyes]
It is easy to imagine reading an article, in the third year of Clinton’s presidency, that sees this process as the root of her presidency’s failures. She could run a White House weighted down by endless meetings, fractured between too many competing priorities, riven between different advisers constantly fighting for her favor, and paralyzed by a search for common ground that Republicans won’t let her find.Guys, I don't think you've been paying attention to women. Multitasking and addressing the subtleties, big picture and detail, is one of our strengths. But, hey, let's not forget to couch her strength in the form of a weakness (as he decried the media for doing earlier while, um, doing it himself).
It comes in response to a question about her favorite books. She really does believe this.He gives her another chance. She gives him more absolute truth:
At another point, I asked her why trust in so many major institutions in public life — politicians, the business, the media — had fallen in recent decades. She turned immediately to the media. “I really believe that none of us have done what we should have done in being really straightforward about what we know and what we don’t know,” she said, “in being willing to say, ‘We reported that story last week; it turns out we were wrong.’”
As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you can't drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against 'em anyway, you don't belong in office.Gee, maybe Hillary just doesn't think like a male politician. It's almost like she's, y'know, a woman.
Blank or Bust movements sound noble, don't they? I'm all in! I won't settle for anything less than it all! That's how much it means to me.
In reality, they're not so noble. I can say that. I worked as a safety engineer for years at NASA and, though I had one of the most pure jobs on site, where I got to focus on safety and nothing else (Screw cost and schedule! And science! Bring 'em back safely!), I was well aware that the people I brought my concerns to did not have it so simple. They weren't allowed to screw everything to suit me because, hey, the safest place for a rocket is on the ground, but it's not what they're for. That meant I sometimes got some of what I wanted (no, really!) and sometimes I didn't. Some times were easier to accept than others. But that's how we get stuff done. Because, if we're all safety all the time, we never leave our homes, and if we're all flying, screw safety, our program is doomed as we're pelted with broken rocket parts.
So, what does that have to do with this election? Well, it means many very passionate people and some pretty passionate people just woke up with an election bender hangover to face the reality that Bernie was not getting the nomination (if you still think that's up in the air, you're not ready for this and probably are too detached from reality to swallow it anyway). The great revolution was over or, at least, the dream of Bernie leading the Dems into a new world order was not happening this year.
Some Bernie supporters, likely those who saw the handwriting on the wall for a while, were prepared to vote Blue no matter who and, though disappointed, will be comfortable enough especially comparing Hillary to Trump (though, to be honest, there wasn't a GOP contender I could imagine swallowing - Yikes! You know the milk is rancid when Trump comes to the top). Some, while more reluctant, already can guess they'll take a shot of whiskey, stumble to the polls, and vote Hillary for the good of the world. All honor to you guys. You get the big picture and, while I understand it didn't make you happy, I appreciate you voting against the racist sexist buffoon anyway. (And a shout out to the conservatives out there who ALSO aren't willing to bring back the Third Reich and who will make the same decision. Good for you.)