I’m so angry right now I can’t get anything done. I normally don’t watch debates because I’m a terrible citizen, but last night I did. I watched it with one would-be-a-Democrat-if-he-were-a-citizen and two Republicans, so I tried to play nice. I did kind of do a spazzy thing with my arms when the words “women’s rights” came out of Palin’s mouth, though. But all in all, it was not surprising and I wasn’t that upset.
Then today, my dad emailed me. He was happy and talked about a variety of things. He mentioned that he watched the debate and said that he knew I was into female empowerment and he may have just seen the first female president of the US and she was so great yadda yadda yadda. At first I was just disappointed that such a smart person, albeit one who I disagree with a lot since I started getting information about politics from sources other than him, was so duped by her carefully crafted persona. She was charismatic. And she didn’t say anything too overwhelmingly stupid, although I believe she made a gaffe while discussing the two state solution and moving the embassy to Jerusalem, but I’m not sure, and no one except one Middle Eastern commentator that I may have heard incorrectly called her on it. But saying “change change maverick change reform maverick” doesn’t mean anything. Nor does using casual language or, for fuck’s sake, winking at the camera. There’s nothing wrong with these things, but they don’t make her right.
Kind of like how her mentioning tolerance and women’s rights doesn’t mean she upholds either of them. Noam Chomsky, a famous linguist among other things, once demonstrated how you can make a grammatical sentence without it meaning anything with the sentence “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.” That’s kind of what it sounded like to me when she swore she was all about change and that despite her opposition to gay rights, she’s very tolerant.
And you know, I don’t like how everyone is paying more attention to her than the others, because I think it has a lot to do with her being a woman (although her astounding lack of knowledge about national issues certainly helps). But when my father, who I love and respect, implies that I should be excited because a vagina-bearer might become president one day, when this vagina-bearer is so clearly against women’s rights (except her own)…
I believe I recall him saying of Hillary Clinton, who he basically thinks, along with Bill, is the Anti-Christ (I’m exaggerating here, and ridiculously, I have to actually specify that because there are Christians who think various politicians are the actual Anti-Christ), that he thinks it would be great, of course, to have a female president, but you don’t vote for someone because they’re female, it has to be the right woman, and she’s not. Now he thinks that regardless of everything Palin has done to make women’s lives worse, not to mention what her running mate has done, I should be thrilled. And he talked about her with this sense of awe, or at least that’s what I got from the email, and I was just like, Oh my god, Dad. You drank the Kool-Aid.
I’ve drunk my share of Kool-Aid in the past, to be fair. And my dad does have an annoying habit of changing whatever I say, like “I’m in favor of women’s rights” into something totally different that doesn’t challenge his beliefs anymore. Although this summer I thought we got past that.
So I don’t like to post about my life or people I know too much because I’d feel awful if they ever found this, but my head was kind of exploding and I couldn’t tell my friends about it because I was so heated they’d end up thinking I was a total nutcase. And then I remembered that’s why I blog, so I can say what I actually think without people shunning the non-believer (if you haven’t seen the youtube videa that refers to, it’s kinda funny, and the voice going “Shuuuun! Shuuuuun!” stays in your head in a creepy but totally appropriate way.)
I just don’t understand why people have to be so stupid. How hard is it, really, to read Exodus before you decide that the Torah or the Bible is super-awesome and a great “moral guide” even if it isn’t all true/and therefore it must all be true? How difficult should it really be for college-educated people, people who are supposed to have been taught to think critically, to stop and wonder what the connection is between Christianity and abortion, and whether the Bible actually says anything about it, and if that something that the Bible says about it leans much more towards the pro-choice argument than the pro-life argument? Or to check whether the Bible actuallys says “Thou shalt not have sex before marriage”? Or to stop and wonder whether legalizing gay marriage would violate your beliefs any more than keeping atheist marriage legal?
I also had a conversation with someone on abortion lately that didn’t bother me much at the time but does now. She started out by implying that the most important question is that of when life begins, but ended up, as we always predict, by using the word slutty and saying that people already made their “choice” when they had sex. Then she said she doesn’t really care about the issue much because she doesn’t think she’ll ever need an abortion and she doesn’t know anyone personally who has had one (I corrected “that you know of”). Yeah, if it doesn’t affect you, you don’t have to care about it, never mind that it does affect other people. The love of Christ was just flowing right through her. So there are two of my big criticisms of pro-life(TM) arguments, and she just volunteered them. I don’t understand why people think you should be ashamed of inserting a penis into a vagina and experiencing pleasure, but not of openly admitting that you don’t care what happens to other people since it won’t happen to you, or that you want to use the law to control (but mostly, just punish, given the inevitability of so many abortions) the personal choices of people who do things that you disagree with on grounds that are purely based in unprovable opinion and largely based on religion.