Sigh. I had gone through this months before with a woman I’d see while walking the dogs. This was before the Obama machine had really swung into full gear with its divisive and strong-arm tactics. It was before even I had decided he was NOT the one.
I had raised a few questions about Obama and why I had some doubts and was met with an “I don’t care, I LIKE him.” My parting words were “I hope you’re not disappointed.”
This woman was my age, so hearing this sort of thing was a bit unnerving at the time I would have thought that someone older and wiser would have had more substanative reasons for “liking” a candidate.
Last night I had a conversation with another woman, this time a 26-year-old PhD candidate studying “counseling psychology.” Now, months later, as the talk turned to politics, the conversation was even more frustrating.
I couched my end of the discussion with phrases like “I know you’re so busy,” “I know being a grad student can be rather isolating,” “I know you probably have less time to really read a lot about what’s going on than I do,” etc., etc. I was trying to make it easy for her…
I tried to be conversational, but it was terribly frustrating to see this intelligent young woman not having a clue about what had happened during the primaries…how the Democratic Party disenfranchised voters, how they failed to take a stand against misogyny, how Obama, with two years experience, had said he wasn’t going to run, but did anyway…I asked her where he was getting his money, who controlled him. I talked about his tactics.
I could see she was getting uncomfortable.
She had never heard of PUMA! I explained what was behind the creation of PUMA…the unwillingness to vote for a candidate whom had been so enabled by the party that the caucus system had to be set up and rigged to aid him and the Rules and Bylaws Committee had to forget about counting the votes. She didn’t seem to be absorbing any of this.
She started talking about how “maybe things could change” if Obama was elected. She offered that both parties probably WERE the same, but she still felt Obama was better than McCain and didn’t see any point in not voting.
I gave her my reasons why I probably wouldn’t be voting (I didn’t tell her that I might POSSIBLY vote for McCain here in NM if it looked like Obama/Richardson would take the state). I explained that I had already been on track with not voting even before the Obama takeover. The party seemed to be suffering from a serious lack of GUTS. I had been an Edwards supporter, and was really not in love with the Clintons. In fact, I never brought up Hillary during the conversation and didn’t go into why I had become a strong Clinton supporter as time went on. I wanted to focus on Obama, the party, and the devaluation of the vote.
My main point was that the party had to be sent a message that it couldn’t do what the Republicans did in 2000 (and probably 2004), namely subvert the vote, and by doing so, sell-out democracy.
She could not comprehend this at all.
My comments about his fabrications in his book, his associations like Rev. Wright and WIllilam Ayers didn’t get anywhere either, since I don’t think she had a clue about who I was talking about. She didn’t bat an eye when I told her about his corrupt Chicago ties.
I told her Obama was the “image” of change. I asked her why someone so inexperienced was being pushed. I informed here that he was buddying with anti-gay, anti-choice mega-pastors, had sold out his nuclear safety bill to Republicans, and was ready to privatize her Social Security (See Correction below). I recounted how he had thrown MoveOn under the bus with his vote for the FISA bill. Blank stare. I had to tell her it was about spying on people. I finished with a few more examples of who was under his bus as well has telling her he couldn’t be trusted.
She turned to leave and said something about how she “didn’t agree, and maybe working together things would be better than what we’ve had.” (Where did she get the “working together” bit from, I wonder?) She said that she had to vote for Obama because she still hoped for change. Not voting was not an option. She “had to vote for someone.”
I suggested that she watch as things unfolded and maybe she’d learn some things about Obama that would make her wonder. I never got to tell her that I thought she was selling her vote cheap and that she already was allowing herself to be played and that her whole future was being manipulated. And how, at such a young age, the political parties already had her where they wanted her...giving up her sense of worth as a voter. It would have been a waste of time, because she didn’t see how democracy had been trashed by the party and candidate whom she thought would be different. And, even if she did see it, she either didn’t want to go there or didn’t care.
By that time she was scurrying away, looking a bit perturbed. I was actually surprised at all I had said. But I wasn’t quite finished. As she left I called out… “I hope you aren’t disappointed…”
I see that Dana MIlbank has broken free from the grip of Keith Olbermann just long enough to refer to Obama as the “presumptuous nominee” this morning in the WaPo….TOO LATE, DANA!! You and the rest of the “official” 4th Estate helped CREATE the “uninformed, conforming voter” this election cycle…after all the blather about how “this time” you were all going to get serious and focus on issues, rather than personality! Where was your critical gaze when we needed it????
Obama has not said he wants to privatize social security. He has, however, moved from “everything on the table” to a plan to reform the taxation that funds Social Security. His plans offer very little detail and has been “quietly” shifting on some points. For good discussions on his his plans see:
Obama economic adviser Jason Furman, responding to Lindsey in a letter published by The Wall Street Journal, said Obama would “work with Congress on a bipartisan basis to design the details” of his Social Security plan, “including the tax rate, how it is phased in over time, the linkage between these tax payments and benefits, and other critical design elements of this plan.”