It’s boring to write once again about the shocking misogyny expressed by such a large number of so-called liberals, progressives, and/or Democrats in this primary season. (Boys and girls, it’s OK to be for Obama–that’s cool. Just please try to talk more about the super-awesomeness of your candidate than you do about your irrational disgust for Hillary Clinton.) Historiann will uncharacteristically leave alone the implication that a twice-elected U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate’s primary concern should be keeping her husband “happy.” Instead, for a change, let’s talk about the sense of entitlement implied by the “she can’t keep me happy” part of the sign.
“Keep[ing] me happy” strikes me as a strangely shallow and self-centered way to pick a President. “Keep me happy?” How distant that seems from the noble dreams of 1787, when the nation’s founders strove to design a system that would allow civic interest to finish ahead of self interest. Maybe I’m just a typical low-information Clinton voter, but I think a President’s duty is better described in three or four words as “serve the people’s interest” rather than “keep me happy.” (Perhaps Clinton should offer to iron his shirt?) After all, Thomas Jefferson (you know, one of the guys being honored at that Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner) declared only that Americans were entitled to leaders who would guarantee their liberty to pursue their own happiness. (Maybe the man needs therapy–friends of mine who’ve done their time in therapy talk about how happiness is one’s own responsibility, not anyone else’s.)
Lest you think this is merely argument by anecdote, let me present you with another anecdote. At Roxie’s World, you can read a story about an anonymous Obama-supporting Prius owner last Friday who was inspired to leave a scolding note on the windshield of another Prius that sports a Hillary Clinton bumper-sticker. Here’s an excerpt:
I was saddened to see your Hillary 2008 bumper sticker. Hillary Clinton represents the worst kind of politics and doesn’t understand anyone beneath her privileged social status. How can you support her? Please do the right thing + switch your endorsement to Barack Obama for President! Obama’s the most progressive candidate that we’ve had the chance to elect in decades! Plus Hillary’s already too far behind. At this point, she (and her supporters) are helping John McCain more than anything else.
You have to read the whole thing–and Roxie’s response. Historiann has seen some offensive political bumper stickers in her day–the one that said “Osama is praying for you to vote Democrat” comes to mind. The “abortion stops a beating heart” bumper sticker–inoffensive but for the fact that it was on a pickup truck with an infant and a toddler riding shotgun in the front seat not secured in car seats. Well, we all have our little soapboxes and hobbyhorses, don’t we? But I should hardly think that a “Hillary 2008” bumper sticker would merit such a condescending, scolding, and factually challenged note from a fellow Democratic voter.
And yet, that’s where we are, my fellow Americans. Strange times, indeed!