Turn to Your Left at the End of the Sky

Still 50 Years to Wait

[Welcome to our first-time guest blogger]

 

It is a relief to many that Obama is in. Credit goes to those who feel that way for significant, i.e. policy, reasons, but public comments made it seem we were simply proud we have proven to the world that we’re not racist.

 

Oddly enough, no one is eager to show we are not sexist. To the contrary, like bullies on the playground, we shouted at the female candidates: “She-goat!” “Dominatrix!” and my favorite, “Breeder!” (Thank you for that last one, Bigot Maher.)

 

Reuters photographed Palin from behind and between her legs…ah, harkens back to the good-old-days when She-Ra’s legs framed the shots of He-Man in the 80’s.  I say those were the good-old-days because that was a time when educated women called foul on things like that. But this time I heard crickets.  Even my (former) hero Steinem held the coats for the ensuing mob.

 

Especially mesmerizing was the “role of the vice president” discussion. Palin said the VP is in charge of the Senate.  Article 1 Section 3 of the constitution says:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided. The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President.

This election was indeed about audacity — the audacity to take direction from the Constitution.  If only legislators would treat Article I Section 8  with more reverence we would have a much simpler government. (I’ll give you a hint, establishing a post office and postal roads is 1 of the 18 things with which they are actually tasked.)  But I digress. For this comment Palin was burnt at the ignoramus stake.  I can’t bring myself to discuss the bikini characterizations, the dolls, and the frenzy on fashion. It is a confounding hatred for the very gender that promoted the abolition of slavery (to make no mention of the party.)

 

And now to keep hope alive: history suggests we have only 50 more years before a woman is in the White House:

  • Voting rights:  African American Men – 1870. Women – 1920.
  • US Senate:   AAM – 1870. Women – 1922* 
  • US Congress: AAM – 1868. Women – 1917

If history repeats once more, Obama’s daughters will have to wait until they are nearly 60 years old for our great nation to consider their application on merit.  Chelsea will be in her 70s, and, apparently, too old for the job.

 

We’ve come a long way from slavery. But we’ve hardly come a long way from the Salem witch trials. In fact, some might say we just had one. 

 

*Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia, the first woman to serve in the United States Senate, took the oath of office on November 21, 1922. Having been appointed to fill the vacancy for her husband, Felton served for just 24 hours. The first woman elected to the Senate was Hattie Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas in 1932.

November 23, 2008 Posted by | Government, Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Rationalism in Politics

What has been wanting on the right at the start of this century is a true “conservative disposition” — the disposition to enjoy what is rather than pining for what might be (to paraphrase Himmelfarb), to enjoy the givens and the goods of life without subjecting them to social or political validation.

Rationalism in Politics, despite being clouded by the “fumes of tradition”, is a breath of fresh air.

His [the Rationalist’s] mental attitude is at once sceptical and optimistic: sceptical, because there is no opinion, no habit, no belief, nothing so firmly rooted or so widely held that he hesitates to question it and to judge it by what he calls his ‘reason’; optimistic, because the Rationalist never doubts the power of his ‘reason (when properly applied) to determine the worth of a thing, the truth of an opinion or the propriety of an action. Moreover, he is fortified by a belief in a reason’ common to all mankind, a common power of rational consideration, which is the ground and inspiration of argument: set up on his door is the precept of Parmenides–judge by rational argument. But besides this, which gives the Rationalist a touch of intellectual equalitarianism, he is something also of an individualist, finding it difficult to believe that anyone who can think honestly and clearly will think differently from himself.

November 23, 2008 Posted by | Books, Economics, Government, Philosophy, Politics | , , , | 1 Comment