Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Maybe I’m Not Actually the Only One

From James Wolcott’s Vanity Fair blog

So spurn me, I voted for Hillary.

I have many faults and quirks, but one thing I'm not is a narcissist. My vote isn't about Me. Who I am, how I conceive myself, how my vote positions me in the pulse of the moment. The tab I flip in the voting booth isn't intended as a dramatic gesture to pin in my lapel like a carnation and sniff during intermission, like some Clifton Webb character. I don't accept being lectured or morally browbeaten into voting for one candidate over another in order to prove my virtuous intent and appease Kurt Andersen's peculiar, posturing racial anxieties. Perhaps it's my atheism at work but I found myself increasingly wary of and resistant to the salvational fervor of the Obama campaign, the idealistic zeal divorced from any particular policy or cause and chariot-driven by pure euphoria.I can picture President Hillary in the White House dealing with a recalcitrant Republican faction; I can't picture President Obama in the same role because his summons to history and call to hope seems to transcend legislative maneuvers and horse-trading; his charisma is on a more ethereal plane, and I don't look to politics for transcendence and self-certification. I agree with NYCweboy: "Win or lose, Barack Obama has changed the landscape of American culture and politics - bringing the perspective of mixed race to the table, and finding validity in both white communities and communities of colors. That's huge. It's just not, in itself, a reason to make him President. Voting for Obama, for me would be about picking an idea, not a person, or a set of specific plans... I need more than that. And Hillary Clinton is the person, with the specifics, who offers more."

I feel the exact same way. Sometimes I think I’m the only person under thirty (and like the only black person) that isn’t totally in love and worshipful of Barack. I’m just very wary of his “transcendence” and his campaign which is devolving into a rock star tour and a Cult of Personality. And his promise to rise above the whole thousand year old history of partisanship. It’s very unsettling. I don’t do well with Messiahs. And I really don’t want my politicians to inspire me and be paragons of virtue, or whatever- I have enough idols and there are far too many god; I just want someone who knows what they’re doing and will do the nitty-grittyness of running a government. But I guess I’m the only one. So go ahead and worship your Shining New Electric God.
I'm tired of blowing against the wind.

[UPDATE: Others who are with me outside of the Church of The Obama, and who are a little creeped out by it]

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