Where Old Democrats Go To Die —

13 03 2008

A grudge-nursing home?

This time Liza tells the story and more than the politics of race OR sex, it’s about real change over time and whether we really believe in it, whether we even have the words to conceive of it:

Over and over again the surrogates who’ve race baited the Obama
campaign have been all over the age of 55: Joe Johnson, Bill Clinton, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Sergio Bendixen, Gloria Steinem. Most have been
either WW2 babies or first wave boomers.
In other words, these are people who came of age in a segregated
America and who are used to a society forged on a hierarchy of
entitlements.
Entitlements in which The (white) Man always comes first.

Which is why a lot of the older feminists supporting Obama see him as
“breaking the rule” of trying to snatch away from white women they’re
right to have their vote (and their will) count first. In their world,
after The (white) Man, comes the The (white) Woman. The people, those pesky millennials who are voting for Obama in droves, are messing up big time with the early Boomers “but it’s my turn” mojo.

. . .Ferraro doesn’t even have words to describe what is happening. Change doesn’t even exist in her vocabulary. What she has to say is : “And the country is caught up in the concept”. The country is enthralled in the “concept” of a black man as president, not the reality.

Of course one doesn’t automatically lose all imagination for new stories when one’s own story is near its end. Sometimes age is itself liberating and opens up new creative paths, rather than feeding old resentments. (I read a book on post-menopausal women discovering a whole new creative life, through what we actually call “The Change”.)

But it happens a lot. And maybe we forget the story we told just the other day, and forget that young folks have minds like steel traps and naturally latch onto one’s exact words, when for example a self-styled world leader underlines words like “denounce AND reject” on national tv, and then airily pretends it doesn’t apply to her own words and meanings:

Obama said the statement was an attempt to divide America with “slice and dice” politics, and he called on Clinton to denounce the statement. On Tuesday, Clinton said she “did not agree” with Ferraro’s remarks.

People of good will and sufficient cognitive capacity — whatever our race, sex, education and party affiliation — might want to bring AGE into the storylines of this landmark campaign season, and start to figure out why despite all our knowledge and belief in change over time, we can’t talk about that either.

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11 responses

13 03 2008
JJ

Favorite Daughter and I were just discussing this story; she says our whole generation needs to pass from the scene before the “change” her generation is ready for, will come. Wait, what about the 60s radicals who were burning bras and marching for peace, and civil rights? You don’t mean us activists for change though, right?

Yep, she does.
Not just Archie Bunker, I ask? No — Meathead too, mom. HE’S the old guy without the words and new ideas now, who just can’t believe he’s not the change we want to see in the world.

13 03 2008
Nance Confer

I think FD is right.

I remember at the beginning of this campaign season being convinced there was no way a woman or a black man could ever get elected President today.

I am happily wrong, I hope, but clearly didn’t get it. Not sure I do now. 🙂

Nance

13 03 2008
JJ

Well, she did smile when she said it, and you and I aren’t THAT old Nance — Geraldine must have a couple of decades on us at least? I’m not much older than Barack Obama himself, I reminded her tartly, and younger by years than Mrs. Clinton.

How old is Meathead now, anyway? 😉

13 03 2008
JJ

Oh, CNN is on now – Hillary just said she “rejected” it and she “repudiated” it, and she “regrets” it too.
How alliterative if nothing else!

14 03 2008
Nance Confer

I’m not sure it has to do with you and I, though. We, of course, are brilliant and enlightened. 🙂 But I wonder about many of my fellow citizens — remember, I live in the land of churches and pickups, many emblazoned with the rebel flag. I’m sort of holding my breath to see if they will hide behind the idea of a “scary and he’ll do nothing to actually help real people but at least he’s a white man” choice or dare to choose someone who actually looks different from what we’ve always had. It’s all unsettling on a number of levels. I find myself hoping there are enough people in other places who will vote for the future instead of the past. Here, I think we skew right and anti-change.

Nance

14 03 2008
JJ

A book to read about all this that will blow your aging mind, and help you escape your entrenched and dreary local -isms 😉 —
Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear. (Which sets up the real destination, the eerily realistic sequel about the next generation, Darwin’s Children.)

Darwin’s Radio starts out as a standard present-day biological thriller, but quickly gets embroiled in sophisticated evolutionary theory. The focus on evolution is nicely topical, since the novel was released shortly after the dimwits on the Kansas School Board brought the old evolution-creation debate back into the public eye. . .

14 03 2008
Nance Confer

OK — now I have to go to the library and not finish the cleaning. Darn 🙂

Nance

14 03 2008
JJ

Wow – we must be right on, Nance — MSNBC just now, Olbermann and Obama:
Obama says, “Reverend Wright represents a generation that came of age in the ’60s” and still has a lot of anger.

Now this guy is retiring. I love the thought of him and Geraldine in the same grudge-nursing home, ranting at the TV news in the dayroom and then having music therapy or a nap or whatever together . . .

And I have to say, neither of them sounds much worse to me than most career preachers and politicians of their generation.

14 03 2008
JJ

Nance – are we irreverent and independent (and old) enough to start calling out “age”?

15 03 2008
Nance Confer

Why not? What can they do to us? 🙂

Nance

17 03 2008
JJ

You know, as the talking heads and golden throats all blather on about the Right Reverend Wright, I really think it’s needed. Maybe we can get something GOOD out of all this old garbage. . .

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