Correspondence with a Wolf

This is a response I just sent to one of my friends in our e-mail dialogue discussing Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama, political tactics, and a female president.

Dear Wolfgang Wolf,

I disagree that Clinton is getting away with a lot more dirty politics, just because she is a woman. Rants and criticism of your opponents is the nature of the game. Obama and Edwards are doing their share of it too. You use quite strong language, “callous and deceptive” in your portrayal of her. I wonder what has influenced your comments? (i.e. specific examples).

In response to your comments regarding “romanticizing matriarchal power” I can only say this; numerous studies have been done that show that women in less developed countries act in a much more responsible manner when given micro loans. Women tend to think of the welfare of their family and loved ones much more than men do, when given the power to make decisions effecting their lives. This does not mean that a woman would be a more responsible president, but it does pose the question of why we don’t have more women politicians.

I do not think that Clinton should be voted in just for being a woman, and you are not the first person to ask me if I would support Condi Rice if she ran. However, Clinton is very far from Rice and I think it will be a long time before another woman with the kind of experience and progressive thinking of Clinton makes it this far, maybe not even in our life time. I believe Clinton will make significant social change by creating domestic policies that will improve the lives of millions of Americans.

However, as pro-Clinton as I might sound I do have doubts. In a recent New Yorker article, “The Choice”, George Packer writes this about Clinton:

“If there’s a flaw in Hillary Clinton’s character which could keep her from becoming a successful President, or President at all, it is what Carl Bernstein, her best biographer, described to me as a tendency toward “subterfuge and eliding.” In the deep and sympathetic portrait “A Woman in Charge,” Bernstein’s recent biography of Clinton, a constant theme is her fear of humiliation; as the daughter of a harsh, often cruel father, she learned early to conceal any weakness and, ultimately, to protect her very humanity from exposure.”

This concerns me.

I really like the things that Obama is saying, but it’s a matter of whether he is full of hot air or not. Can he really achieve such dramatic change? He strikes me as maybe being naïve. I will be very happy with either of them in the White House, but as far at the kind of work I do, social work, I believe Clinton will have a more positive impact.

Bottom line is that it’s all bullshit. As long as we live in a society based on greed, ownership, and profits, the people’s suffering will only increase. The revolution will not be televised! Long Live the Wolf-Pack.



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2 Responses to “Correspondence with a Wolf”

  1. Immaculate Conception Says:

    Great Post – Shankar. First one in which I’ve agreed with everything you say. I too am curious about what exactly your friend could be referring to when he says that Clinton gets away with more because she’s a woman. Hard to imagine. As far as gender politics goes, my understanding is that it usually quite the opposite. Men don’t have to justify their actions nearly as much as women do because women still have to prove that the deserve to be where they are, just because they’re women.

  2. Stuart Says:

    > As long as we live in a society based on greed, ownership, and profits,
    > the people’s suffering will only increase.

    Blaming “society” is a way of avoiding personal responsibility. If you see greed as a problem, it’s likely that you need to look at your own greed. Make some personal effort to act in a less greedy manner. If indeed your insight is correct, then these efforts will have good results, and have a ripple effect on everyone around you, by your example and inspiration. But this only comes through taking responsibility and making personal efforts… that’s an entirely different matter from blaming “society.”

    If you don’t like ownership and profits, then don’t own anything! If you own something now, give it away. If you make profit from the work you do, stop accepting it, work for free. Then you’ll see in a real, practical way whether it’s helpful to give up ownership and profits. It’s very different from just speculating and talking about it without DOING anything.

    If you really believe these things, then live them. If you’re not living them, then blaming your suffering on a “society based on greed, ownership, and profits” is nothing but talk, nothing but hot air.


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