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.