I Am A Demographic Anomaly

This is one of the top stories of the day: Democrats Agree to Compromise on Delegates : NPR I’ve heard or read dozens of stories in the lead-up to this decision, listened with only passing attention to soundbites, and frankly, I’m tired of being lumped in with the wrong demographic group.

I am a white, middle-aged suburban woman. I am a Democrat. I am NOT a Hillary Clinton supporter – in fact, I’ve never liked her, although I gave her grudging props during her husband’s term for trying to get her health policies through a hostile Congress.

When she insisted on running for President, I groaned. I didn’t want to listen to several years’ worth of campaign rhetoric in the run-up to the primaries, I didn’t want her exposing herself to the tender mercies of the sort of right-wing commentators that specialize in framing the debate their way, so that no matter what, you look like a whining loser. I just wanted her to fade away into Senatorial obscurity and do a good job for New York, and for her husband to do his book and speaking tours and get involved with something useful in his post-Presidential years.

But no, she insisted on running. And she looked to be an inevitability. As time went on, I became more and more annoyed with her malleability; she will do or say anything it takes to get elected. She will jump on the latest bandwagon to come down the pike. But her politics aren’t my politics; she’s more centrist than I am, to the point that it seems she has no firm and fast ideals (other than running the White House her way this time). I’m not fooled by the “beer and a shot” stunt, nor by numerous other attempts to pander to one of the many constituencies in this country for whom appearance, not substance, is everything.

Frankly, I’m really, really tired of candidates whose real reason for running appears to be to achieve a “do-over” of a relative’s administration.

You should hear what my husband David has to say on the subject – he considers Hillary Clinton to be little better than a Northern carpetbagger, who purchased her seat in the Senate after choosing New York as the most likely state to launch a Presidential campaign from. He insists that he won’t vote for her if she is the nominee. I think he’ll have a big problem voting for her if she’s the running mate. Which of course is a vote for McCain.

On the other hand, I’ve always been an Obama supporter. Starry-eyed though I maybe, I think it’s time we had a Leader of the Free World who embodied the ideals of this country. He’s managed to avoid the corruption that taints politics in the state of Illinois, for the most part (he has some troubling connections to the Rezko case, but that’s it). Yes, at first I thought he needed to sit out a term and build some seniority in Congress. I didn’t want him to run at first. But then I realized that we need a complete break in this country from political business as usual, and Obama represented an inspiring way forward out of our many divisions.

I know that in some states, his race is an issue, and this bothers me a great deal. That’s not American to me – that’s not my country. But in other states, it has not been an issue at all – Iowa being one example, and Oregon another. He is welcomed with open arms (and huge screaming crowds) in states that have small African-American communities. He motivates people to do their best for him, and for their communities. What a novelty: an American politician who walks the walk instead of just talking the talk.

Perhaps the most telling endorsement of Obama is something I just heard an NPR “In Character” piece on Mr. Spock, the Classic Star Trek character played by Leonard Nimoy. After a discussion of Spock’s intriguing hidden qualities and his half-human, half-Vulcan heritage and how that translates to contemporary issues, we find out that Nimoy is an Obama supporter, too.

Actually, I bet someone’s already done a parody of the candidates as Star Trek characters. McCain would have to be late-stage Kirk, perhaps from one of the odd-numbered movies. Although I’m also tempted to see him as Commodore Matthew Decker

Ron Paul might make a good lesser commander, probably one of the insane ones with fanatical followers, like Capt. Ron Tracey.

Hillary Clinton? the best she could hope for is as a wannabe Janeway, in my opinion. She runs the ship, but doesn’t really get anywhere, is literally tossed around the galaxy by events beyond her control, is in permanent damage control mode, and everybody is relieved when it’s all over in a confusing jumble.

Star Trek asides aside, I’m now annoyed that the Michigan-Florida delegates debacle wasn’t solved before. The Republicans are loving it, but according to this, they didn’t really orchestrate the thing, because the Democrats in both states’ legislatures voted for the early primaries.