Saturday, October 11, 2008

Spin Cycle

I come from a blue class, largely uneducated family. I am the first person to go to college. Leo's family is very similar, although he grew up in towns with a higher socioeconomic reputation, so he was exposed to more people with college degrees.

I am certainly not saying that college educated people are somehow better or smarter - believe me, I have worked with plenty of "educated idiots." I have also known a lot of blue collar people who are smarter than I will ever be.

But in the past couple of weeks, I've had several conversations with our parents and people my parents' age, and I am concerned - very concerned - about how they'll vote. I've been shocked multiple times at the way race and perceived elitism impacts middle aged Americans. I'm reminded that the racial divide was HUGE when they were growing up. And that their concern and defensiveness about the loss of their jobs and their sense of worth creates a wall of hostility about the educated elite.

Also, I think McCain and Palin did really well in the debates. I do. Biden and Obama gave really nuanced, thoughtful, quiet answers. Palin gave a loud, rootin' tootin', sound bite filled performance. The WINK!!! (Don't worry, I'll leave the rant about how winking in a job interview is totally unacceptable out of this post). McCain was on the offensive and planted a lot of fear-based ideas. Ugh.

Luckily for me, my family are die hard Democrats, so it looks like Thanksgiving will be safe. However, if you find yourself debating the candidates, STICK TO QUICK, CLEAR SOUND BITES. A thoughtful response isn't as helpful. Here's a few to get you started:

1. Elite is owning 11 houses - many of them mansions.

2. Elite is having your Admiral dad get you a job.

3. Elite is spending over $200,000 on household staff last year.

2. Health insurance costs about $12000 a year. $5000 won't even cover HALF.

3. Barak Obama doesn't care if you want to shoot deer. I'd advise against hunting with McCain.

4. Being a war hero does not make you a good President. It's a different skill set.

4a. I would certainly argue that he was NOT a war hero. He was an incompetent pilot that crashed three planes before going to Viet Nam. Once captured, he traded information for medical care. Once his captors realized who his father was, he got even better medical care. In all, he had about 20 HOURS in combat before he was captured. Since then, he's received 28 medals for his service. Don't let him guilt you into voting for him. Think about all the other un-Fortunate Sons who served with him, who evaded capture - or when captured, didn't collude - who never received ANY medals or praise or "hero" status.

5. Calling your wife a cunt - the year Backlash came out! - is crude and icky.

6. Singing "Bomb Iran" to "Barbara Ann" is tasteless.

7. Voting with Bush is not maverick-ish. Hell, calling yourself a Maverick makes you less of a Maverick. It's like yelling, "Hey, I'm cool!" If you have to tell people you are something, you are probably not.

8. His use of race baiting in the campaign is unprofessional.

If you need more:

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