Saturday, February 09, 2008

Tribal cohesion under test

A prominent feminist, Kate Michelman, is now backing Sen. Obama over gender-mate Hillary. Consequently, she is struggling with the meaning of identity politics:
If women who vote for men are traitors, then are men who vote for women also traitors? What about African-Americans who vote for whites? Or whites who vote for African-Americans?

Laying this guilt trip, this hypocrisy, on women -- saying that those women who don't vote for other women are turncoats -- is tantamount to saying that women who exercise independent thought haven't the right to do that either.

Her thoughts on why she supports Obama are also interesting for their similar lack of insight:
When a presidential candidate's core values are unity, equality, opportunity and creating an atmosphere of respect and harmony, both nationally and internationally, then that candidate's vision aligns with the best hopes and dreams of the women's movement. And that is precisely Barack Obama's vision.
First, note that she does not say that Obama's vision aligns with her vision. She says instead that it aligns with the "women's movement." So, after only a brief instance of advocating independent thought, she is back to advocating identity politics.

Note also the strange list of "core values." What kind of "core value" is "unity"? This sounds like some childhood fantasy about the ideal family. She also wants a foreign policy based on "an atmosphere of respect and harmony." Does she believe that if we are nice to bin Laden or Hitler or Genghis Khan that each will be nice back? What did P. M. Chamberlain leave undone in his quest to achieve "harmony" with Hitller? Obama may touch the soul of his followers but it doesn't seem to be a rational part of the soul.

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