I really try to steer away from political discussions here, but the political ad I saw today was enough to jumpstart me right out of blogger hibernation.
Full disclosure, I am a lefty. If after reading that fact about me, you like me less, then I guess we weren’t meant to be. I was raised a lefty by two strict Catholic parents. Surprising? Not really if you hear the stories my mother loves to reiterate and exaggerate about how the nuns would
hit the back of her left hand with beat her senseless with an iron rod in an attempt to make her one of right-handed penmanship disposition. Imagine what they did to the gays back then? Knowing my mother and her enviable determination to follow her heart even if it doesn’t sit well with others, I think she may have raised me as a liberal simply to spite those nuns that a ruler scolded he mammed her with a mace for writing with the wrong hand. r
But, this is not about being a lefty or about being raised Catholic, this is about the most recent American Crossroads PAC ad by the genius, Karl Rove. Now, I can just hear my liberal posse decrying, “Genius? Are you serious? That man is EVIL!!!” But lets face it, he is a genius and we all know that evil and genius go together like peanut butter and jelly. For better or worse, good ol’ Karl knows how to tap into an American public yearning for a voice and a cause to rally around like no other campaign strategist we have ever seen. He knows that anger motivates and he knows how to find even the smallest bit of anger and incite a political riot around it. His influence over modern day politicking is undeniable. With one 60 second spot or campaign rally soundbite, he can make men like Al Gore and John Kerry into scary monsters that will tax and take all your hard earned money while simultaneously letting the county be overrun by terrorists and welfare babies looking for handouts. Of course this is only when those same scary men are not too busy encouraging women to kill those babies first.
True to his pro-life mantra, Karl Rove has spawned a lot of political ad babies. Now, he may not be raising or funding all of those ad babies, but he is definitely the birthfather and genetic donor of the hate and fear mongering found throughout their DNA, even those that appear on the left side of the birth canal. Fortunately, most of us independent thinkers have become disenchanted with the anger tactics and simply swipe or fast forward through the hate. However Rove, being the evil genius that he is, knew the american populous would eventually move on from the unquestioning digestion of his fear tactics, so he has had to find a new angle, and what is more scary than terrorist lovers and baby killers? A guy with a coolness factor of course. We all know that no honorable man has ever had a beer, played basketball, sang a song or called out a bully like Kanya, I’mma let you finish, West. Seriously? That is the best you have got Karl? But remember, he is an evil genius, and evil geniuses know more than us so sadly Rove’s latest characterization of cool=bad might just be zany enough that it could take root in the flat lands of our country and spread faster than blackberry bramble in spring. Look at me getting all folksy and Sarah Paliny.
As a cool person, I admit that it coolness can be a pretty scary characteristic to have, but it wasn’t the ludicrous attack on Obama’s coolness that really struck me about Rove’s latest spawn. In fact, I have to believe the coolness attack just scored more points for Obama with the hip kids, a demographic that will be key yet again to a victory for either party. What got me was the thinly veiled insult directed at women. Did anyone besides me notice that those unemployed poor young people with insurmountable student loans in the ad were portrayed by only women? Knowing Rove that was very carefully planned. Was it supposed to resonate with the female population? Show us the light to a savior and make us vote for someone else besides Obama who is going to fix everything? Or was he just really poor at disguising that he really feels that women, unlike men, are doomed to find a job because we are not smart enough or resilient enough in the face of adversity. You know because of course we as women are weak and will have to move back in with our parents if some elected official doesn’t rescue our debt and give us a job.
As a successful young woman who has put myself through college by working three jobs, earning academic scholarships, taking out student loans and then promptly finding a job that started just a mere 3 days after graduation to pay off said student loans, I can’t help but be pissed about this ad. I suspect, no I know, that there are many young women like me who paved their own way through worse circumstances and this ad’s notion that one single elected official is responsible for giving or taking away one’s student loan debt or employment is a rudimentary argument. It is made even worse by inserting only women into the equation. By this ad’s logic, I should have thanked the president that was in office for “giving” me my first post graduate job (a democrat) and when after years of payments when I sent in that last slip to Sallie Mae, I should have thanked the then president for making my debt disappear. (again democrat) Should I now scold the president for the mortgage I took out on my house (a republican) and the daycare costs associated with my choice to have children? (a republican) No! Of course not! I did those things, I made those choices. Sure bad political policies may have made some of my accomplishments or follies harder to achieve or overcome, but I take responsibility for my successes and failures. I take responsibility for my hard work. I take responsibility for the “cool” officials I helped to elect. I know there are a lot of other women out there that are far smarter than me, both righty’s and lefty’s, and I can only hope they will see right through the veil being put over their eyes my Mr. Rove in this ad. Don’t get sucked in ladies. We are strong. We are mighty. We are smart. We don’t need saving! Don’t be afraid to dive into male dominated industries, the good guys will welcome you arms open, I promise!
What people don’t realize is that our elected officials are only as good as the work we put into them. Like babies, they have to be nurtured. My favorite saying as a mother is “it take a village to raise a child” Well so does raising our elected officials. We have to support them, remind them to be honorable and we have to work twice as hard along side them to set an example to hold them accountable to. Most importantly we certainly can’t abandon them when our lives don’t magically get better the day they are born into office.
And just like that, this is the end of my political rant for this election year.