Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Victim President

All of a sudden everything seems to be about victims. Ever since 9/11, Americans have identified themselves as the victims of Islamic terrorism just as the Jews were victims of anti-Semitism. Now we have three candidates for President of the United States and all three are where they are because people identify them as victims.
John McCain has right from the start of his political career been identified as a POW, a prisoner of the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. He was shot down, injured, denied access to American medical care, then kept in cages, tortured, imprisoned for being in the US military. He was an American hero because he was a victim.
Barak Obama is, of course, the victim of racism in America by virtue of the fact that his father was black so Obama's skin is "colored." There's nothing he can do to change that. Being black doesn't necessarily make him a hero, although being black and facing up to racism and overcoming it certainly makes him a hero in my book. Geraldine Ferraro suggested Obama is where he is today because he is Black.
But Hillary Clinton is also the victim. She is the strong-willed silent suffering woman married to the womanizer. These women suffer in silence. As Chelsea keeps pointing out, Hillary's victimization is none of our business. Women who are victims by virtue of their marriage suffer in silence and we all know it. Hillary is a hero to women because she has remained strong through all of her suffering and humiliation.
There's a blog I was reading back before the 2006 election but haven't even looked at in over a year until today called Tennessee Guerilla Women. It is openly pro-Hillary and anti-Obama. One recent video post mocked the notion of Obama as a victim. Watching this gave me the same sort of feelings I get on a particularly bad day of hearing Rush Limbaugh. But clearly this blog is saying that Hillary, not Obama, has the real claim on being the victim. She is the real hero. She is the one being trashed by white men.
I tend to agree. She is the one running as the victim here. She is the one lashing out in self-defense. She is the one whose mudslinging is considered justified because of her treatment by powerful white male politicians including her own husband. She is the one appearing strong in the face of adversity. Obama is no underprivileged Black man. We have long ago forgotten the significance of Vietnam and the POW issue. But the issue of being a woman in a man's world is still fresh. What poetic justice it is to see Bill turning gray and old and even a bit frail while Hillary, the woman, can still paint her face young and rise above it all.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dirty Diapers

One of the trying issues in the family experience is dealing with the incredible messes to be found within the confines of a baby's diaper. Until you have your very own baby whose health and cleanliness is entirely your responsibility, you simply have no comprehension of the messes babies are capable of creating. And for every mess they make, the responsibility for the cleanup falls on the parents.
My wife and I had three such babies so I speak from some experience here. Yet I don't think at any point I was actually able to empathize with the babies. I don't think I ever really saw the situation the way they must have seen it. So I will only speculate here, not speak from unquestioned authority.
But put yourself in a baby's booties for a minute. From as far back as you can remember, every time your diapers were removed to discover these almost intolerably stinky messes, one or the other of your parents was right there in the middle of it. It must be their fault! Why do they keep making these messes and putting you through this humiliating experience while they clean up their messes?
It takes a long time for a baby to grow to be a child capable of eventually realizing that it isn't the parents who are making the messes. It takes even longer for this new child to realize that they actually own their own messes and if anything is going to be done to stop the messes, it is them and not the parents who will have to make that change. Only when the child makes an effort to end the humiliation of the mess will the mess end.
I wonder if young Republicans will ever reach that point in their growth.
Today's New York Times has an article that makes a good case in point:
"Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand"
We all know that Republicans blame the Democrats for the mess in Iraq and for the War on Terror. All of the world's ills come from liberals and social politics. Every time there's a mess in the world the liberals are right there in the middle of it. They must be the ones making the messes in the first place.
Well maybe that's not true. As this Times article clearly points out, it was Republicans making this stinky mess happen.