Lipstick, Old Time Religion, Color and Sex

How Race, Religion, Gender and Sex Are Stealing This Year’s Election

Hold on to your breeches, it’s gonna be a wild ride to the finish.  If you haven’t gotten caught up in the election this year, one side or the other, you’re doing good.  Me?  I have to admit, with the emergence of Sarah Palin on the scene, I’ve gone from seeing McCain as a stale, boring old man to feeling a bit of excitement about this year’s election for the first time in a while, purely because of Palin.  Am I wrong for that?  Democrats might say yes and Republicans would say no.  But no one can argue that this election has a certain dynamic that is really unprecedented.

This year’s election is different from all the others.  Oh it’s the same, in that you have both parties claiming they’re the agents of change that will finally set the country straight and on a path to restoration and greatness, the likes of which we haven’t known for a long time.  Both parties adamantly declare they are what America needs to cure what ails us though they’ve appeared the same old status quo political machines they have always been.  For the most part, the issues that most Americans worry about, the economy, national security, immigration, welfare and healthcare are all pretty much the same and the parties’ responses predictable. 

But there’s one problem.  This year, it seems like the election is getting hijacked by lipstick, old-time religion, color and sex.  Okay, make that four problems.  Or nicely said, four  things are dominating the election news this year.  Gender, religion, racism and procreation are stealing the show and taking our eyes off the main issues.  But is that bad?  At least highlighting these four issues nonstop seems to have put it all out on the table with regard to what the politicians really think, people’s personalities and deeply or shallowly held beliefs.  But even so, we are held captive to an intriguing quartet of distinctions.

Woo Pig Sooey! 

Here we go.  Ever since Sarah Palin said in her convention speech that the only difference between hockey moms and pitbulls is lipstick, the nation has gone crazy, energized for or against the high-heeled sweet-but-sharp talking barracuda from Wasilla, Alaska.  What once was a race with three men in a man’s world, and probably a fourth, turned into a contest finally involving both genders.  Since naming Palin his running mate, McCain has seen an infusion of energy and money into his campaign that no one saw coming.  Palin now has dolls made in her image and the Democrats are scratching their heads about how to respond.  Add to that the appearance that they’re being shown up by a female and all you-know-what seems to be breaking loose. 

Now, gender of the candidates, for the first time, has really become a driving force in this election.  Not taking anything away from Geraldine Ferraro who began tapping on that glass ceiling a few decades ago, or Hillary Clinton whose voters added 18 Million more cracks, but how do you handle a woman in this election?  Well, it’s clear you shouldn’t say, “you can put lipstick on a pig, but you still have a pig,” as Obama did recently.  The backlash, warranted or not, has been pretty stiff.  You can’t question a mother running for V.P. and you can’t talk about teen pregnancy or disabled children without thinking really carefully about what and how you say it, fearing the oversized media maelstrom it creates.  You sure don’t want to refer to a V.P. candidate as a pig, intentionally or not.

Old Time Religion

Fairly or not, Obama can’t seem to escape the dogged innuendo and rumors about his religious preferences.  I’m sure most of you have seen the pictures of Obama in a Muslim outfit that created such a stir and caused many to people to wonder if Obama really is or was or might be Muslim.  There has been “proof” that has been “proven” false.  There have been pictures, emails, school records and questions to the extent that Obama’s alleged Muslim past is still an issue for many people, regardless of the truthfullness of said “evidence.”  The issue with many folks goes straight back to the Bible.  It seems it is an age-old issue between two world religions,  Islam and Christianity.

And can anyone forget the right (make that left) Reverend Jeremiah Wright and his inflammatory remarks that pummelled Obama earlier this year, and continue to leave their mark well after the primaries?  With his Black Liberation Theology, the pot has been stirred and seems to be swirling still as many question, “If Obama is not Muslim, does he espouse Black Liberation Theology?”  Throw in Sarah Palin’s Pentecostal roots and reports on CNN of speaking in tongues and there is still more fodder for the religious right and the liberal left and anyone else willing to jump in the melee.  An army of 30 lawyers and investigators has apparently invaded Alaska and I’m convinced Palin’s religion will be near the top of their investigative list.

Religion has been injected, for better or worse, into this race like no other in my lifetime.  Religion has been important to Americans ever since the first ship left the homeland in search of religious freedom.  We have religious freedom now but we’re sort of held hostage to all those folks, especially on the web, that throw around all kind of information, misinformation and disinformation. 

Funny Looking Man

It’s obvious that Obama has darker skin than my pale easy-to-burn fair skin.  But just in case, he’s reminded America on several occasions, warning them to be wary of the Republicans who will constantly remind us of what we can already see.  Not that the Republicans have reminded anyone, mind you.  Why should they when Obama does so whenever he can?  Oh, he’s got a funny sounding name, too, but that’s not the same as the man that look’s different than all those guys that pose on all of our money.  Which brings me again to the obvious.  Those other three in the race all happen to look more like me than Obama. 

Just like gender and religion, it looks like the issue of race in this election has also staked its tent and is here to stay until Wolf Blitzer calls the election.  Even so, who can deny that many people will be pulling the handle for Obama or McCain based on race alone?  From those white bigots that will refuse to vote for a man with darker skin to those of color who will turn out in droves to vote for a man solely on the basis of race, the issue of color in this race will remain on the table.

Hanky Panky

Sarah Palin paraded her family in front of the camera, much to the joy of Republicans and much to the glee of Democrats.  Huh?  Unity between the parties?  Not so fast my friend, as Lee Corso would say.  When word got out that Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol got pregnant, the boxing gloves came off.  Republicans rushed to back up their newly promoted beauty queen as vicious attacks, rumors and innuendo cluttered the cable and network news and Democrats gloated that the abstinence-promoting goodie-twoshoes couldn’t manage her own household. 

It really started earlier when bloggers accused the Palin’s Down Syndrome baby, Trig, of really being teen Bristol’s baby.  Of course, that’s pretty much been proven false.  But still, hanky panky never seems to go away in any election and it looks like there’s plenty to think about this time around.  I doubt it will go away anytime soon in this cycle, either as rumors and tabloids hint at an affair by the right’s new posterchild for all it’s held dear.  And that’s not to mention Obama kissing Biden’s wife on the lips and McCain with those “fatherly hugs” of his veep candidate.

Obama Versus Palin

When it comes down to it, those issues that are hijacking this election and taking us by the neck, gender, religion, race, and sex are the very issues that have to a great extent determined the course America has followed over the last couple of hundred years and molded us into the country we are today.  What makes it intriguing is the stark contrast between two candidates.  Obama, the Democratic candidate for president and Palin, the Republican candidate for vice-president.  We’ve almost all but pushed McCain and Biden aside as we put our attention squarely on the faces of Palin (and her lipstick) and Obama (and the color of his skin).  This election seems to come down to a contest between a white female, Palin, and her religion and a black male, Obama, and his religion.  You almost couldn’t get anymore polar opposite if you had tried. 

Maybe the tickets should be Obama/Palin vs. McCain/Biden.  Now that would be a funny turn of events and that would be a change from the partisan politics and divisive rancor we’ve seen and of which some of us have even partaken.

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7 responses to “Lipstick, Old Time Religion, Color and Sex

  1. The “lipstick on a pig” comment had absolutely NOTHING to do with Palin. It was used to describe McCain’s and Palin’s claim of change when they just want to keep pushing the same old policies we’ve been experiencing over the last 8 years.

    The phrase has been used by McCain when he was describing the Clinton health care plan.

    There is no way in hell that these people are “offended.” They are truly using divisive, petty, political attacks against Obama.

    If he came in from jogging and was breathing hard, and was asked what he thought of Palin, if he answered, “I like her,” he would be called a sexist pig for saying it while panting.

    This campaign has become ridiculous.

  2. It is getting kind of ridiculous. I also don’t think Obama was calling her a pig. But he’s gotta be smarter than that. With her recent speech, average America’s gonna wonder what he meant. Look at his audience when he said that, he immediately had a boisterous response making me wonder if most of them thought the same thing.

    No, the McCain camp is not offended. They’re trying to get as many points out of it as they can, pure and simple.

    Obama has been divisive in his own right, not as unifying as he claims. Slamming Palin on the bridge to nowhere when he voted for it is pretty lame. Though Palin “took the money”, my understanding is that she was told by Congress that Alaska could decide what to do with it, see my last link below.

    Here’s an article about the bridge before she became a target:
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/09/22/alaska.bridge.ap/

    Here’s a more recent explanation:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/letters/chi-080910bridge_briefs,0,7294354.story

    For a little more truth about “taking the money”, read the actual bill itself here:
    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:h3058enr.txt.pdf#page=36
    It is HR 3058-36 Sec.186 – The bill clearly reads: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any
    amounts made available pursuant to Public Law 109–59 for the
    Gravina Island bridge and the Knik Arm bridge shall be made
    available to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public
    Facilities for any purpose eligible

    Note the “any purpose eligible.” Doesn’t sound like she just took the money and ran, does it?

  3. “You sure don’t want to refer to a V.P. candidate as a pig, intentionally or not.”

    That means/implies that Obama referred to the V.P. candidate as a pig, the only question is whether he did it intentionally, or not. I wish you would have put in the main body of the post what you did in your comment–that you don’t believe Obama was calling her a pig.

    “An army of 30 lawyers and investigators has apparently invaded Alaska and I’m convinced Palin’s religion will be near the top of their investigative list.”

    Or not:

    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/mccain-palin_distorts_our_finding.html

    Check the update.

  4. Glad you made it through the whole post – I thought it was kind of long – it kept growing. But it’s nice to have people that keep up with my blog. Your criticsms I think are making me a little better at all of this.

    “That means/implies that Obama referred to the V.P. candidate as a pig, the only question is whether he did it intentionally, or not. I wish you would have put in the main body of the post what you did in your comment–that you don’t believe Obama was calling her a pig.”

    Writing so many words, it’s easy to find something to pick at. I really don’t believe he meant to call her a pig at all. In fact, with all the buzz, I was telling my wife, the problem is that he needs to be aware and careful with what he says. After Palin made her lipstick remark which got so much press, by saying his lipstick remark, a lot of minds immediately recall Palin and connect the two. I guarantee you more than 1 or 2 silly Republicans took it that way, and more than 1 or 2 silly Democrats as well. Then of all people, Geraldine Ferraro comes on the news saying the exact same thing I said. So what is she implying?

    With all your journalistic acumen, I expected that you’d realize this more of a satirical post rather than a report for the evening news. Even so, saying “intentionally or not” more or less is what I’ve heard many Democrats say. That is, many Democrats have said that he wasn’t intentionally referring to her as a pig, though many Americans seem to feel so, judging by how hot the topic has been. So, again, if I can’t even use what some Democrats are saying, what can I use? What the Republicans are saying?

    As far as the 30 lawyers bit, I didn’t know that was really in dispute, but thanks for the heads up. I saw the report on the news, also on FOX news and in the Wall Street Journal and assumed it to be legit. If I can’t trust the MSM, who can I trust? I can’t trust Newsmax, I can’t trust Huffington Post. What’s a guy to do, shut down the blog?

    So I guess you don’t agree that the election is sort of being hijacked by focusing on race, religion, gender and sex? Again, even the Democrats are saying so, that McCain’s camp picks up an “innocent remark” and distract Americans from the real issues. I thought I did a much better job at being unbiased in this post. Being my journalistic critic, I thought you might give me more kudos for my improvement there. Oh well. I thought for sure you’d agree with this post. Where is the focus on the real issues?

  5. Sticking to the issues will not work well for the Obama/Biden ticket. Can they really talk nice about raising taxes and Senator Obama being an agent of change in government? I don’t think so. It seems to me the Illinois senator is just another inept politician who does “business as usual.”

  6. I’d love to see both parties laying completely on the table for all to see where they really stand on the issues and what plans they really have ready to go.

  7. this lipstick issue demonstrates yet again that McCain’s strategy for winning is based on personal attacks and distracting people from the main issues… i just hope people aren’t as gullible as the McCain administration makes them out to be

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