Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Political Activist

That's me. Political activist. Not as active as I used to be, but every bit as loud.

Once, years ago, I was the president of the Women Democrats here. I'm glad I did it when I was young, because I couldn't stand it, now. In case you haven't noticed, women have a lot of trouble getting along. Especially women who tend to be "joiners". They are all leaders. No real followers, there. That's in any women's club, but it seems, especially prevalent in political groups.

Apparently, when the Women's Democratic organization was formed here, they all got in a room and chose up sides. I was asked to be the president of this particular group because I hadn't lived here for very long, and I was considered a neutral party. The fact that I was naturally quiet didn't hurt. And, they also thought I could be easily manipulated. Oops.

The only thing this bunch of women could agree on was that they were Democrats. They have always managed, however, to work together enough to help the candidates. It shouldn't have worked, but it did, even though most of the time they acted like the female versions of the Crips and the Bloods.

I have never been particularly active in local races. They really aren't exciting enough. It has to at least be a state race to hold my attention. Of course, the national races are always interesting, never more so than in the last few years, starting with the Clinton candidacy. I have to admit, here, that I didn't vote for Bill Clinton in the Primaries. Arkansas is such a small state, and he had been governor, and I knew so much about him............... Anyway, Bob Kerrey was my favorite candidate. However, once Clinton was our candidate, I got on the old band wagon and supported him. And, I'm not sorry I did. I think he made a fine President, in spite of his obvious weaknesses. But, I digress.

I used to attend all the rallies, meetings, etc., etc., manned the Democratic Headquarters here in town. Nowadays, about the most I do is help out at Headquarters, and stuff envelopes, But, I still enjoy it, and there are still two factions at work. The Republican Women don't seem to have this problem. They all go in lock-step, and agree with each other all the time. Next to them, we look like an unruly mob.

After giving it a lot of thought, I have decided that the reason the National Media characterizes the Democrats as "in dissaray" all the time, is that we DON'T go in lock-stop, we DON'T all think alike, act alike, talk alike. We act like people who are dedicated to Liberality. We live and let live, and have highly developed social consciences. We're not perfect, but we don't necessarily aspire to be. We sometimes fight among ourselves, trying to get our candidates elected. Sometimes we shoot ourselves in the foot.

But, the fact is that we did get it all together long enough to elect Bill Clinton, and in spite of what the pundits said, we had it together enough to elect Al Gore but Florida and the Supremes snatched it away. This is the first time, I have felt that we are actually working as a cohesive group, and I sure hope it shows in the next couple of elections. If not, we're going to have to start taking a real close look at those voting machines.


gawilli said...

Very well said, from start to finish. Joiners are leaders. To this day I do not follow well. You're right about the voting machines, too.

Jay said...

The reason the Republican Women's group don't have any infighting is because they all just follow what their husbands tell them to do. All the little Stepford Wives.

saz said...

We have to look at the voting machines anyway. I read a non partisan statistical analysis of the 2004 election and every single problem with voting came out in Bush's favor which is statistically impossible. It was another stolen election.

I didn't vote for Bill either in the primary - didn't like him at the time. I changed my mind quickly after he won and think he was best president we've had in a long time. Saw a bumper sticker today - "We Miss Bill"...that says it all for me.

Peggy said...

Have to disagree with Jay on that commment. Sorry mate. Just because they don't agree with us (and are just plain wrong about stuff) doesn't mean that they're just following what thier husbands say. Republican women do have minds of their own. Look at dear Ms Rice

F&W said...

A great post, Betty, and you hit the nail on the head as to why it seems as though we don't act as a cohesive group.

If we can just hold it together long enough, we can make a big difference in this world (not just the USA), 'cause, of course, a Democratic US President would shake stuff up worldwide.

We need that.

Newt said...

I just hope that whoever leds this country in the near future figures out a way to make the world like us again. We have very very few friends left out there. Thankfully they don't blame the American people, just our whacked out and insane Commander Coo Coo Bananas and friends.

Maya's Granny said...

I think that there are two issues with the agreeing with each other thing. One is that men tend to be more into the leader/follower thing than women, and I imagine that is because of the old hunter gatherer roles. Hunters have to follow a leader or they scare away the game; gatherers are better being more independent so that they find all the berries. The Republican/Democrat thing is all about authoritarian vs. liberal. The current GOP is very heavily authoritarian, and they expect and demand pretty blind obedience. Liberals and progressives, on the other hand, value independence.

Peggy, is it safe to assume you are being a touch facetious about Ms. Rice? She follows another woman's husband, but she has refered to him as hers -- and she never strays from the Bush doctrine. Not independent at all.

Tink said...

Great post!

I also believe that Clinton was a fair president. I don't understand how his poor judgement regarding his personal life effects the good he did in office. I can't wait for the next election. We are in desperate need of a change!

Jay: Ahaha. Have I told you lately how much I adore you? Ya little trouble maker. Unlike me. A perfect little angel. *Snort*

willi said...

I saw a cartoon this week from the Fort Worth Star Telegram run in our Gary Post Tribune. Seems like the artist had been reading your blog.

The donkey bubble said to the elephant "You don't have a clue"

The elephant bubble said to the donkey, "You don't have a plan."

The voting machine bubble said,
"Ya'll don't have a tamper-proof voting machine."

Arkansawyer said...

I don't often post political commentary, but from the outside-in - meaning as someone who has not gotten too involved in political process other than the voting itself... I have observed some of the very things you mention in this post. But know what I'd like to see? More national-scale "Town Meetings" like the Clinton-Gore team really pushed early on. If the Democratic Party and even Mrs. Clinton, could keep it together long enough to show the "common people" (ie my family and others) that they really do care, then perhaps we'd not only have a shot at taking back the Presidency but the Congress as well.

Even complacency might get us there as the Dark Side seems to be going downhill rather quickly.

Betty said...

arkansawyer: Thanks for the comments. I would like to see more town meetings, too.

willi: Great cartoon.

maya's granny: I think you are right about the hunters and gatherers.

Tink: Unfortunately, Clinton's personal life got in the way of a lot of the progress he could have made if he hadn't handed the opposition just what they were looking for, in order to slow him down.

mjd said...

Hi Betty,
I am visiting from Back in the Day. I liked your comment that the people in your village take care their own. Nice to hear...

I enjoyed your entry about politics; your comparison of the political women to the Crips and the Bloods is accurate but hilarious. On a serious note, you have identified a problem with the Democratic Party; by definition, we are the party of open-mindedness. Unfortunately, that liberality does lead to disagreement. Hopefully, we can find a common ground and elect somebody other than a Dubya-clone.

patsy said...

i was and am a bill clinton fan. as for his sin, i figure he only did what most men would have done under the same conditions. doesn't make it right but he doesn't have the blood of thousands on his hands. I don't know if his wife would make a good president or not but i would like to see a demorcate in the white house before i die.