Stereotypes, Prejudices & Presidential Politics

So, I am not at all pleased with any of the four leading candidates for President and/or Vice President this time around. As usual, I'm not pleased with all of the attack ads and mudslinging either. It gets annoying fast! By the same token, I am not pleased with all of the stereotyping that is embedded in all of the politicking. I'm tired of hearing the comment: "Barack might be the first black president ever." Now, I know that ethnic relations need some work in this country but what in the world does skin color have to do with being a good president? (By the way, the same is true of his religion, e.g. the Muslim accusations; what does his religion have to do with being a good politican?) By the same token, I think it is just as absurd when people make statements like: "How can Palin be both a good mom and a good VP?" This not only comes from men but in fact, I've only heard women say it. That boggles my mind. Why is this sexism even tolerated? Still, many people have tried to be politically correct and have avoided saying anything offensive in the ways of ethnicity or gender.

But there is still one slur that keeps recurring that is just as bad; it has to do with John McCain's age. Seriously, ageism has reared its ugly head everywhere. People are trying to discredit McCain because of his age . I wonder why people are so careful not to offend Obama (skin color) and Palin (gender) but could care less about McCain (ageism)? This is nothing but a small view of a much larger symptom in our society where we treat the elderly as 2nd class citizens. This just isn't right! When will political analysts, media journalists and campaign strategists stop playing dirty and simply run a candidate's campaign on its own good merit? I'm not sure! But I am sure that if that ever happens, whoever it is, they will get my vote! Enough is enough!!!


  1. while i TOTALLY agree that i would LOVE to see a campaign run on nothing but merits and policies (rather than name-calling and mudslinging), we have to remember that for some people, these can actually be concerns in choosing their nation's leader. we want someone committed to the call, unhindered. there are people who throughout history have chosen or not a leader based on their religion - they have every right to chose a politician based on their religion - that is their right. it doesnt mean that is the way it should be, but we cannot tell a person they can't vote based off of their religion anymore than we can tell a person they have to vote based on a particular religion. when it comes to choosing between the office and the home, its a valid concern. no one wants to see a family torn apart, stuck in the limelight, neglected or unncessarily forced to "grow up" before the world's watching eyes. at the same time, it would be hard to be a devoted mother and carry an office that big - it is a fact that cannot be denied. it doesnt necessarily mean she shouldnt try, cause thats her choice - but you cannot say that it would not affect her (just as we cannot say it doesnt affect any other politican with children). as for the age thing - that too is a valid concern. in my mind, it has little to do with disregarding him because of his age - because goodness knows the man has done a lot in his lifetime. but the older we get, the more suspetable we become to illness. especially for a man with a history of trauma and cancer. it has nothing to do with him as an individual - but there is a reason people retire at a certain age. sometimes, you're body will slow down whether you're ready or not. you can't blanket concerns with -isms. while its true that some people take it too far (and unfortunatly that will always be the case in our world...), but not everyone who raises those concerns are rascist, sexist, ageist (did i just make up a word?) or any other form of -ist. just my opinion.

    too bad we don't live back in the days before lights and cameras - where politicians were read about or heard on the radio, instead of veeted based on their race or sex. i've heard it said before that woodrow wilson would have never been elected if the general public knew that he was in a wheelchair. makes you wonder what would happen now, huh?

  2. I guess this explains why Joe Biden (middle-aged white Protestant male)is the only candidate NOBODY wants to talk about. . . He's just not interesting enough!

  3. papillo,
    i think we're just going to have to agree to disagree here, especially on the "mothering vp" issue. in my view it's just as prejudiced as saying obama can't do it because he's black...

    perhaps when they get around to the debates important stuff will get talked about but i'm not sure that all of the biases will fade. who knows?