Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Live by Bean-Counting, Die by Bean-Counting

Gloria Steinem, who was a significant public figure in the middle portion of the last century, is not happy that Hillary Clinton’s assumed entitlement to the presidency may come to grief at the hands of a “black” male:

Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House. This country is way down the list of countries electing women and, according to one study, it polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy.

That’s why the Iowa primary was following our historical pattern of making change. Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race were allowed to mark a ballot, and generally have ascended to positions of power, from the military to the boardroom, before any women (with the possible exception of obedient family members in the latter).

Ms Steinem, like all those who expect us to vote for a female candidate because she is female, is reaping what she has sown. She argues that it is not right to compare the sufferings of blacks and women before going on to do just that, and then indicates that in fact women suffer more from prejudice. (As proof, she cites the low representation of women in US legislatures compared to Europe. This is true, but European countries lag well behind the US in the extent to which women rise in the management ranks in private business. But never mind; it is only the right to rule over others that counts, not the right to chart your own destiny.)

The whole elect-me-because-I’m-X movement is based on degrees of oppression at the hands of the ruling class, usually taken to mean white males, which generates an entitlement for the aggrieved groups. Once you accept the legitimacy of this approach to democracy, comparisons of who suffered more are inevitable. (To his credit, Sen. Obama has tried to craft a leftist post-tribal politics for which Americans, unbeknownst to the multiculturalists, are more than ready. Perhaps this explains his popularity.)

If Sen. Clinton loses the nomination to Sen. Obama, I will take a perhaps unseemly pleasure in watching the bean-counting advocates of one genetic pressure group seeing their standard-bearer lose not to a white male, but to a perceived member of another genetic pressure group. (I say “perceived” because Sen. Obama, like many Americans, has mixed “racial” heritage.)

Is such schadenfreude wrong?



Blogger Joshua said...

No, not at all. Actually it reminds me of the Michael Vick dogfighting affair from last year, when we were treated to the spectacle of two leftist pressure groups - the animal rights activists who excoriated Vick and the race-card-sharks who stuck up for him - at loggerheads with each other.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Libertarian Jason said...

"Genetic pressure group"...Love it. You have such a way with words.

1:39 PM  

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