Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

‘I’m doing this for the account executives, the online content producers, the graphic designers, the freelance writers, the IT managers …’

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I’m jaded, I admit. I think I’ve always been jaded, and then studying, working and living in DC these past two years have made it that much worse. I was rolling my eyes and sighing petulantly every five minutes while watching the convention coverage last night, and not because I’m particularly hostile to Obama (I like him more than the other guy, for sure). It’s just the inherent pandering involved in all of it that borders on obscene. If you drank every time someone giving a convention speech last night mentioned how they were in it for the [insert random metaphorical middle-class job here], we’d have been passed out by the time CNN was playing the Lord of the Rings meets Russian ballet music.

At what point did our society decide that teaching, trucking, firefighting, policing, cleaning, manufacturing and nursing were the only noble professions? And aren’t these references getting tired? I understand that “We’re doing this for the account executives, the online content producers, the graphic designers, the freelance writers, the IT managers, the lawyers and the marketing coordinators” doesn’t have the same ring. I know you’re trying to sound “in touch” with the “average Americans” (a phrase I can’t for the life of me understand being construed as appealing rather than insulting when coming from politicians mouths), but can’t we at least start expanding our base of average American professions? I can categorically say that I have the most “average American” family of anyone I’ve ever met (I can provide many references on this), so I’ll help the campaigns out and give you just a sampling of my family members’ jobs: roofer, electrician, babysitter, railroad worker, salesperson, indeterminate office worker, medical billing specialist, receptionist, part-time auto mechanic, corrections officer, professor, unemployed crazy, day care worker, cashier. Insert these into your average American repertoire from time to time, just to live things up, would you, dears? Live on the wild side?

And—oh, dear, I’ve gone into prolonged rant mode; forgive me, but—please, please, please, can we agree to stop talking about how we’re going to end unskilled labor jobs from going to China and India, and bring more of these factory jobs back to the United States? We’re not. We’re not, we’re never going to again and, frankly, we shouldn’t want to. You know it, I know it, dogs know it. So why must we resolutely refuse to ever say anything resembling the truth on globalization issues and instead insist on promising that the economy would look exactly like it did 30 years ago if only we could penalize those bad corporations for sending “our” jobs to those intrepid third-world nations? It just shows contempt and disrespect for the people the pols are trying to sell this shit to.

All in all though, good speech. Very good speech. It was nice to see Obama not shy away from mentioning abortion and gun control and immigration and gay rights, but not dwell on them, either. It was nice to see him highlight the common ground on these issues. It was nice to see him slam McCain for the ridiculous celebrity criticisms, and all those that would claim patriotism is the sole province of the Republican party. It was nice to see a Democratic presidential candidate show a little spunk, a little backbone, a little first-level rather than third-level rhetoric, getting right all those framing issues Drew Westen bashes the Democrats for not getting right with Kerry & Gore.

Touched my jaded little heart, just a bit.


Written by Elizabeth

August 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

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  1. […] Barack Obama, campaign, Culture Wars, John McCain, kindergarten sex-ed ad, Sarah Palin And now here I was a few weeks ago, sick of the candidates’ canonization of school teachers and bus drivers, annoyed at their […]

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