I will not be bullied by fear.

Okay, I know this is old news, but I’m a slow thinker, and my thoughts have only just gelled and I can’t hold on to my two cents anymore.

I don’t even know where to begin. How do I explain why McCain’s “blitz” of negative character attacks on Obama infuriates me? All the lies, the name calling, the projecting of blame. The absurd analogies to absurd celebrities on absurd pretenses. The horrible misuse of the word “elitist.” The despicable Rovian character assassination tactics. How can I express just how appalled I am that the media and so much of the public is allowing this insidious vitriol to manipulate their perceptions and their thoughts?

They (the McCain machine, the GOP, and conservatives) are calling Obama an elitist; a vapid, vacuous attention whore; a pompous and arrogant arugula-eating panderer. McCain’s campaign manager:

“Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand ‘MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew–Black Forest Berry Honest Tea’ and worry about the price of arugula.”

The purpose of all this name-calling and red herring bullshit is to plant a seed of doubt and dislike that will close people’s minds. It is a tactic of fear, playing on the baser instincts of human nature–to regard all that is different as a threat. That is the first insult to all Americans: that by labelling Obama’s intelligence, education, charm, and ambition as “unAmerican”, they imply that we average Americans are lazy, wretched, and uneducated ignoramuses!

Only a bully treats people this way. Only a bully employs tactics of insult and verbal violence to ostracize his enemies and cow his followers. Only a bully would use a whipping boy to distract people from his own inadequacies!

The only reason why all this negativity sticks and may well continue to stick is this: Obama is a nerd. He is tall and gangly and has big teeth. He is quiet and contemplative. He is highly intelligent, and well educated. He speaks with forethought and he strives to consider all aspects of an issue before making conclusions. He shows a willingness to compromise to try and resolve complex problems. He does not define his public masculinity in terms of physical prowess or social dominance.

Moreover, he is an “uppity nerd” in that he consistently violates social expectations of the nerd’s role. A nerd is supposed to be shy, socially awkward, nervous, and unpopular. A nerd is the omega dog of the human pack–and Obama rejects that role. He is not shy–he is forthright and bold. He is charismatic and self-confident, and people respond to that. His confidence gives him strength and surety, and his intellectual curiosity compels him to actually listen to people when they speak. This is the root of his popularity, and this is the root of what will make him a successful President of the United States, and the optimal representative of the American People.

This makes the bullies and close-minded afraid, and they want the rest of us to be afraid as well. Do not listen to their words of hate!

America, I must ask you: do we want another Bully in the Oval Office? Do we want another emotionally unstable and volatile man who requires other people to do his thinking for him? Do we want another President who feels no compunctions about using Rovian tactics of character assassination and political tyranny to get his way?

Can we not withstand this bold manipulation of our most primal fears? Shall we allow them to take advantage of our subconscious prejudices? I for one, will not let them tell us that a thinking man cannot be strong. I will not let them make me think even for an instant that a Nerd is inherently arrogant and incompetent. I will not let them make me doubt the power of a sunny smile to change the world. I will not let them make me think that compromise means weakness, that a willingness to revise one’s stance on issues means unbridled, untempered ambition. I will not be afraid!

I will not let them make me forget that this is our moment, this is our time. It is time to reclaim our dignity, and it is time we demand the same from our leaders. It is time to reclaim our pride in our intelligence, and show pride in the intelligence of our neighbors. It is the time that we show where our true values lie–in our wills, in our minds, and in our moral regard for the character and integrity of our fellow man. It is our time to show all those bullies that we cannot be intimidated by threats and abuse, but that democracy, decency and reason shall prevail.


21 thoughts on “I will not be bullied by fear.

  1. Great post! Although, I have to take issue with one thing you wrote…

    “they imply that we average Americans are lazy, wretched, and uneducated ignoramuses!”

    Uh, most average Americans ARE lazy, wretched, uneducated ignoramuses. That’s why “reality” TV is so popular.

    But those of us who hang around here and read your blog, well, we’re not AVERAGE. πŸ˜€

  2. Point well taken! But I’m still not voting Obama.

    Excellent philosophical-political rant. You do your mama proud! Fight on! Love You!

  3. OK, settle down. I don’t think McCain is trying to label Obama’s supposedly wonderful intellect as “un-American.”

    He’s trying to win an election against a much younger man. OK, you’ve got McCain trying to sow doubt about his opponent’s age…. And then you’ve got David Letterman sowing doubt about McCain’s age…. Tit for tat.

    OK, you’re mad about unfounded attacks on Obama but then you continue to assert that McCain is “emotionally unstable” and “volatile?” OK, you cited some sources but still….

    You’re talking about the cult of personality here and what makes you think that Obama is smarter than McCain?

    I’m voting for Obama based on policy. I don’t think he’s so brilliant, good looking and racially-correct that I MUST vote for him. I will vote for him because I favor his policies over the other guy’s.

    Who are you Maureen Dowd? πŸ™‚

  4. i’m not going to say much b/c you and i disagree and always will, so there’s not much point.

    but i’m afraid i have to disagree. obama is nothing like a nerd. i don’t know how you define nerd, but he certainly doesn’t fit any of the characteristics i’ve ever associated with nerd (aside from smart).

    i’m afraid i have to agree with mccain (even while i might disagree with his methods). obama is the most vapid candidate we’ve ever had. he’s all talk and empty words. i’m not even that bright, and i can tell there’s absolutely nothing to anything he says. he’s just an incredible (and i do mean incredible) orator.

    and “revise one’s stance” … when has obama ever “revised” a stance? i know this only makes you like him more… but no candidate has ever voted more consistently and dramatically liberal in all of history.

    with obama… there is no compromise, no revision. when he’s elected (which i imagine and dread he will be)… we’re going to be living under exactly what you’ve been dreaming of for the last 8 years.

    an utterly liberal regime.

  5. Politics is a nasty business. Incidentally, petty attacks don’t sway me. They disgust me, and make me question the validity of politicians. It’s like watching a playground fight between two kids from different neighborhoods, with blood pressure issues.

  6. Politics is a dirty business [unfortunately] and as a result I tend to distrust politicians. But I have to agree that McCain’s camp seems to be aiming pretty low and it must be very difficult for Obama not to sink to that level. He has my respect for that.

  7. i don’t get the hatred of the term “elitist”. i mean…i certainly don’t want a beet farmer who only went to school up to the 8th grade for a president. do you? i’m thankful for his education and his intellect. and his white teeth.

  8. ian: I actually must disagree with your statement that Americans "are lazy and stupid". I strongly beleive that americans are smart, and have the capacity to be active and intelligent. the problem is we are overworked and bored, and too often seek soporific entertainment to releive those spiritual tensions. Americans arent stupid, its just that so many have lost the desire to think.

    say it & jazz: and I would point out that the fact Obama shows concern for the price of arugula–which is FOOD–shows that he is in touch with middle america–it shows that he KNOWS full well that food is too expensive for so many people.

    Jen & Mom: Thanks!

  9. M@: I love Maureen Dowd! Thanks for the compliment! πŸ˜‰ In all seriousness, you raise good points. Policy is paramount, which is why I am upset over these character attacks–its red herrings, all of them, designed to deflect attention away from the issues that matter. Obama is not perfect,but at least he seems to attack McCain’s policies more vigoriously than his character.
    That, to me, shows more integrity and class than anything else.

  10. Martha:
    You are always welcome to disagree with me! youre a smart girl and you always give me things to think about, which I like. πŸ™‚ And of course, I must disagree with you, too!

    I call Obama a nerd because I, a self-identified, proud nerd/dork, can see in him many characteristics that are typical of nerds. But not only that, the nature of the attacks lobbied against him are the same attacks I’ve have heard laid against those who most definitely ARE nerds: “he’s so smart, he thinks he knows everything, he thinks he’s better than us”. Every nerd I’ve known who has ever dared expressed an ounce of self-confidence and surety in the midst of a non-nerd crowd has had some degree of this response (including my boyfriend, and myself).

    As to the empty rhetoric charge, well, I can understand that. But ALL politicians are guilty of this. All politicans use glowing oratory to motivate their followers. However, I dont beleive that is all Obama is. He has spoken of many things: issues, ideas, arguments and defenses, compliments and criticisms, all of which have many layers of meaning. I suspect they sound “empty” and “fluffy” to you because you do not agree with his worldview or opinions. You have even so much admitted that you fear him because he is a liberal. So the words he speaks are empty to you because they do not speak to you. I feel the same way about McCain and even more so with Bush–but I do not project my lack of resonance upon the speaker: I know that what he is saying does mean something to others. (Please dont take all this the wrong way. I am only trying to give you something to think about, just as you always give ME something to think about, :))

  11. Chica and Tim: I wish it wasnt so dirty, and I beleive that if people would treat each other civilly–and if voters would actually DEMAND civility–that maybe it wouldnt have to be so unfortunate and distasteful.

    it is OUR reponsibility as voters and citizens to not reward undesired behavior.

  12. kara, if it comes down to the bar buddy or the bookish elitist for President, I want the elitist. Ive SEEN the way barflies think and act. I DONT want THAT as my president!

    Woozie: Sometimes I just dont understand you. but I shall smile and nod, nonetheless.

  13. I agree with all you’ve said here, except I’d add HAWT to Nerd! πŸ˜‰

    McCain’s petty, insultingly base campaign tactics show his true nature. I’ve disliked him ever since he turned his maverick stance to one of kowtowing to Jerry Falwell and the religious right. Have you read this article about McCain’s lucky charms? Could he be any weirder?

    Or older?

    Fer Chrissakes, I’m not even 40 and I can’t remember shit. When I’m 72, I’m sure I’ll be drooling on myself, not trying to lead the free world.

  14. oh goodness… i just re-read what i wrote, and while i don’t take any of it back… i did not intend it to sound so harsh or reactionary. hahaha… you’re so kind to even give me the floor πŸ™‚

    i don’t mind that we disagree… i kind of like it. so many people i know refuse to let anyone in if they’re not on the same side. so i appreciate and love our differences.

    thanks for your thoughts! and yes… you also always make me think πŸ™‚ thank you for that!

  15. Politics is a dirty business and sadly, we still don’t give enough importance to the idea that what we say about others says more about us than it does them. But the right – the bastion of the privileged – has always tried to mobilise the ignorant by instilling fear of those who have achieved through merit and not daddy’s money.


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