The Clare Spark Blog

July 29, 2016

Hillary the driven

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 6:52 pm
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Telegraph.co  UK image

Telegraph.co UK image

This blog is a guess at what makes Hillary run. And why she wore a (mannish?) white pants suit during her acceptance speech at the DNC.

So much is obvious, but this blog attempts a peek into her psyche, extrapolated from mine as another good girl with anger issues.

There is something uncanny about HiIlary’s do-gooding, while at the same time undermining her credibility with easily discoverable errors. Like many high achievers, she seems determined to recreate the perfectly happy family writ large. Bill Clinton drove home this theme, by emphasizing his wife’s early prowess as the Great Mother of us all, thus vindicating Hillary’s welfare state (achieved by soaking the rich with their ill-gotten gains).

Remember the part about Hillary lining the drawers in their first tiny home? Chelsea Clinton mentioned drawers too, recalling the day by day notes that her mother left for her, to make sure that Chelsea had a perfect, detail-oriented mom while she was on the road, changing the world by aiding those less fortunate.

Who said that women can’t have it all?

But beneath the smiling surface she shows anger that powerful pundits will publicly admit, like Brit Hume, complaining about her stridency and hectoring tone. I will compare her rage (?) to the feelings experienced by other women driven by the imperative to hold the family together; at the same time, achieving upward mobility as an “independent” woman, and a slightly different political stance from her lower-middle class family (her parents were Republicans, and she began life in their steps). It is one hell of a balancing act.

For a full-appearing biography see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton.

The testimony of her husband and daughter attempted to vindicate Hillary as the steady presence that inspired them. If their appreciation rang hollow (except to the Democrat faithful, the television camera straying to women weeping), the remarks of Bill and Chelsea suggested compulsive perfectionism in Hillary.

Many women who strive to be as good as a man suffer from the same syndrome. By obsessive attention to detail combined with a smiling façade, we attempt the impossible (to be all things to all people).

Ivory soap ad, 1940s

Ivory soap ad, 1940s

Were the media not so undereducated regarding the woman problem, by turns tearing her down or building her up as a Superwoman, they might note that HRC makes errors that are easily discoverable. It as if, oddly, parts of her want to be discovered as a fraud and punished, even as she projects these qualities on her rival for the presidency, while she retains her Eleanor Roosevelt-style image of Ivory soap purity.

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July 25, 2016

Jews vs. atheists: the Wiki-leaks hubbub

image by Eleanor Davis

image by Eleanor Davis

Yesterday (July 24, 2016) Fox News Channel was excited about the email wondering about Bernie Sanders possible “atheism” (a stance that would have sunk Dems in Southern Baptist country).

Being a connoisseur of anti-Jewish subtexts, I pricked up my ears. This blog will comment on what was said, and what was not.

First, the possibility that Bernie Sanders, an alleged “socialist,” might have a lingering “Jewish heritage” is by itself a racist assumption. “Heritage” would only make sense if all Jews, no matter how red, retain the mental and moral characteristics that much of the non-Jewish world attributes to all Jews.

While I can’t see into the Sanders psyche, as a “democratic socialist” he would surely hold to the view that “religion is the opiate of the masses.” But this would not be the case if Jews are a race (transmitting ancient beliefs through heredity). Second, some “Christians” believe that Jews and [Hebraic] Protestants are similarly heretics, notwithstanding the celebrated “Judeo-Chistian heritage” that supposedly rules the land. Third, it has been claimed by one influential social psychologist (Dr. Henry A. Murray) that religious pluralism weakens the hold of religion on the mass mind.

But most striking to this writer is the fact that Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation from the DNC was not met with cries that she too is a Jew and the first Jewish female congressperson from Florida (her Wikipedia biography shows no signs of her being an observant Jew.) That would make her a typical American assimilated “Jewish” liberal, the perfect scapegoat for the miscreant DNC: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debbie_Wasserman_Schultz).

debbie-w-s

September 7, 2012

Charisma and Symbolic Politics

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 6:21 pm
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This blog analyzes the tricks of populist demagoguery as revealed in the Democrat Party National Convention, 2012 (for part one of this series, see https://clarespark.com/2012/09/05/proto-fascism-and-the-democrat-peoples-community/.)

The Leader flatters the audience and holds them close to him with “family” rhetoric. Both Biden and Obama began their addresses with professions of uxoriousness and adoration of their children and struggling, benighted ancestors. Such first steps in their speeches develops an intimate relation with the audience, who are now “included” in the dedicated happy family. Charisma now emanates from the Leader, for solid family ties are manifestations of the erotic in our natures (while ignoring such obvious items as sibling rivalry or generational conflict).

With such tactics, the deified Leader as either Good Father or Good Mother,  has resorted to powerful symbols, generally symbols that infantilize the audience with promises of unity—a unity that cannot be obtained through rational arguments, for the Leader has jammed together persons and groups with conflicting interests (see https://clarespark.com/2012/09/05/proto-fascism-and-the-democrat-peoples-community/).   Republican opponents, meanwhile, are demonized as “splitters” who, in their devotion to cerebration (rationality and empiricism) heartlessly look after their own interests while “hating” and abandoning the target audience, now represented as “the middle class”—notwithstanding its working class elements. And workers are incorporated into “the middle class” through promises of home ownership, better public education, and preferential treatment for minorities and illegal immigrants through such transparent tactics as affirmative action and Dream Acts.

We have seen these tactics before. In the 2004 address to the DNC that catapulted young Senator Obama to celebrity, his main appeal was the vision of unity: there would be no more red states or blue states, only the United States. (Thundering applause.) But that was a childish wish, and not even Charles Krauthammer, the redoubtable critic of Obama’s narcissism (and whom I revere above all other pundits), nails him for this utopian, regressive fantasy.

For real material issues divide our polity: crony capitalism versus capitalism based solely upon merit—the merit of a superior performance or product; government as Big Daddy or Mommy versus local control, self-reliance and personal responsibility; Keynesian demand-stimulus to conquer economic downturns versus unleashing the power of business/free markets through lower taxes, the removal of excessive red tape, and free trade; overweening executive power versus the traditional separation of powers in government.

Above all, the charismatic leader wields magical powers: in describing the President’s role in the killing of Osama bin Laden, Biden declared that the President said DO IT, and justice was done. Bible readers will recognize the Creation of the world and the love of neighbors above oneself.

A man of the People

I have been thinking about pundits and television hosts, even those on Fox News Channel. Why do they not identify populist tactics as I have done? It is not only that they prefer clocking a horse race to significant analysis of the conflicts that really do divide us. It is not only that they profess to be “fair and balanced” as all moderates are supposed to be. Perhaps they too have reached the pinnacles of the media business through manipulating the audience through physical attractiveness and stylishness, but more, through an acceptance of “politics” as they are. Their tactics may be a more subtle form of bullying than partisan Democrats who regularly assault “the money power,” but they are bullies none the less, pleasing the boss and short-changing the audiences that keep coming back for more.

September 5, 2012

Proto-fascism and the Democrat “people’s community”

Postcard Fiume 1921

I had already listed most of the incoherent elements in the Democratic Party base right here: https://clarespark.com/2012/04/06/diagnosing-potus/.  Historians are all aware that jamming competing interest groups into one “community” is a symptom of authoritarian control, even proto-fascist in its determination to create harmony through coercion from above. Sadly, we are not taught about fascism’s appeal in the 1920s and 1930s, extending even to the ever-more-statist New Deal in America. And even to use the term “proto-fascist” calls down obloquy on the “hothead” critic; in this case, that hothead is I.  And Christopher Hitchens, with his eagle eye for fascist ideology, is dead, while the moderate men are fearful of being labeled “extremist” in their denunciations of the obvious turn to an autocratic, illiberal regime that parades under the flag of inclusiveness—a new multicultural VOLK. (For a lucid explanation of the organic nation beloved of the far right see https://clarespark.com/2013/01/20/an-awesome-inauguration/, in which I quote Jacob Talmon’s clear explanation of that term.)

For instance, what have these occupations in common: government bureaucrats, doctors, nurses, college professors, kindergarten teachers, union bosses, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, entertainers, farmers, steel workers, single women climbing the corporate ladder, ditch diggers, domestics, and small business persons (to name a few)? Has the old antagonism between big cities and rural areas disappeared? Yet the rainbow-colored Democratic Party has absorbed them into one potentially happy family, striving together, praying together, if only we give POTUS and Mom-in-Chief the time they need to complete the Leader’s mission.

In today’s blog, I will take note of Michelle Obama’s speech, already noted by some commentators as deifying of her husband and promoting Big Government as the solution to the very survival of blacks and browns, Asians, Muslims, and single women. (I don’t include Jews because Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been deleted from the Party platform.) Obamacare stands not only for universal health coverage, but for a caring, ever truthful watchbird State that prepares all its citizens for peace and safety and the defeat of want.

First, some history. Michelle Obama’s Princeton honors thesis was a cry for more resources devoted to  separatist black studies programs at her university, and her tiny bibliography started with a book by black nationalist leaders. She was explicitly anxious about upward mobility for blacks like herself, because her ties with [the black community] would be attenuated.

The First Lady has made a remarkable adjustment from the days when she was definitely not proud of her country and its white-dominated elite institutions. Last night was a paean to a unified polity if it would only stay on the track the Democratic Party had laid down– the first, “first family”–a new people’s community, a plumped up “middle class” devoted to the health and welfare of racial minorities, women, children, and the poor. All are indebted to The Leader, a man of the People who intuits their every need, and who takes note of every fallen sparrow, and if necessary, would be justified in ruling by decree.

She did not have to name the “one percent” as the enemy of the renewed beloved community, for thousands of ideologues had already prepared the ground for that moniker. We all know who and what the enemy is: those Randian Wall Street big liars out to get the little guy (“the middle class”) and who are pouring their ill-gotten billions into Republican coffers. Populism was Hitler’s ticket to power, and don’t forget it.

[Illustrated: poet and journalist Gabriele D’Annunzio, sometimes viewed as a precursor to Mussolini (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriele_d’Annunzio).]

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