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Published October 07, 2008

Enough with the negative campaigning, y'all. This campaign is starting to hurt my feelings. For real. I keep hearing about "small town America," and "Ivy League elitism," and "Joe Six-pack" and The (dastardly) New York Times . Yesterday I heard McCain deride Obama as a "Chicago politician."

This is beginning to get really personal. Not just about Obama, but about me. John McCain and Sarah Palin do not like me, and they want me to know it. And they are rallying other Americans to say, essentially, "yeah, bite us!"

Sarah Palin said her heels are on and the gloves are off. Now she's punching me. Ow. Stop it, sister! You told Katie Couric you are a feminist, like I am. We're not so different: we both love lipstick, and I backcomb the hair on the crown of my head too.

Yesterday Palin mentioned reading the New York Times in front of a crowd in Clearwater, Florida. The crowd, who, when assembled, were dressed in aggregate like an American flag, booed when Palin mentioned The Gray Lady. Now, I read the Times . I also check out Drudge, read the New York Post , and US Weekly , the last of which I think a lot of lipsticked hockey six-pack moms do. But now I feel bad, because my fellow Americans heckle my choice of reading material. If the governor would tell me what I should read, that would be great; but she herself refuses to make a specific recommendation since she reads "um, all of 'em, any of them that have been in front of me over all of these years."

When Guiliani spoke at the RNC, he dismissed Obama as a man with "an Ivy League education." The McCain campaign has repeatedly mentioned Obama's Ivy League education and his elitism in the same breath, as if they go together and as if either of them is wrong. (I won't go into the defense of the elite here, as this topic has been covered by many who want their president to be "elite," ie "the choice or best of anything.") This makes me feel like unpatriotic, because I went to an Ivy League school. Wait--I went to Northwestern University first, though! Oh, crap, that's right there near Chicago, which is a city and where "Chicago politicians" do their deeds.

Does Sarah Palin loathe me because I'm not Jo-sephine Six-pack? I don't like beer. I've tried to like it, really, especially when wearing my cowboy boots (which, I confess, I bought in Edinburgh; but I get loads of American compliments on them), but doggone it, I just don't. Am I an elitist because I like wine? But I swear, I lack "mouthfeel" and can't identify the wine's "finish" of cherry, spice oak, and tobacco--I really don't know anything about wine except that two glasses get me drunk and three get in me in bed.

I also suck, because I live in New York City. I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, though--does that count for anything? But it wasn't a small town, and we lived near a country club. Damn. I'm still a bad American.

When I hear folks (because "folks" is the gosh darn appropriate term for the Real Americans at these rallies) boo because they hear the words "New York Times " or "Ivy League", it makes me hate them a little. Because I feel like they're hating me first. I've absorbed enough Oprah to know that's no excuse, but still. Maybe those folks think they're just hating Obama or liberals or East Coasters or people from Chicago, and not specifically me . I'm not a proxy for Obama, but I am someone who is different from them--I've made different life choices, many of them difficult, and I've ended up here (for now): in a big city, reading the Times , not liking beer and living down my education. But many people I love live in small towns; frankly, many of the people I love most live in Florida; many people I love and who shaped me drink beer and vote Republican and never read the Times. But I don't boo them.

John McCain and Sarah Palin seem to want small town Joe Six-pack to boo in my direction. Now, you can, as a candidate, campaign by taking down the other guy/gal. But is it a good strategy to take down half the country and to encourage your supporters to jump into your pool of disdain?

So, you know, McCain and Palin may win on November 4th. And then they will be the President and Vice President of the United States of America. That's all of the states--with all of the cities and all different kinds of people in them. But I think they kind of hate me and everyone who lives near me or went to college with me or likes wine. I am hurt; but I'm more than that: I'm scared. I don't think they want to represent me or my best interests. They are telling me they will not be my president and vice president. Not because I didn't vote for them, but because they keep telling me they're not like me...and they don't like me.

 

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