Once again, CNN has shown me the light. This time, they helped me to realize that I’m addicted to Hillary Clinton. I credit CNN, though it wasn’t one of their usual luminaries this time, but a guest commentator: Professor Isaac Bailey, James K. Batten Professor of Public Policy at Davidson College and interim member of The Charlotte Observer editorial board.
In order to see the light professor Batten is putting out, you have to blind yourself to the fact that he premises his article on an apparent paradox that only endures so long as you don’t look at it too closely. This paradox is composed of the “seemingly contradictory” results of two Gallup polls: one of which finds Hillary Clinton to have a dismal 36% approval rating; the other of which finds her to be the most admired woman in America.
This contradiction, Bailey says, demonstrates the deep and shameful resistance people feel to putting a woman in power over men.
Problem is, only 9% of respondents identified Hillary as admirable – a quarter of those who viewed her favorably. She was the “most admired woman in America” only because no other woman was admired by more than 9% of respondents. The results, then, are indeed only seemingly contradictory, as the professor certainly knows.
But, this is an instance of what Shelby Steele calls a poetic truth – a truth not grounded in or limited by factual reality. Poetic truths are not inferred deductively from facts; nor are they falsifiable by facts. Poetic truths are ontologically superior to facts. Facts are subsequent to poetic truth.
So, the good professor is not concerned that the contradiction between these two polls is only seeming, as the idea of its reality serves to illuminate the poetic truth of America’s shameful reality.
In all seriousness, I find the unbroken string of male presidents significant. I am quite in agreement with Professor Bailey that “no one has discovered the precise formula that will make a woman palatable for enough Americans to break the country’s shameful streak of never having chosen a woman as head of state.”
Well, I’m with him up to the shameful bit, which is for him the heart of the whole matter. Relative to this shameful reality, it doesn’t matter if the contradiction that forms his premise only seems to exist. All that matters is that the readers of the article are reinforced in their feelings of shame, as this shame is what Hill Addiction is all about.
Without this governing shame, people might reach the rational conclusion that Hill is something other than the precise formula. Lots of people run for president, lose, and don’t do it again. Shame, on the other hand, is an excellent motivator to keep someone trying over and over and over to fit a square peg in a round hole. The aim is ultimately to change the shape of the hole itself. It’s a mad scheme, but shame has a profound power to rewrite priorities. People acting from shame can be driven to behave quite out of their minds, as they attempt to conceal and/or alter themselves, and the world.
And this, it seems to me, is the essential message and meaning of Hillary’s Long March to the Presidency. I’M WITH HER was a statement saturated with shame. As many have wondered: why is it that Hillary Clinton was the only presidential candidate who positively deserved your vote? Why was essentially important to be with HER?
Because she was the answer to the country’s shame, and shame trumps all. The translation of Hillary into HER was an act of political alchemy, replacing the biographical person with the archetypal identity. Hillary was HER, and SHE was the central victim of an utterly shameful history of misogyny.
Hence, it was no mere coincidence that this shame-driven campaign squared off against a campaign of shamelessness. The reciprocal parity was archetypal to the core. Shame versus shamelessness, in a fight to the death of us all.
This brings us to the subtle game of consent manufacture, which has been both a long term human study and another science that has undergone prodigious development since the start of the 20th Century. The Masters of Media have gotten good at stage managing the process, and the Hillary Clinton Op is something like Voyager’s 1 and 2 – built long ago, but still sending back useful scientific data.
Yes, Hillary is Voyager, probing deep space for the end of the Heliosphere, the end of Apollo’s domain, the end of Patriarchal misogyny. Hmmm… I have to revisit the proto-Hamlet, Orestes, and in particular his trial. I have a vague memory of how within this trial the implacable Furies were tamed, in the acquittal of Orestes for the murder of his mother. This taming of the Furies marked the firm establishment of Patriarchy in Greece.
The idea of Patriarchy has been much worshipped and much derided. It’s one of the fronts in the Shame War generally referred to as the Culture War between Left and Right. I’ll give you Patriarchy in a nutshell: Patriarchy is social order that has asserted its primacy over Nature. Patriarchy is the idea that the order of our own invention is superior to all others, and demands our allegiance above all others.
In secular terms, Patriarchy is the logic of Corporations, which externalize whatever costs they can, and are not only perfectly justified, but legally required, to serve their own interests above all others. The God of Moses was a Patriarch in exactly this sense; and serving Him brought not only the liberty to do anything at his command, but the requirement of it. Abraham became the father of this faith in his willingness to sacrifice Isaac.
While He might seem a brutal megalomaniac, the Holy Asshole worshipped ceaselessly by Corporate Angels who self-aggrandizingly sing His praises, this God of Civilization is the father of us all.