How the Internet has changed political campaigning

December 11, 2007 | By | Reply More

On Bill Moyers’ Journal, Bill Moyers discussed this multifaceted issue with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. 

This video is well worth watching for many reasons.  The introduction includes a clip of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech to Southern Baptist preachers to answer their opposition to a Catholic president.  Kennedy’s understanding and articulation of the wall between church and state is inspirational. 

Watching this video, I learned of the “You Choose” site within youtube.com, where you can watch the candidates speaking on issues, side by side.  For instance, here are the candidates’ positions on energy independence. (check out Barack Obama’s position on energy in a speech he gave in Detroit.  In my opinion, he is one of the few candidates that “gets it.”).

Jamieson and Moyers spend substantial time analyzing the “avalanche of misogyny” aimed at Hillary Clinton, some of these attacks Bible-based, many of them verging on pornographic (here’s another site documenting these attacks).  Here’s a sampling of the discussion between Moyers and Jamieson:

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON:  [U]nderlying many of these assertions is the assumption that any woman in power will, by necessity, entail emasculating men and, as a result, a statement of fundamental threat.

So, why shouldn’t you vote for Hillary Clinton? Well, first, she can’t be appropriately a woman and be in power. She must be a man. Hence, the site that says Hillary Clinton can’t be the first woman president; Hillary Clinton’s actually a man. But also explicit statements that suggest castrating, testicles in lockbox. She’s going to emasculate men. It’s a zero-sum game in which a woman in power necessarily means that men can’t be men.

BILL MOYERS: And you can’t use your uterus and your brain. That’s the old argument, right? You can’t be caring and tough. That’s the old argument against women, right?

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Well, and at one time there was actually an argument that if women became educated, they would become infertile. There was also, for a long period of time, serious penalties for women who tried to speak in public. And the residue of this is a language that suggests that women in power cannot be women and be in power. And as a result, as Hillary Clinton certifies herself as being tough enough to be president, competent enough to be president, these attacks say then she can’t be president because she’s not actually a woman. And you can’t trust someone who is that inauthentic. So underlying this and underlying the vulgarity and underlying the assertions of raw sexual violence is deep fear about a woman holding power.

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Category: Energy, Media, Politics, Technology, The Middle East, transportation

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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