The Rhetorical Fallacies In This Campaign Are Breathtaking

clinton_elton.jpg

So tonight, Elton John gave his concert for Hillary Clinton. “I’m still standing,” she quipped, and he said “I never cease to be amazed at the misogynist(ic) attitude of some of the people in this country. I say to hell with them.”

And bloggers and those who comment on blogs have already begun screaming that not wanting to vote for Hillary does not equal misogyny. Whoever said it did? One does not have to be a supporter of Sen. Clinton to realize that the misogynistic attacks against her constitute some of the ugliest bigotry this country has seen. No one–not Sen. Clinton, not her campaign, not her supporters–ever said that women should vote for Clinton because she is a woman, or that anyone who does not vote for her is a bigot. I do not support Obama, and I dare anyone to say that my lack of support is due to racism.

Here is an example of the type of comment that makes no logical sense at all, posted by Laura M. on Ben Smith’s Blog:

As a woman, I’m offended by Elton John’s comment. I don’t HAVE to vote for someone because she’s a woman. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see a woman as President, but not this woman.

Where in his comment did John say that Laura M. had to vote for Clinton because she is a woman?

But it has been this way all along. The blogosphere is full of sarcastic comments like “I didn’t like Hillary’s speech–I guess I’m sexist,” or “I didn’t like Hillary’s speech–I guess that makes me a misogynist.” It is a sad state of affairs when so-called liberals attack a candidate and her supporters because those supporters dare to point out that she is the victim of the vilest type of bigotry. Consider for a moment that the out-in-the-open, “ha, ha that was a good one” bigotry had been aimed at Obama because he is biracial. And that anyone–anyone–who supported him had to defend supporting him for reasons other than his being a victim of bigotry. There would be wailing, gnashing of teeth and anarchy. Why is it so difficult for Americans to understand that a candidate–whether you like that candidate or not–can be a victim of bigotry? You don’t like Clinton’s policies? Fine. But that makes her no less a victim of cruel and vicious attacks. Questioning her policies or her record does not give you the right to make fun of her or make vile comments about her gender.

I do not support Obama, but if I heard him attacked because of his race, I would be livid. Why can’t Obama supporters behave like the progressives they say they are and be livid when Hillary Clinton is treated like trash because America believes she has the wrong genitalia? And why can’t they acknowledge that the oppression of females is a real problem, and not a distraction from solving “real” problems?

Related posts:

Bookmark and Share

Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to The Rhetorical Fallacies In This Campaign Are Breathtaking

  1. Janis says:

    Allow me to translate Laura M.’s comment:

    “As a woman I’m totally queasy over the fact that Elton has correctly identified the hideous misogyny directed at Clinton in this campaign. I’m queasy because it forces me to think about the fact that I’m buying into it. His words make me think, deep in the recesses of my lizard brain, that maybe playing patsy for the boyz won’t except me from such treatment if I stick my head up a little too high over the fence. His words make me confront uncomfortable truths and hence I will attack him for having said them.”

    “BTW, I’m either totally not a feminist, or I’m the sort that won’t actually do anything about my feminism when the time comes, so I’m not threatening or anything like that guys, right? Right?”

  2. Kendall Johnson says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!
    GO ELTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The sad but interesting thing about this campaign is how the media has targeted men as the people to draw away from Hillary’s campaign. They have played on male insecurity and have given them permission to base their voting decision on gender. They have used race too. Putting pictures of Obama’s white mother in his ads, clearly is for the purpose of attracting white males.

  3. On the more musical aspect of the concert I hope some video surfaces.

  4. Matt says:

    You want some video? Here you go:

    ***LINK REMOVED BY MODERATOR***

    At least, that’s what he SHOULD have sung to her.

  5. Pingback: Sir Elton John: Racist

  6. Pingback: The Moderate Voice

  7. Hilary says:

    Good morning – again! I called in to NPR on the “should she stay in the race” topic. The big point I made was — if Obama is about being fair and uniting people, why isn’t he, a person who understands being judged on something other than the issues (race) not completely DENOUNCING the vile, hateful treatment HRC has gotten in this election season.

    I would have so much more respect for him if he opened his mouth and said “I’ve been treated with kid gloves with regard to hate speech and the color of my skin, compared to hate speech and Hillary’ (gender)…” I think I could respect him and vote for him if she didn’t end up getting it. As it is, I think he’s a creep, because he’s never acknowledged it.

    Go to Cafepress.com and search anti Hillary t-shirts — F**K Hlllary, Life’s a bitch, don’t vote for one, Hillary will eat your kids, Hillary should have married OJ, Hillary is the Anti-Christ — it’s disgusting. Then check out the anti Obama t-shirts. The worst is “white guilt”. The others are completely benign. And HRC can’t complain — because then she’s “weak” or a “whiner” — it is up to US to protest this treatment on her behalf. Will you tell your friends and sons and daughters that this ISN’T right???

  8. Jeff says:

    In July 2007, Hillary commanded an over 2-1 lead over Obama in the USAToday/Gallup Poll. Today, she’s behind by 10 points in a poll conducted by the same pollster.
    Let’s see, I (& others) weren’t sexist when we supported her in July (& in my case in two Senate elections), but, now, as an Obama supporters the best explanation is latent sexism?
    If there’s any –ism’s here I think it’s best amplified by the polling of Ohio voters in which 1 in 5 voters said race was a factor, and these wonderful folks broke 4 to 1 for Hillary.
    Nice!

  9. JoeCitizen says:

    “No one–not Sen. Clinton, not her campaign, not her supporters–ever said that women should vote for Clinton because she is a woman, ”

    That is real close to being a blatant lie. Clinton has repeatedly trumpeted her being a woman as a reason for voting for her – lets break the glass cieling – lets make history etc. etc.

    “or that anyone who does not vote for her is a bigot.”

    That is the clear implication when comments like John’s, and similar comments made by Clinton supporters everyday, are stated in the context of commenting about how Clinton is “still standing”, still fighting, that she shouldnt withdraw etc. The context is – why is she not winning? The answer is misogyny. The unambiguous implication – those Dems, or at least a goodly chunk of them who are not supporting her hate women.

    “I do not support Obama, and I dare anyone to say that my lack of support is due to racism.”

    Don’t worry,. Obama and his supporters are not playing that Clinton game.

  10. Diane says:

    That is the clear implication when comments like John’s, and similar comments made by Clinton supporters

    No, it is not. There is a big difference between insisting someone vote for you because of your gender, and insisting that someone not totally dismiss you because of your gender. A very big difference.

  11. Kendall A. Johnson says:

    RIGHT ON DIANNE!!!!!!! MORE EXCUSES AND TURNING THE TABLES ON THOSE OF US WILLING TO CALL THEM OUT ON SEXISM. THANK YOU ETLON JOHN!!!!!!!!!

  12. Kendall A. Johnson says:

    JoeCitizan,

    Obama has been selling himself as the history making black candidate who can heal the racial divide as well. So I agree with you that both of them are appealing to the history making aspects to their respective campaigns.

    The point that Elton John was making was about the blatent sexist media and establishment railing against Clinton for no other reason than her gender right in public view free of any chastizement. I did not hear him say that the voters themselves were sexist. And he said nothing that even remotely addressed the voters.

    The Europeans are watching how sexist our media has been to Clinton and it has absolutely shocked many of them. Its noticeable how she has been trashed and locked out of fair coverage. The blatent sexist things that are said about her on the news broadcasts on a daily basis are real and is overwhelming. You would have to be brain dead not to see it!!!!

    Anderson Cooper said last week on CNN that racism is more offensive than sexism. He claimed to have a poll to support that crazy notion. They both are offensive and have no place in american politics. But more to the point, ask the young woman who was gang raped how offensive sexism is!!!!!!!

    Once again the TV has twisted his words and tried to pull male voters away from Clinton’s campaign by claiming that one of her surrogets called them sexist!!!!!!!! More hateful media spin twisting the truth about their own misogyny.

    Its not whether you vote for her or not, but rather what you base your decision on. You are only a sexist if you rule her out because of her gender, rather than for something legitimate.

  13. Kat says:

    I’m sorry, IF you heard Obama attacked because of race, you’d be livid?

    Like if Bill Clinton compared him to Jesse Jackson after his win in SC, implying that the only reason he won was because he is black?

    Like if Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, in responding to the photo of Obama in Somali garb, stated that it was a photo of Obama in the “dress of his nation”, as if Obama was not fully an AMERICAN?

    Like if Geraldine Ferraro stated that the only reason that Obama is the front runner is because he is black?

    I’m eagerly awaiting your full throated condemnation, Ms. Dees. I hope I don’t die of old age first.

  14. Kat

    You clearly miss the point – people denounce the perceived racist remarks more often then they denouce the perceived sexist remarks.

    On Bill Clinton’s S.C. remark, he was not implying anything — he was citing historical fact on Jackson’s S.C. win.

    It’s interesting too that Ferraro was condemned for her comments and then John Kerry and Claire McCaskill said almost the exact same thing days later.

    Spare us the indignation.

  15. Diane says:

    My body of social/political writing over the years is very long, and is very much a condemnation of any type of racism or other ethnic bigotry. Judging me without checking out that very large body of work (including condemnation of racism toward Obama)–much of which is readily available– is, I believe, called “prejudice.”

  16. Kendall A. Johnson says:

    HERE IS A VERY CLEAR INDICATOR OF THE BIAS MEDIA. CLINTON PICKED UP 4 SUPER DELEGATES TODAY AND NOBODY IS REPORTING IT!!!! SHE PICKED UP BOXER IN CALEFORNIA, ONE IN OHIO AND TWO MORE IN P.A..

    WHEN OBAMA GETS A SUPERDELEGATE CNN AND MSNBC SPIN IT FOR DAYS!!!!!

    ON MY AOL DASHBOARD (OWNED BY TIMEWARNER -CNN), THERE WAS NO MENTION OF THESE CLINTON WINS TODAY. INSTEAD A BIG ARTCLE ABOUT “THE THREATS CLINTON FACES GOING FORWARD TO THE CONVENTION”. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!! ANOTHER WON WAS “OBAMA CLOSING THE GAP IN PA”. ONE POLL OUT OF TEN SAYS THAT HE IS 9 POINTS BEHIND. THE OTHER NINE HAVE HER HOVERING BETWEEN 12 AND 18 POINTS AHEAD, BUT NO ONE TALKS ABOUT THESE POLLS!!!!!!!!

    a couple of days ago serveyUSA had a poll showing that Clinton was 18 points ahead of Obama in PA and said that she was regaining ground with white men. At the same time, the media showed another poll with a 9 point lead claiming that Obama was gaining and would likely catch her in PA. Their manipulation tactic is to convince people to give up on Clinton by claiming that she is losing and cannot win. They are hoping demoralize her supporters and to convince them to stay home on election day!!!!! THE MEDIA IS EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Kendall

    No need to scream (using all caps is perceived as screaming in the blogosphere).

  18. Diane

    It’s all getting to everyone I think. :)

    This too shall pass as they say. Whether we survive with smiles on our faces is another matter.

  19. This may sound like a cop out, but the very fact that there have been 18 comments, to what should be a non-issue, is the thing that’s most disturbing to me. By attempting to portray Hillary opponents as sexist and Obama opponents as racist, those who do so are truly only displaying their own ignorance and phobias. No amount of taking them to task will ever change a bigoted persons mind. By spending so much time and effort into exposing bigotry for what it is, aren’t we allowing race and gender to be defining issues of the campaign? Meanwhile the real issues like, the economy, Iraq, medical coverage, crime, and of course McCain are drawn out of the spotlight.
    I, like Elton John, am gay. In my 64 years I have, at times, been subject to homophobic sterio-typing and verbal abuse. 99% of the time, I simply have just walked away from it. Years have taught me that time spent trying to convince someone that they are homophobic, is time ill spent. No one changes unless they sincerely want to do so. Instead of all this back biteing, why isn’t our party celebrating the fact that WE have afforded America the opportunity to elect either it’s first woman or first black President? As a gay person, I know how a policy of exclusion feels. Being a realist, I also know that it will be decades, if every, that a person discribed as being “funny”, “queer”, or “faggot” will ever have the opportunity we are justly affording Senators Clinton and Obama in 2008. So why don’t both camps give themselves a well-deserved pat on the back and then move on to the real issues? Buzz

  20. Buzz

    So why don’t both camps give themselves a well-deserved pat on the back and then move on to the real issues?

    Probably because the media keeps hyping the non-issues. Sadly.

  21. I agree, Pamela, the media is the primary culprit! They most always find something, which is either a non-issue OR an untruthful issue and use it for all it’s worth.
    In the 2000 election they falsely labeled Al Gore as being too “plastic” and having no personality. They spun a statement he had made and twisted it into meaning that, “he created the internet.
    In 2004 they portrayed Senator Kerry, a Vietnam War hero, as being a traitor. Their disgraceful swift-boat campaign served them well. By quoteing things he said, out of context, they were able to falsely label him a “flip-flopper” By injecting the element of fear into the psyche of America, they convinced most that only the GOP could defend them. It was FDR who said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” An adapt motto for Bush “The Decider”, should have been, “the only thing I can provide you is fear itself”.
    This time around they don’t have to search for hard for dividers. Our two fine candidates, one female and the other black, have provided them most of the political fodder they need. For the good of the country and our party, I hope we don’t contribute to setting the same trap. Buzz