Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Cult of Personality

I finally found a personality cult I could join without reservation:  Teresa Heinz Kerry’s.  Her speech last night at the Democratic National Convention was brilliant and inspired; I even got a bit choked up when she began greeting the crowd in her many languages.  Is it possible that we may have a polyglot in the White House again!

On a related note, David Brooks is an uncritical ass.  His commentary on PBS throughout the convention has been tedious and insipid.  He criticized former President Carter for not specifically addressing “Islamist” terrorism, and his comments after Ms. Kerry’s speech corroborated his lack of critical thinking skills, complaining she did not offer any quirky anecdote about her husband.  What it must be like to be an intelligent (and opinionated) woman in this world who can only be read within the confines of her relationship with a man!  I concede that the only reason she spoke was because her husband is running for president; however, a big chunk of her speech was clearly about women not being allowed to have their own voices:

“I have a very personal feeling about how special America is, and I know how precious freedom is. It is a sacred gift, sanctified by those who have lived it and those who have died defending it. My right to speak my mind, to have a voice, to be what some have called "opinionated," is a right I deeply and profoundly cherish. My only hope is that, one day soon, women—who have all earned the right to their opinions—instead of being labeled opinionated, will be called smart or well-informed, just as men are....

For [John], the names of too many friends inscribed in the cold stone of the Vietnam Memorial testify to the awful toll exacted by leaders who mistake stubbornness for strength. That is why, as president, my husband will not fear disagreement or dissent. He believes that our voices—yours and mine—must be the voices of freedom. And if we do not speak, neither does she.”  --Teresa Heinz Kerry
Ah, if only she would’ve revealed some little personal tale about John, but in Spanish or French(!) as if to say, “I will speak with my own voice, but you must SPEAK MY LANGUAGE.”

Richard Clarke’s assessment of the 9/11 report is well argued and insightful, particularly regarding bureaucratic bottlenecks and institutional failures of imagination.

With the convention going on and my teaching till late in the evening, I haven’t had much time to work on other more meaningful and personal things such as this blog.  But the summer session ends a week from tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment