Charisma and values are not mutually exclusive
Ian Reid responds to my article on my surprise that the NDP will keep Carole James as the leader for the next provincial election by attacking me personally, saying “When a middle-aged, schlumpy and just average comedian complains about a woman’s lack of charisma, my first thought is, there’s a guy who’s not getting a lot of dates.”
Yet, in a recent blog post he says: “Some people say that the antipathy to Carole James is based in sexism – that many guys can’t relate to her because she’s a woman. I’m not going to make that claim. It’s too easy and too simple.” So I hope he remembers to add an asterisk to that sentence. *unless, of course, I'm talking about Lalo Espejo.
If I called Carole James, or any female schlumpy and unable to get a date, I'd be the biggest dick in the world, and yet this his first line of defence? (although I do understand that the truth is the best defence against libel: Okay I'm schlumpy, so sue me)
Reid (I'm not sure what he looks like, but I'm sure people date him for his mind) spends time focusing on my use of the word “charismatic,” pointing out that Bill Vander Zalm was charismatic, and look what that got us: a whole lotta nothin'. I agree.
The problem, however, is that I'm merely using the word 'charismatic' in the dictionary sense.
But then, we idiots don't have the same facility with language that the Ian Reid's of the world do, making words mean whatever he wants.
Charisma (according to the OED): “Ability to inspire followers with devotion and enthusiasm.” He's thinking David Koresh and I'm thinking Aung San Suu Kyi (Whoever she is...I'm an idiot!). Reid seems to think that, let me put it this way, “leadership qualities” and “Ideas” are mutually exclusive. I don't. You'd think someone who was a political operative might get that.
Carole James had two chances to win, including the last election, where, I say again, the provincial hate-on for Gordon Campbell was thick. I'm still dumbfounded that the NDP could have lost.
Reid is right about one thing, though. He says “When it’s a guy who, according to his website, says he’s angry about the provincial government’s huge cuts to the arts my second thought is, there’s a real idiot who’s not getting a lot of dates.”
I'm not sure how the first half of that sentence fits with the second, but he's right. My anger over the Liberal's cuts to the arts is a huge date-getting hindrance.
Her: Do you want to order the Merlot?
Me: Did you even hear me? I said, I'M ENTITLED TO MY ENTITLEMENTS!”
But seriously, I don't know what that has to do with the price of a bus ticket to a polling station.
Reid enumerates the achievements of former NDP premiere's in various states of charismatic dress. He tells us all the good things that the current NDP would do. I want those things, too. But it's pretty useless if the party's unelectable because of it's leader. It's like Reid thinks I just made that up. Hey, I just invented the novel concept that leaders need to have some kind of presence and perceived authority in order to win! Quick, someone offer me an honorary doctorate in political science!
As a professor in the Women's Studies Department just told me, James' values are irrelevant if not enough people can connect with her.
Ian Reid and I are exactly on the same page. We both want an NDP government the next time around. On the subject of the arts, this province has never had as eloquent a champion as Spencer Herbert. Pretty useless, though, if you don't have the leadership to get you there.
This isn't just my personal view. How on God's earth can the Liberals even be close to being tied with the NDP right now? If Ian Reid doesn't think that's tied to leadership, well....
I'll ponder that while lying in a blubbering heap in my schlumpy clothes. Dateless.