by J J Cohen
So you may have noticed that I don't mention United States politics very much here. In part that absence is due to this blog's focus upon all things medieval ... but then again, our recurring thesis is that the past isn't easily separable from the present -- and indeed that the separation itself says more about the desires of an interpreter than it does about how history and temporality work. This palimpsestic notion of time is one reason medievalism hold such promise for medieval studies.
But I'm not a Bruce Holsinger or a Michael Moore. My politics are probably, I admit, too visceral and too shallow. I'm a caricature of a liberal academic, only I'm a living and breathing one, rather than a fellow from one of those university-focused exposés that were so popular in the 1980s. My destiny, I plead, was set by the circumstances of my birth.
You see, I was born on election day in 1964. My mother cast her vote for Lyndon Johnson and went immediately into labor. I imagine that she pulled the lever and the contractions began, but she denies that it happened quite that swiftly. Can I help that I have been a lifetime democrat ever since? (The one exception was a mayoral election in DC, when I voted socialist to avoid voting Marion Barry back into office). I should also admit that the blueness of my blood might owe something to having come into the world at Mount Auburn hospital in Cambridge, MA ... an, um, slightly liberal city. And did I mention that Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank were my political heroes growing up?
So I haven't much to say about politics, since liberal is one of those words I never ceded, even after Mike Dukakis did. But I will point out the following: on November 4 2008 I will turn 44 years old. I am fairly certain that Destiny will be giving me my best birthday present ever, a democrat in the White House. So to all you Barack supporters I say: stop worrying. My mom set everything into motion nearly forty-four years ago, and now we can enjoy the outcome at last.