Its Hillary All the Way Down

No human being is a category of person. Categories are abstractions instantiated in our minds that we use to organize experiences. Don’t take my word for it, just ask Aristotle.

Yes, all human beings fall into various categories of people. But those categories don’t tell you all that much about the people within them. Imagine you own an auto-repair business. You need to hire a new mechanic. One day a guy named Todd shows up and applies for the position. Todd just happens to be a seven-foot-tall, gay, left-handed, Muslim Asian-American with a unibrow and a mild form of Tourette’s syndrome. In his off hours he’s a big fan of anarcho-capitalist short stories, but he votes for the Green Party in every election. In short, Todd’s an interesting guy. He’s also a fantastic mechanic. And once you can get past the fact that he occasionally shouts “Your mother sews socks that smell”* and “Allahu akbar! This muffler is a mess!” you realize he’s a huge asset to your business.

Then one day Todd tells you that he’s going to quit because he wants to help his boyfriend Chad open a homoerotic necrophilia-themed nightclub in Miami called “Hanging Chad’s.” Now you need a new mechanic. Odds are that when you post the job listing at or wherever, you won’t list any of those things as requirements. “Seeking Very Tall Gay Muslim Who Likes Randian Fan Fiction, Voted for Nader, and Who Shouts Profanity at Awkward Moments to Fix Cars. Must Have Unibrow and Supply Own Set of Left-Handed Tools”: This is not the best way to attract the best mechanic.

In other words, categories are interesting, even important, but they don’t tell you as much about a person as some claim.

via Its Hillary All the Way Down.


4 thoughts on “Its Hillary All the Way Down”

  1. Funny!

    “When someone asks, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a female president?’ the correct answer, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, to be sure, is ‘Yes.'”

    I know Goldberg just went to a lot of trouble to separate the two questions, but for whatever it’s worth, I’ve heard some people argue that it wouldn’t be great to have a female president, either. For whatever it’s worth, I think the only people I’ve heard make such an argument are women.

    1. Add me to the list, and my husband thinks there would be drawbacks– basically, the issue is that a lot of the bad guys are sexist idiots, but it won’t matter that they’re wrong if they all decide to attack.

      About the only defense would be if the bad guys all thought she was either a puppet or she pulled a Reagan and they were all sure she was crazy enough to nuke them if they pissed her off. Neither of which is probable with a democrat woman. Doctor Rice might be able to pull it off, since I know she did a lot of stuff that “said” the right thing culturally…

      But yeah, other than quite conversations, I’ve never heard it from anyone but women, too. Well, other than rather dumb jokes about nuking places once a month, which always come from folks that would vote for Hillary.

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