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Jewish World Review Nov. 11, 1999 /2 Kislev, 5760

Cal Thomas

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From the Macarena to 'Victor/Victoria' --
THE UNOFFICIAL CAMPAIGN theme song and dance of the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign was the Macarena. This time around, with Gore running for president, it appears the unofficial theme will be "Victor/Victoria,'' with Al Gore in the lead role of a man playing a woman playing a man.

This off-Broadway production is being produced by Naomi Wolf, the feminist writer who has been advising Gore's presidential campaign. Her salary reduced from $15,000 to $5,000 per month, Wolf says she'd work for Gore for free if she didn't have to be the breadwinner for her family, leaving one to question what kind of man she's turned her husband into.

Appearing on last Sunday's "This Week'' program on ABC, Wolf tried to explain why she is ga-ga over Gore. Her meandering and content-less answer to a question from Cokie Roberts set the stage for what followed: "Because I think the American people are much more focused on if they knew the substance of the reason I'm at the table of the Gore campaign, they'd be pleased and interested and glad to know, because they're the substance of what American families are concerned about.''

Come again? Can anyone diagram that sentence, much less explain its meaning?

But beyond the alpha and the beta -- her descriptions of male types that she said had been "taken out of context'' -- Wolf outlined her vision for women, which has the government as the ultimate mother figure providing every woman's need: "(Women) think about how difficult it is to be good parents and good workers. No matter how hard they try, they are overstretched. They are tired, they are not having the supports they need to build a strong family life that they want.'' Wolf wonders, "Who's taking care of kids after school between 3 and 6 p.m.?'' She intimates, along with Al(pha) Gore, that the answer to that question is the government.

For Wolf, only a government headed by Al Gore can do for women what they apparently are incapable of doing themselves. Wolf's children and our children are at risk if Gore isn't elected, she tells us. Apparently, parents should have little say in the future of their own kids, and teaching them to get naked with one another in school and to masturbate, as she prescribes in her book, "Promiscuities,'' are two of her recommended strategies to keep them so preoccupied that they won't give their parents or the country any trouble.

Wolf's memory of recent history makes it seem she has just emerged from a re-education camp. To her, Gore was involved in ending the Cold War because "he cared about it. He actually believed something could be done and he sat down -- and you know, he's a father with a family, he cared about it for his kids' sake, and for all our kids' sake. And he learned what needed to be learned about how to create a solution to what seemed like an intractable problem .... He joined others in believing that there was hope in a situation that seemed hopeless.'' This is historically ignorant psychobabble. Gore was a nuclear freezer who opposed the peace-through-strength policies of the Reagan administration that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall 10 years ago.

A more mature feminist, Camille Paglia, who thinks like a woman, not a girl, put Wolf's silly and often-incomprehensible remarks in the proper perspective. On CBS' "Face the Nation,'' Paglia said Wolf is a "lightweight'' with a "Seventeen-magazine level of thinking.''

Wolf claims that no candidate agrees with everything each advisor stands for, but clearly Gore thinks she can help persuade young women for whom feelings are everything to vote for him. The scary thing is, what if she's right?

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