Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Final Chapter

Tonight will be the last night of the Hillary Clinton campaign in my eyes. Hillary and Terry McAuliffe may decide to continue her campaign and pressure superdelegates to believe she's the stronger candidate in November vs. McCain with the hope of tipping the scales....(etc)

....but for now Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for President.

A Boston Globe article published today communicated some of my feelings about the end of the contest for the Democratic nomination — that Clinton is stronger than McCain in the fall, that Obama is losing steam, not gaining it — with a clarity that other MSM articles I have read of late have lacked.

The reason I maintain this blog, however, is to do more than quote other sources and offer merely tidbits of my own thoughts opposite newspaper articles, and I can't help but concede that my attitudes towards tonight's news do not place me squarely under the canopy of the "Clinton-Democrats" or with the "Obama-Democrats." Neither of those titles can encapsulate all of my opinions, but that is far from a bad thing and I feel I am one of millions of Democrats who are conflicted, inspired, cautious, but concerned for the Democratic Party more than anything else.

In short, here's what I'm thinking tonight:

Obama is the first african-American to be the nominee of a major political party in our nation's history and it makes me proud.

Clinton has never been a stronger candidate than she's been over the past two months, but after tonight her motives for remaining in the race are too clear—to pray that superdelegates will decide she's stronger than McCain and begin moving to her side over the summer.

If I were a superdelegate I would look at the polls in battleground states and would support Clinton in an instant. But if I were ACTUALLY a superdelegate I would not dare to back Clinton after tonight's claiming of victory by Obama.

Racism and sexism are both wrong and can't be measured against each other. The two are equally indefensible in all their forms.

At my private high school in Cambridge, MA I heard Hillary Clinton publicly called a "bitch" on numerous occasions and observed Microsoft Paint creations of Hillary Clinton paired with a giant cartoon penis while teachers turned a blind eye. In one class this year I was one of three Hillary Clinton supporters, but the only one who dared to admit it. In that class of eleven students the teacher was a fervent Obama supporter and would argue Obama's strengths in front of the class while dismissing any cases to be made for Hillary Clinton. In one of the most liberal environments in the nation I felt silenced by fellow Democrats.

I will never "withdraw" my support for Hillary Clinton. Over the past six months I have seen a truly inspiring, passionate, authentic, effective, and strong candidate arise out of a Hillary Clinton I had previously written off as entitled and machine-like. I don't think it's wrong or destructive to the Democratic party to consider myself a supporter of Ms. Clinton in the way that I'm still an avid supporter of Joe Biden and Chris Dodd.

White voters in recent primary states voted for Hillary Clinton because they wouldn't vote for a black man. Call it "blue collar" or "working class," but it is what happened. It's an important trend to notice, and I fear Barack Obama will struggle to win the general election versus John McCain this November for this and other reasons, but it is my larger ideological responsibility as a supporter of universal health care, of energy independence, of a more dignified immigration system, of returning diplomacy to foreign affairs, and for (although it will be more difficult than any of us can imagine) to changing the way business is done in Washington, that I am now supporting Barack Obama.

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