Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I voted for Hillary and now want Obama to win


To blog is to live.  I knew something wasn't right in my life and then I remembered: Yes, blogging.  Why did I stop?  Because I lost faith momentarily in you, dear reader.  I felt you only read these words, from time to time, to entertain yourself.  Like Jon Stewart's daily show you took in the laughter and the emotional fixes to then carry on drinking diet cokes and eating turkey sandwiches.  Popping your pills, shooting up people in malls, addicted to the internet, to your slavery, furthering the demise of manliness with your asexual, hipster, ironic, cynical fashion statements.  Confusing gender equality with gender similarity, becoming your girlfriend's girlfriend, gossiping and talking about her problems, talking about your problems, using all your cell phone minutes about how upset you are about how your father abused you.  Wake up!  Get over it, work, fight, love, and keep going strong.  No time to cry!  Its a war out there and not just in Iraq.  Its in your head, in the battle for the ideas in your head about how you explain the world to yourself.  You are what you believe.  Which is troubling given that I have been suffering a bout of nihilism lately, a nihilism that can only be cured by Obama.  

I have Obama - mania.  I will confess, I voted for Hillary in the New York primary.  I respect the Clinton's even if they are spineless politicians who do whatever it takes to get elected.  I won't even hold it against Hillary for her Iraq vote, for if we remember correctly, to have voted against the War back then would have been the political equivalent of suicide.  The political atmosphere was too contentious.  Look what happened to rep. Mckinney and Boxer and other politicians who stood up to the tide of groupthink that had overtaken the country post 9/11.  Their careers are over and Hillary, along with many others understood the necessity of the being for the war, regardless of how they may have personally felt about it.  Politics is a dirty game and survival is far more important than ideals and convictions.

Hillary understands just how centrist one needs to be to be effective.  This is what is her strength and her weakness and what people love and hate about her.  But she is a practical liberal, someone who feels power is more important than conviction and taking a stance.  This is a fine strategy and one employed by many of the politically savvy.  But it comes with risk.  Its a defensive strategy, one which doubts the inherent power to be a change-maker, someone who could shift the tide of opinion if only they stood up for what they felt was right.  Politics is the art of the possible and the difficulty is knowing just when you will be the change you wish to seek versus being left out in the cold.  I got burned with Nader in 2000.  I ignored all the practical people who told me that it was a wasted vote.  But I carried on because I felt I would be right, that Nader, with his third party politics, would be the change the system so desperately needed.  But I was I was wrong and this election season I was determined not to be duped again.  That is why I voted for the more prudent choice, Hillary, and ignored Obama's hope mongering.    

I voted for Hillary because of her viability, because I felt she was playing the game and when elected would be a voice of reason and change on issues that everyday American's face.  All of her pandering, her politicking I felt was a ply to just get the position and once in it, she would be different.  Its what successful politicians do, George W included who panders and promises, delivering mixed results, but his support base supports him because they understand the importance of compromise in politics.  Democrats, mistakenly, expect the world from their candidate, they want nothing but an outright saviour.  

We can't expect the president of the US to deliver us from all our problems.  That is not their role.  They are more CEO than king.  That is why I felt Hillary was a good conservative bet.  Since my vote, I have changed my opinion.  Obama, with his momentum and skillful organization has demonstrated his viability.  Who doesn't want Obama to be president?  To many of us he was a risky choice.  These past 8 years have been too difficult to warrant huge risks in November, costing the democratic party the election for its flirtations with idealism.  But since super tuesday things are different.  Obama is nothing short of a phenomenon.  And what was seen as his weakness, his race, is turning out to be his strength.

Hillary has insinuated that Republicans will have a field day in bashing Obama given his limited experience against their dirty tactics (think Karl Rove).  But its evident that its far easier to attack Hillary than Obama, for any attack on Obama is seen as being a bit unfair given his inherent underdog status and the danger that it will be misconstrued as racism.  His blackness is kryptonite to Republican tactics.  It provides him with a certain immunity that Hillary doesn't have.

Yes, Hillary has more experience, is more savvy and highly intelligent.  Her dismay at people falling for rhetoric and poetry over substance is understandable.  But I will say that in these troubled times, symbols and what they represent are more important than she may care to acknowledge.  Everyone wants to feel that they are "making" history.  Everyone wants to show the world that United States of America is the greatest country in the history of countries, that in can take a grandchild of a Kenyan sheep herder and exalt him to one of the most important jobs on the planet.  That has its own measured effects and is not just empty rhetoric.  And as far as substance goes, Obama is seasoned and supported enough to get good people around him.  One look at who advises him shows that he is not completely from out of space.  That part will take care of itself, what he provides as symbol is far more important at this moment in history.  He has become the more prudent choice, the better candidate and I am certain that if he is nominated by the Democratic party for President, in November, I will vote for him.      





4 comments:

george said...

You disgust me. You are as vile as the people you describe in your first paragraph because you only now have woken up.
If it takes you this long to do so, I'd rather have you lay back to bed lest you are caught sleepwalking once again on election day.
You snake.
GK

Anonymous said...

Hey, I finally checked out your blog! I read your Obama piece. It's good! But I disagree entirely: people will vote for him partly out of symbolism (to try to close the book on the guilt of racism), but symbolism isn't what'll make him an important and potentially transformative president. Rather, his international outlook (Obama will be the first president ever, I am pretty sure, not to believe that the U.S. is the greatest country in history and the bestower of exceptional lessons that only we can impart to others) and his background as a community organizer (helping him to understand poverty like no other president) will help him transform America's relationships with both our adversaries and our allies and will help him recalibrate our domestic priorities. The feel-good rhetoric will help him get elected. But the feel-good rhetoric alone won't help him transform our political discourse; rather, it will be the substance of the man, and his background, and his unique perspe
ctives, both domestic and international--all these will change America. The Republicans will attack Obama as without substance; I pray that his campaign, while continuing the future-looking, hopeful oratory, will not forget to point out the rock-firm substance behind the eloquent speeches.

Anonymous said...

Also, your blog entry makes the same argument about Obama that people made about Bush: it's OK if he's inexperienced, because he'll get good people around him. Look how that turned out. The point is that Obama is qualitatively so far different from Bush (that is, he is intelligent and informed and curious and well-read and thoughtful and perceptive and self-critical) that we don't need to make that same argument. Do you think that if Obama were only rhetoric, with no substance behind him, that I'd support him? Hell no! I'd vote for Hillary. What is so exciting about him is that he combines the charisma and rhetoric that has eluded candidates past (Gore, Kerry) with the substance we Democrats have always had in abundance. It is ABSOLUTELY WRONG to support him just because of his rhetoric and the symbolism of his race, as you seem to do. Rhetoric wedded to substance, though, should (I pray) prove unbeatable come November.

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