Sunday, June 08, 2008

Moving Forward

Now that Hillary has conceded and pulled out of the race (very graciously and with a commendable strong endorsement of Obama) you'd think it would finally put a stop to all those Clinton supporters who claimed that they would rather vote for McCain than Obama in the general election. A brief moment of insanity, you might think, to illustrate how upset they are that their chosen candidate didn't make it through.

Yeah. You'd think.

Instead, it seems that the insanity is here to stay. There are still plenty of Clinton supporters (I won't say Clintonites because I'd actually question their commitment to Clinton the actual person, given that they are still prepared to disregard her very-clearly-stated wishes) who are even more determined than ever to vote JM rather than BO at the general election. For a full explanation of why (not that much substantive explanation is ever given) – the crazy can be located here. Otherwise, I shall explain “why” given the evidence available.

(1)It seems that a lot of women are upset that their next president will not also be a woman. This seems fairly understandable, given that there has been a tendency amongst american feminists to attack women who decided against voting for Clinton – one could extend that (without too much difficulty) and claim that it was purely misogyny that stopped Clinton from being nominated, thus the other democratic candidate should not be voted for. It's still insane though. The whole idea that Clinton should be voted for because she is a woman and that-is-what-a-feminist would do was completely insane (I articulated this in an earlier post). It wouldn't happen in the UK because (a) we've already had a woman PM and (b) this leads us to think that just having A.Woman in post is not preferable to having the right woman in post. Thus (I hypothesise) feminists in the UK would be more likely to make the claim (as I did) that treating Clinton's policies with the same scrutiny you would for any other candidate and deciding on that basis is actually more respectful and feminist than anything else. As I said before, I'd guess that this is down to differing experiences, so the insanity is relative.

So, we're at the point where a lot of women will not vote for Obama because of perceived misogyny from that campaign (I won't even explore that claim here as this post is already too long). So instead they'll vote for a crazy republican – republican party being the one that wants to erode women's rights. Yeah – makes sense. Get your shit together, ladies.

(2)There are a lot of comments on these pro-clinton vote mccain websites that are along the lines of “Obama will be the worst President ever and is doing horrendous things to the Democratic party” without ever explaining what these horrendous things are or how he would be the worst President. The fact that no-one can articulate what these terrible things actually are leads me to what is really an horrible conclusion: a lot of these people are racist. Not openly, perhaps not even consciously, but I can't see that there's any other conclusion to come to. How else does one explain that voting republican is SO MUCH BETTER than voting for someone your chosen candidate endorses? Is it 'coz he is black? Erm... yes, I suspect it is.

I know that I am/would be biased – I cannot imagine voting Conservative in an UK election because of what the Conservatives stand for, even if the candidate for Labour is not to my own personal taste. If I was in the US, I can imagine that emotions run high during primaries – it was tough (wonderfully so – there was real choice) and there was history to be made every step of the way. But in the end, it was only a primary. The real fight, the important fight, is yet to be had. Whatever differentiated Clinton and Obama, what unites them is a belief in change and that four years of a democrat president would be better than four more years of a republican. Most supporters of Clinton know this and embrace this. To those who don't – really, I think you totally deserve whatever shit you get and you certainly deserve the shit you've received in the last eight years.

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