With the end of the Democratic Party primary, I took some time today to review two speeches (Hilary Clintonâ€™s concession & Barack Obamaâ€™s St. Paul, MN, address). I listened to Senator Clintonâ€™s speech first because of 2 major factors: 1) The meme going about that somehow Senator Clintonâ€™s die-hard supporters could vote for McCain and 2) The months-long barrage of sexist attacks made upon the senator by the right-wing noise machine that ended up being echoed by the MSM.
Let me qualify all of this to say that I am an Edwards supporter. His â€œTwo Americasâ€ theme resonated with me so deeply on so many levels that in my head I amended it to â€œMany Americas.â€ We are a country of many different classes, races, cultures and sexes/orientation. All of these vying for a piece of the fabled American pie only to be disappointed with the measly little crumbs of patronizing lip service.
I became politically aware with Ronald Reagan, Abortion Rights, AIDS, Lyndon LaRouche and Immigrant Amnesty in Southern California. I was 13 in 1980 in a private Catholic school, a bit of a rebel and watching my family unit disintegrate in divorce. I watched my mom work three jobs while my dad went to Hawaii on vacation. I watched fear of and hate for people who were different and dying become accepted and expected. I cast my first vote in a presidential campaign in 1988 for Michael Dukakis (really against GHWB) and spent the next four years horrified by things like the Savings and Loan Scandal, the first Gulf War and the invasion of Panama. While I am not a member of the Democratic Party, I have never voted for a Republican. I have always been an issues voter and they land in two categories â€“ my right to dominion over my body and the protection of civil rights.
Now, reading that paragraph most people would come to the conclusion that I would be a supporter of Clinton. Nope. She voted to give The Idiot the authorization for preemptive strike and never admitted personal culpability. I donâ€™t trust her to not hold on to the expanded powers of the presidency that were manufactured by the current administration. IMO she is too much of a centrist (like her husband) to really bring the fight to the right (beyond pointing the finger of conspiracy) and too beholden to corporate interests to want to. The fact that she is a woman never made it into my mind as a factor either for or against her â€“ I simply didnâ€™t think it mattered. I wasnâ€™t surprised that it became a huge crutch for the MSM and the right-wing noise machine to exploit. I was disappointed to hear the same â€œstoriesâ€ perpetuated on the left â€“ â€œthe nag,â€ â€œthe cleavage,â€ â€œthe husband.â€ It wasnâ€™t until today, hearing her concession speech that I realized how much I care about a female becoming president of the United States someday.
Lines like this got me in the gut as it was designed to do:
To all those women in their 80s and their 90s born before women could vote who cast their votes for our campaign. Iâ€™ve told you before about Florence Steen of South Dakota, who was 88 years old, and insisted that her daughter bring an absentee ballot to her hospice bedside. Her daughter and a friend put an American flag behind her bed and helped her fill out the ballot. She passed away soon after, and under state law, her ballot didnâ€™t count. But her daughter later told a reporter, â€œMy dadâ€™s an ornery old cowboy, and he didnâ€™t like it when he heard momâ€™s vote wouldnâ€™t be counted. I donâ€™t think he had voted in 20 years. But he voted in place of my mom.â€
Bob and I got to talking about it. It is embarrassing and shameful that the US has not had a female or minority executive (pres or veep) when you can point to a lot of other countries who have beat â€œour great democracyâ€ to both the race and/or gender barriers. I am not going to make a lot of gender-based arguments about why a female would be a good/better/best choice. Frankly, I donâ€™t think the sex of a candidate matters. However, I do believe that a lot of qualified, talented and ambitious women have been overlooked and flat-out discouraged because of their sex. It will take the concerted effort of women across the country to raise additional well qualified, female candidates, again and again until one finally manages to win the nomination and the office. This country needs to grow up and stop thinking like a straight adolescent with his first PlayboyÂ® magazine. I am not sure how long this is going to take but I am willing to believe it can happen in my lifetime.
As for the BS about voting for McCainâ€¦
First, read this from Tbogg and if you are a supporter of Clinton, you are not going to easily vote for a man who can do that. If you care at all about controlling your reproductive rights (male or female) you will not vote for a man who has this kind of record. If you care about healthcare, veteransâ€™ rights, the economy and Iraq you are not going to toss your support for Clinton out the window for a man whose record and intent is diametrically opposed to your former candidate. So, time to grow up and suck it up, boys and girls. We can still make history here and start the long, difficult clean up after this tragic 8 year frat party.
UPDATE: Don’t just take my word for it! Go see Christy!