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The path seems clearer now

I have to say, up until yesterday I had not made up my mind yet on how I was going to vote come November.

If you are wondering what kind of person would have been supporting Hillary Clinton and sending her donations till the very end, you're looking at one. Also, I would be lying if I said that I was not dissapointed when she didn't get the nomination. It did not come as a surprise, but it was dissapointing all the same.

Having said that, one cannot deny what the old girl accomplished. The glass ceiling for women was not broken, but it now features 18 million cracks. One for each person who voted for her. I am proud to know that one of those cracks has my name on it.

There are several misconceptions about Hillary fans:

a) That Hillary voters will automatically vote for John McCain out of spite. Perhaps this will be true for some people, but voting out of spite is like cutting your nose off to spite your face;
b) That Hillary voters will remain home or do a write in for Hillary come November out of spite. This is entirely possible, but again, most of us are commited to the election process and I don't think that there will be a majority of people doing that; and
c) That Hillary voters will automatically back Obama out of loyalty to the party (or because Hillary asked nicely). Again, some people may do that, but this may not be entirely true either.

I cannot respond for other Hillary people, but I can speak for myself: I picked Hillary because I was convinced (and I still am), that she was the best candidate for President of this country. The woman has the common sense, the experience, the intelligence and the chutzpah that I would like on a President. The fact that she's a woman is the icing on the cake. However, since there can be only one, somebody has to get the nomination and someone has to lose it. Alas, Hillary's nomination was not in the cards at this time, although her race for the Presidency did bring to light the ugly issue of mysoginism in general.

No, I don't think that she lost the race due to mysoginism. She lost the race because we have a flawed system for picking Democratic candidates; she had an opponent that ran a brilliant campaign; and said opponent has "star power" which you are born with and no money in the world can buy. She ran a brilliant campaign herself, and in the end, she ended up with nearly a draw. It was like a horse race with two steeds of the best breed ending in a photo finish. Obama won by a nose, but he won all the same.

Having said that, this whole process also taught us that although racism is not socially acceptable, mysoginism is. Hopefully, by acknowledging this, we will be better prepared to fight it. We cannot fight monsters unless we acknowledge their existence.

On the other hand, I feel that Hillary at this point went from being the Energizer Bunny to Obi Wan Kenobi. Remember? "If you strike me down, I will become more powerful that you could ever imagine." This whole thing has brought her a lot of power in a different manner, and she has become an iconic figure in this culture with star power of her own and the power that comes with it.

And that's nothing to sneeze at.

But going back to the dilemma of November. After Hillary announced that she had suspended her campaign, and that she was endorsing Obama, I was left with a choice candidates (Obama and McCain) that I didn't like. (And I don't like the Libertarian either.) At that point, I decided that whoever was to get my vote, would have to earn it.

Nevertheless, yesterday, after reading about the reactions of the two candidates regarding the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Guantanamo, and after paying a visit to John McCain's website and giving careful consideration to his message, my decision has been made: My vote will go to Barack Obama this November.

No, I don't buy into the whole silly Obama messianic vibe. (For one thing, messiahs have the bad habit of finding themselves nailed to trees.) But by the same token I cannot vote for a candidate (McCain) who thinks that the ruling in the Guantanamo case was a mistake, that wants to appoint more extremely conservative judges to the Supreme Court, that wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, and whose message sounds extreme right and not bipartisan or moderate in the least. Perhaps it is that he's trying to make nice with his evangelical base who tolerates him more than cheers for him. The point is, I cannot risk giving him my vote in the hopes that he will not cater to the extreme right and that in the end he will do the right thing and reach for the center.

So yeah, it will be Obama in November, and let's see what the future brings.

Belfebe out.

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Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
chargirlgenius
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
that wants to appoint more extremely conservative judges to the Supreme Court

That's something that I wish every centrist would consider. Many of the more liberal judges are getting older. It's not unlikely that the next president will have a significant impact on the makeup of the Supreme Court. I would think that a true centrist would want a balanced court for our nation. A conservative president this time around = a heavily conservative court for years to come.
belfebe
Jun. 13th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, for me, that was the dealbreaker.
dominyk
Jun. 13th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
"extreme right and not bipartisan or moderate in the least"

McCain has been one of THE most bipartisan senators. He is willing to cross party lines with a frequency that really frustrates Republicans(including calling for the closing of Gitmo).

Obama on the other hand.....has a voting record in the senate that is partisan bordering on extreme. His record, as judged by a liberal think tank, is more partisan that the senator who lists his party as "Socialist".

I really don't expect you, as a Clinton supporter, to vote for a Republican. But you should know from watching the primary process that there is nothing moderate about Obama.
belfebe
Jun. 13th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, McCain's record on bipartisanship is what made me seriously consider voting for him. That's one of his plusses and, if he wins, a source of hope. But I was really dissapointed at his reaction on Gitmo (though I know that he wants to close it, to his credit), and his promise to ultra-conservatives to appoint more ultra-conservative judges to the Supreme Court really put me off.

I know that Obama has very many flaws, and I am not particularly keen on the man. In fact, I hate his guts. But at this point is the making of a choice between two candidates that have not really convinced me that they are the best, and his plan includes support for issues such as Roe v. Wade. I don't think that he's that moderate either, and that's why I did not support him in the first place.

The problem is, I think that McCain is trying very hard to appease the extreme right, which is the most vociferous side of the Republican party. This is very sad, because I want to think that he's better than that. I wish I could be reassured that once elected he would go back to his moderate roots, but I don't know that.

If he wasn't trying so hard to appease the evangelicals and mess with the Judicial system, he'd probably have my vote. Hands down.

Sigh.
dominyk
Jun. 13th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
btw here is what Republicans are voting for
http://www.imvotingrepublican.com/
belfebe
Jun. 13th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :-)
dante_di_pietro
Jun. 13th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind voting for a small-government Republican, but I refuse to vote for anyone who has anything to do with Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and that ilk. People who view science as the enemy have no business influencing policy.
belfebe
Jun. 13th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
My point exactly.
dante_di_pietro
Jun. 13th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52yTqMcwuQE&feature=related

Christopher Hitchens is my hero.

One of them. Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins are up there too.
belfebe
Jun. 14th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
That was an awesome interview.
laughing_fox
Jun. 13th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
You know, what has me still steering away from Obama is the fact that he is so heavily influenced by his close associates & advisors. The fact that these people are dropping like flies due to various legal issues, political gaffs, etc. does not give me hope for his candidacy. These were to be his dream-team and future cabinet. We've had a weak president w/bad advisors for 8 years, can we afford another one?

If nothing else, at least McCain has proven he can stand on his own two feet. I don't always agree with the crusty old bastard. But as long as we vote in a more democratic congress he'll be forced to compromise to get anything done. That I can live with.
belfebe
Jun. 13th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
I know. I have the utmost respect for McCain, and this is what makes it so difficult.

At this point, I may switch to voting for Cthulu. :-D
ballistabob
Jun. 13th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
Absolutely! Why vote for the lesser evil?
gianetta
Jun. 13th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
Obama
I was ambivalent about the party nomination, but I'm definitely voting Obama. Anyone who supports what Clinton (either of them) stands for is going to have more in common with Obama than with McCain. I do respect some things about McCain and trust him not to destroy my country, but I do *not* want him to be our President.
belfebe
Jun. 13th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Obama
It was a hard decision for me. On one hand, I have a guy who has the experience and the track record for bipartisanism. The fact that the evangelicals hate him despite of him being their candidate is a plus, not a minus in my book. The drawback is that he seems to be catering to the latter, probably to garner support to his cause, and that really worries me.

On the other hand, I have a candidate that has absolutely no experience, and who is riding more on personality than on a real plan. On top of that, he rubs me the wrong way for very many reasons. To say I do not like him does not begin to describe it. But I am willing to give him my reluctant vote in exchange for not weakening our Judicial system.

Sigh.

Then again, there's always 2012. That will be Hillary all the way.
gianetta
Jun. 13th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Obama
It disturbs me that his inexperience is one of his biggest selling points, but at this point, I'm thinking damage control. We need a President that will not invade Iran and will help us return to our position of influence in the world. Today, people listen to us because we have big guns, not because we're a shining beacon of democracy. The world needs that beacon, and invading and occupying countries in the Middle East is working against it.

I am just grateful that Bush's eight years are up. I will be celebrating in November and January regardless of the outcome, but I'm really hoping it won't be McCain.
belfebe
Jun. 13th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Obama
Amen.
thanate
Jun. 13th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC)
Having said that, this whole process also taught us that although racism is not socially acceptable, mysoginism is.

This is an awfully strong statement about a race where one of them had to lose.

Perhaps I don't have a good perspective to make this judgement, given that I've only been on the fringes of corporate America and suchlike, but I think purely in terms of a role model there are more undereducated black kids who need to be told "If a black man can be president, you can damn well finish high school," than little girls who want to be astronauts or engineers or lawyers that need a woman president to look up to.

Not that this has anything to do with what person would make a better president, or anything....
belfebe
Jun. 13th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
This is an awfully strong statement about a race where one of them had to lose.

Yes, and one that is true. However, if you read carefully what I wrote, you will see that I did not imply that Hillary lost because of mysoginism. I said that her opponent ran a brilliant campaign, and that there would be a winner and that there would be a loser. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

What I said is that mysoginism reared its ugly head in very many aspects, all accross the board. And that yes, saying something racist is frowned upon (as it well should), but saying something like "press my shirt" or "who wants to see a woman age over the years in public?" was okay.

Racism is a very bad thing, and as such, not acceptable. But we cannot turn a blind eye to the reality of mysoginism.
thanate
Jun. 13th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
I apologize; I misunderstood the reasons behind your statement-- I do my best to avoid campaign politics in general (in a particularly pointless protest against our appallingly inefficient election process) and thus have not been hearing whatever snide and inappropriate comments have been made.
belfebe
Jun. 13th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
No problem. :-)
imitateslife
Jun. 16th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
...this whole process also taught us that although racism is not socially acceptable, mysoginism is.

I went into the primary not sure if I fell on the Clinton or the Obama side of the fence, came out leaning much more towards Obama (for various reasons), but even so I was appalled by how much vitriolic hatred was tossed towards Clinton - and how much of that seemed gender-related. It was really disconcerting and unpleasant.
belfebe
Jun. 16th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
I know. Regardless on who was the candidate of one's preference, the whole hatred tossed to Clinton, particularly because of her gender, was extremely disturbing.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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