But You Have To!
“Do you know how difficult it is for women to stand up and say we are the best at anything? The Democratic Party has to know that women are the core, women have to be at the table and women are going to be heard as we continue in these contests until they finally end.”
— Hillary Rodham Clinton
I’m in a rather interesting mood. Pissed as hell and depressed.
I’m starting to allow my heart to realize that Hillary may not win the nomination. She’s not giving up, though, so I’m not either. Hope springs eternal, and I’m going to keep fighting for her as long as she’s willing to keep fighting.
However, I’d be stupid not to look to the future and ask myself just what I’m going to do come November. The question on everyone’s minds is: “Will the Hillary supporters become Obama supporters once the nomination is decided?”
In my mind, there are two questions: Can I support the Democratic nominee if it’s not Hillary, and can I continue to align myself the Democratic party at all after witnessing, reading, or listening to hundreds (or thousands) of misogynistic attacks on Hillary and her supporters by other members of the party ?
I can’t answer for anyone else, and I will make no attempt to dissuade anyone from their own decisions about this, but — at this point, unless something completely changes my mind between now and November — I’ll vote for Barack Obama if he’s the nominee. Any Democratic candidate is – theoretically – better than any Republican. [Theoretically meaning: what’s happened since January 2007 that is different from what happened between 2001 and 2007? Besides more hearings.]
I will no longer be a registered Democrat. I am leaving the party and those members of it who have used hateful language against a Democratic candidate and against fellow Democratic voters who had the temerity not to jump on their bandwagon.
June 2008 will mark the 20th anniversary of my becoming a registered voter. I have not missed an election since I became eligible to vote, and I have always been a Democrat. Until now.
But apparently, that’s just fine with certain parts of the party who tell me they don’t need my vote. Just ask Donna Brazile.
I’m just one of those typical, white, blue-collar, traditional Democratic, over-30 but not quite 40, women to whom $30 in gas savings means a lot (like, a month’s worth of one of my prescriptions, or one month’s phone bill payment, or 15 days’ worth of school lunches for one of my younger kids), who wants clear and direct answers about how a candidate intends to bring our troops home (and when!), solve the economic crisis, restore America’s reputation abroad, close Guantanamo and end America’s human rights abuses, help families who are losing their homes, end our oil dependence, secure women’s full reproductive rights, create equality in the workplace (and every place) for women, minorities, GLBTQs, create jobs, end our financial dependence on China – among many, many other vital issues. In other words: no one important or anything.
Yes, yes, I hear the cries of: “She’s pandering!”
Fuck yes, pander to me! Over the past 7 years, we’ve watched politicians pander to one – and only one – constituency: the rich and powerful. Now — Goddess forbid! — someone wants to pander to the poor, the middle-class, the families, the small businesses, the women? Well, hell yeah!
But Hope and Change© apparently means not pandering to the people in this country who are struggling and need relief from the high cost of food, gasoline, utilities, and every other goddamned thing out there. Hope and Change© aren’t about helping those who — forget making ends meet — can’t even get the ends within sight of one another.
So, when it comes time to cast my ballot, if the nominee is Barack Obama, I’ll suck it up, hold my nose, and press the switch – as an Independent. And I’ll probably, in my bitterness, proclaim as I do so, “May the Goddess have mercy on my soul.” (Yes. I am bitter. I’m bitter because I actually thought Democrats were the party of women, of labor unions, of blue-collar laborers, of the underdogs of society, and boy, I’ve been proven wrong this year.)
But between now and the nomination, I’m going to light my candle, and I’m going to use my teaspoon, and no matter how this turns out, I’m going to know I did my damnedest to elect the first female President of the United States of America.