Late Night FDL: In which I am sad
Not one of my usual link-rich posts. Be warned.
I’m going to turn this over to Gary Farber, from Amygdala
As for Clinton’s speech, what I have to say is this: it’s over. Obama won. It’s time now to come together, and unite the party to defeat John McCain and the Republicans in November.
I’d like to see us all focus on that, and avoid any actions or statements that would get in the way of that.
Senator Clinton moved off the stage last night, and that was her last moment to shine for her supporters. I don’t begrudge her in the least focusing on them then, and beginning the process of bringing them down and towards supporting Obama for president as gradually as she sees fit. Let her have her last night of sun, and let her supporters take all they can from it, which is little enough: remember, for them, last night was a crushing and horribly depressing moment. It was a loss. It was a recognition that for all those who aren’t in completely InsanityLand, it’s over.
That’s terribly hard to go through. It’s like a death in the family when you care that much. I know what it’s like to see your hopes and dreams disappear for years, decades, perhaps a lifetime, with a political loss.
And for so many people, and particularly so many women, this was yet another blow to women, and however we may want to debate the reality of the issues, and the statements, and their truth, and all those other things that matter to *us*, to so many women, all that matters is that yet again, victory was, as they see it, snatched from a woman, the patriarchy triumphed, and Wrong Was Done.
Let them down gently. Do your best to welcome them back. Help them through the Kubler Ross process.
We need everyone we can get to defeat McCain, and save lives around the planet, and help us turn America back towards the country we know it can be.
There’s time enough for Senator Clinton to formally endorse Obama, and to begin campaigning for him. Give it that time. Give time for the five stages of grief, which only began last night for all those supporters of Senator Clinton.
No matter that, yes, it was over by Texas and Pennslyvania: they didn’t see that, and that’s not their reality. We’re talking emotions, and hopes, and dreams, and the feelings of people who have felt kicked in this huge part of their identity all their life.
Telling them, or expecting them, to be all rational about it just isn’t reasonable, because people don’t work that way.
People have feelings. Let them have them.
This is the beginning of June. Give them a couple of weeks. Please. Put yourself in their shoes, and have some compassion for their human frailties.
It’s the right thing to do.
No matter all the logical arguments in the world. This isn’t about logic. And — irony that this is me saying it — it isn’t always about logic and rationality and what’s correct or true or objective.
Sometimes it’s about letting hurt people grieve in their own way, and being kind to them while they’re doing it.
Let’s all try to be our best possible selves about this? Okay?
And to the people who will show up to complain about how selfish and wrong the Clinton supporters are, and how righteously we deserve to tell them to grow up, and behave better, and so on and so forth: just try putting a sock in it for a week or two, okay? Be a grownup yourself. Set an example. Make your mom, or loved one, proud of you.
Time to move on.
And here’s what I think.
I’ve seen an awful lot that I’m proud of this week. I’ve seen someone who was born in a time when he wouldn’t have been allowed to vote in a big chunk of the country elected nominee of his – all our – party, to a large extent due to the votes of people who wouldn’t have been allowed to vote in a big chunk of the country when he was born.
Back when it was illegal in some states for his parents to be married.
I’ve also seen a woman, who was classed with the insane in being denied the right to vote in the lifetimes of women who are still alive, fight down to the wire for that nomination, and step aside when she lost.
I’ve watched a record number of voters so moved by this contest that the primary votes in some states exceeded the votes in the previous election.
I’ve also seen some things I’d rather not have seen.
I’ve seen people on both sides, people I thought had learned something from the ugliness of the last twenty or so years, use really ugly, Rove-worthy attacks on the candidate they wanted to defeat. There was a lot of propelling of thoroughly cynical Republican memes against Democratic candidates by people who figured it served their purposes.
Some of them knew better. Some of them were carried away by enthusiasm. All of them were making things easier for the Republicans in the fall.
Here’s my personal prejudice: I want the Democratic candidate to win. The Republican candidate wants us to stay in a pointless war forever or so. He wants us to keep going with the same policies that have caused our economy and our international respect to plummet. He sided with our current embarassment on global warming. He wants to put judges on the Supreme Court – for life – who will return this country to the 1800s.
The Democratic candidate doesn’t want that. However you may parse his positions if he wasn’t your candidate, that’s not what he wants. Which means if we want the world to have a future, you have an obligation to vote for the Democratic candidate.
You also have an obligation not to discourage people from voting for the Democratic candidate.
Everybody, on all sides, has things they’ve seen during this campaign that really pissed us off. Without debating the balance of offence, to some extent all of us has cause.
Here’s the thing: there’s a candidate now.
The candidate has made it a centerpiece of his campaign that we have to move past whatever has gone on in the past and move forward together (fwiw, the other candidate has said roughly the same thing)
So, let it go. If this is the result you fought for, what you fought for was the chance to move forward together. If this wasn’t the result you fought for, what you fought for was a Democrat in the White House. If you fight this, that is what you’re fighting against.
There are a scant few (although, you know, loud) Democrats who are hoping that the pissing matches (so many hydrants, so little time) will keep going until everyone’s so pissed that McCain wins, because their candidate lost, or because they’re so determined to punish anyone who didn’t vote for their candidate. Who are compelled to weigh in on every conversation with indictments of the candidate they didn’t support and reasons not to vote for them.
There are more than a scant few in the Republican party who hope that we’re dumb enough to keep this internecine bloodletting going long enough for McCain to hand the Supreme Court over to the Republican party for the next fifty years.
So, every day there’s a story from the griefers in the press about how [candidate and/or candidate’s supporters] did [something dreadful and offensive]
And some of us get played.
I hope, desperately, that the rest of us will be smart enough to look at the source, and who they’ve been trying to defeat for the last twenty-five years, and say Hey. I don’t think you’re reliable. No sale.
I would really hate it if millions of people died because President McCain decided to ignore global warming.
And nobody likes them. If we convince the country not to vote for us, it’ll be nobody’s fault but ours.