I swear, it’s not my intention to make this a political blog. I have spent the last couple years with my head as deeply in the sand about things political as I could manage, but it is all around me now and I can hardly avoid it. And as the stakes get higher, the behavior gets worse, I can’t just stay silent. You can ignore the nasty kid burping at the next table, but when he starts running amok in the restaurant, it is your job as adult to stand up and say “You stop that right now!” isn’t it? I always thought so. So it was that I determined that although I basically ignored the mid-term elections, I had a civic duty to get off my duff this time around.
Super Tuesday morning, then, I was standing in line to cast my vote, and the lady behind me was one of those chatty types. First, having seen the sign asking folks to read the sample ballot prior to voting, she asked me where they were, and I showed her. They were cleverly hidden in plain sight 6 inches from where she was standing. I have to wonder who shows up not knowing exactly whom they’re going to vote for. Correctly surmising that I was not going to entertain her while we stood in line, she chatted up the woman behind her, talking Democratic politics.
I thought it was pretty ballsy, talking politics in line at a primary for both parties. You don’t know what the stranger next to you will think about you talking in depth about your candidates. There could be fisticuffs. That, and she could’ve been suspected of politicking within the 75’ pale and thrown right out. She went on about how the media has hammered Clinton unfairly, and how she feared that Obama would be the target of some “nutso” with a gun. I would bet that Clinton has had as many, of not more, death threats than Obama. I don’t think it’s the media’s problem, frankly; they seem to hammer indiscriminately. I rather think the public has long had a problem with Hillary, and the media just reflects that. The animosity she’s engendered for being both an ambitious career woman and a stand-by-her-man (whether he deserves it or not) wife is out of all proportion. But I didn’t share these thoughts; I just wanted to vote, get my breakfast, and get to work.
I’m a little disappointed that I had so little choice this early in the game, especially when there were a dozen names on the ballot I’d never heard of. Was the president for me on that list, and I just didn’t know? The fact that the bulk of the news regarding the early campaigning of all candidates was how much money they had raised probably has a lot to do with why I didn’t know those other names. It’s all about money, to a staggering degree.
For me, the choice wasn’t about gender or race anymore than it ever is. I didn’t think Hillary was too masculine, too ambitious, too hard, to begin with. I wasn’t swayed to think differently of her because she cried, and I think anyone who voted for her out of sympathy, pity, or because she showed her “softer” side is a moron. (Then again, the last two elections have shown that the moron voting bloc is a force to be reckoned with.) I’m a strong woman and I cry. Big deal. The fact of the matter is, Hillary Clinton is a wealthy, well-educated, well-connected, experienced politician, and there is no reason to vote for her or not vote for her other than her positions (if you know any of them, will you let me know?) and her record, same as any candidate. However, it has become clear that many people vote from an emotional place. Who do I like? Who is most like me? Who looks best on TV?
As I pondered my vote, I realized that the only reason I could come up with to vote for Hillary is that she is a woman, and that’s no reason at all. Sadly, my vote for Obama is largely a vote against Hillary, because for me she represents status quo, and a continuance of dynastic presidency we’ve been experiencing of late. I’m not entirely sure what Obama plans for this country, (though I’ve gathered that “CHANGE!” is a big part of it), but I could do with a breath of semi-fresh air, as fresh as someone who has survived the Senate can be.
Once again, my candidate lost, at least in my state. I cannot remember the last time someone I voted for actually won, and I find it hard to believe that I am so far outside the mainstream that my preferred candidate is never elected. Especially when my “preferred” candidate is rarely anywhere close to my desired candidate, who hasn’t existed in any appreciable form since Paul Wellstone died. So I do what I have been doing for years. And with that, I offer you my endorsement for president, compliments of my new bumper sticker that Scott got for me: