Saturday, June 7, 2008
The other day, while driving to rehearsal, which is about all I do these days, I listened to the speech that Hillary Clinton gave when it was pretty clear that she would not be getting the nomination. It was the speech that some criticized as not clearly a concession. The NPR analyst had a much more interesting take on it, which was that the speech was a job application essay for the post of Vice-President.
Either way, I noticed myself getting emotional while I listened. My skin got prickly and I had to blink back a few tears. Ever since, I've been trying to figure out why. I had a really, really difficult time trying to decide who to vote for in the primary, and my decision came only after a detailed check list for each candidate yielded one more check to one of them. I would never have declared myself a "Clinton Supporter" or an "Obama Supporter" because I think that they had equally good things to say, and some equally not-as-good-as-they-should-be things to say.
Why was I reacting so strongly, then? I think that one reason may have been that it was a really, really well written and well delivered address. We haven't seen much of that in the last, oh, eight years. Mainly, I think, I was really reacting to the crowd. This was a group of people who unequivocally supported their candidate and wanted to do anything they could to get her elected. They were enthusiastic, supportive, and passionate. I think I was kind of jealous of that. It would be nice to be so into a candidate that you'd cheer your heart out for him or her.
There's probably also some regret that, as Clinton herself said in her concession speech today, we didn't "shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling." Clinton's candidacy has proven that there is still loads and loads of sexism and misogyny in this country. Maybe the upside is that we know exactly who and where it's coming from, so hopefully we can figure out how to dismantle it.
To second (or 4th) what Sybil Vane at Bitch, PhD, Melissa McEwan at Shakesville, and Maggie Jochild at Maggie's Meta Watershed have said: Do not boycott Obama. If Clinton was your candidate, don't skip out just because she's not on the list anymore. It will not help the fight, it will help the opposition and that will be on your hands.