Last night I was listening to the Democratic National Convention live coverage on a number of different radio stations as Elf drove me up to coven night. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton was about to give her speech just as we got there, so I couldn't hear it. I wanted to...I was interested in whether she intended on bringing the party together, and how she would do it.
Apparently, she made a very empowering speech (she's a Clinton, she can do that) and impressed many people. Including a certain delegate from Washington state, who was then interviewed on CNN.com
about her thoughts. This delegate, who happens to be from my LD, spoke from the heart about her thoughts. She's a Hillary Clinton supporter, and expressed her concern that she wasn't certain if she could vote for Barack Obama, or would choose not to vote at all in the general election.
Now, beyond the fact that I really just don't understand this way of thinking (what on earth is so frightening about Barack Obama, folks...are you really that scared of change?!) there is the problem that she expressed these views on national television.
See, when one does something like that, expressing one's thoughts from the heart, in a charged political environment...well, you're bound to get responses. Pretty charged, explosive responses. Yeah, like 60 blogs in less than 12 hours talking about you responses. Like people seeking out which LD you belong to and sending emails to you through it responses. And of course, being the webmaster, I get to field the emails.
I'm not responding to the emails...that's the delegate's and possibly the chair's job. But I've read every one, and forwarded each one to the delegate and chair, and replied to the sender that their email has been received and forwarded on.
Most of the emails, as well as the blogs I've been reading, show an interesting trend. The delegate has become an icon of the African American vote (yes, she is black). Or rather, a representation in many minds of the lack of African American vote...handing the political process over to the majority white. Turning the African American invisible again.
I don't agree with the delegate's view on who to support. When I first heard Barack Obama give his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I turned to Elf and said, "That man is going to be president some day." I've been tracking him ever since, and supporting him from the day he announced.
I don't agree with the delegate's view about voting in this election. I think it's important that we Democrats support our nominated candidate. We had two excellent candidates, and if Hillary had been nominated, I would have voted for her...despite the fact that I have *very strong issues* with many of her attitudes and behaviors. My lack of vote really translates to a vote to McCain (since only those who vote will have an impact on who becomes president).
But the delegate apparently feels that withdrawing from the voting process gives her a voice for dissent regarding how she thinks Hillary Clinton was treated. Or maybe she really is just afraid of what change really means...once you open the door of change that Barack Obama represents, there's no closing it again (and dammit, I'll be putting a doorstop in there to make sure!!).
Unfortunately, when you express your views on national tv, everyone who hears you places their own expectations and views on top of yours, and the original thoughts can be blown out of proportion to a monumental degree. In less than 24 hours. And for that, I feel sorry for this delegate.