[Also posted at my other blog, Angry Grrl's Rants.]
Let me say that I understand. You're angry, disappointed, and disillusioned. You feel betrayed. Some of you are second-wave feminists who are pissed off that the nation has turned its back on the chance to make history by electing the first female President.
The guy I volunteered for, gave money to, and got up at the ass-crack of dawn for on at least one occasion -- Jim Neal -- lost in NC's Senate primary to someone I feel is little more than a slight improvement over the current holder of the Senate seat.
When I first heard he was getting into the race back in October of last year, I put my cynicism aside and appealed to the better angels of our natures. "My home state is forward-thinking in a lot of ways; surely the voters will recognize the best candidate," I said to myself.
As a member of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party, I was crushed that my fellow voters did not embrace the chance to elect an outstanding progressive Democrat, who is coincidentally gay, to the Senate seat once held by Jesse Helms. Right after the primary, I felt bitter, betrayed, and like all my work had been for nothing. I felt silenced, like my voice, and the voices of everyone who voted for Jim Neal, would be ignored going into the general election.
So Hillary supporters, I get what you're feeling, I really do. And you need some time, time to grieve, express your anger, and come to terms with the fact that the primaries didn't return the results you worked so hard for.
That said, I've been in Obama's camp for a long time, ever since his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention:
Yes, despite being a woman who just turned 40 this year, I've never been a Hillary supporter. Just like I've never been a Kay Hagan supporter.
But just like I'm putting aside my feelings and voting for Hagan to unseat Elizabeth Dole come November, had Obama's and Clinton's positions been reversed, I would be voting for Hillary in the general election.
Would I be upset and disappointed, angry and bitter? No doubt. I've felt those things since late on May 6th when it became apparent that Jim Neal wasn't going to make history for North Carolina.
But that doesn't mean I don't have my eyes on the larger picture, which is defeating the Republicans on November 6th.
I urge you all, from the bottom of my heart, to please read this press release from Ellen R. Malcolm, founder of Emily's List:
Among her many good points are these:
Those of us who have been wholehearted supporters of Sen. Clinton feel disappointment and sadness, even anger, that this opportunity to elect a fine candidate and the first woman president is passing us by. So many EMILY’s List members put their all into this campaign -- money, yes, but also time and energy traveling to primary states, working phone banks, and canvassing precincts. My heart is with you, as I am working through my own emotional turmoil. I fervently believe that this anger and grief will subside, leaving me with a deep sense of pride at what Hillary has accomplished for women. But I have not yet reached that point in my journey, and I know many of you feel the same way.
EMILY’s List members, like all Democrats, are experiencing varying emotions -- but we are unified in our determination to undo the damage created by George W. Bush and the Republicans. I am confident that our party will unify as well, and come together to take the White House in November. And, once again, EMILY’s List will unleash the political power of women to help Democrats win at every level in 2008 so we can begin to rebuild a progressive America.
The differences between Sens. Obama and McCain dwarf the nuanced policy differences between Obama and Clinton. We can never forget what John McCain stands for: continuation of the war in Iraq, minimal changes on health care, economic policy that rests on tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, and a steadfast determination to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Electing John McCain is simply perpetuating the policies of George W. Bush. For the country’s sake, we cannot let that happen.
Also -- if you're operating under the theory that McCain is a maverick, an independent, some sort of centrist, moderate Republican, please read the following "10 Things You Should Know About John McCain" from Moveon.org:
So in closing, to all of you Hillary supporters who are vowing to support McCain in the general election, please think again. Take the time you need to reconcile yourselves to the results of the primary process, as I myself am doing with our Senate race, and consider what's the best way to keep four more years of failed Bush policies from becoming a reality.