Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"A Final Rant from an Eternal Clinton Supporter"

This following article was written and posted on The Confluence by an 18-year-old Texas high school student who goes by the username of "regencyg."

This essay is probably the best written piece I've seen on this subject and I wanted to share it with you. Who would have thought that an 18-year-old could speak with such wisdom and eloquence for the millions of us who have supported Hillary Clinton's campaign throughout these long months. The essay is quoted verbatum:

"A Final Rant from an Eternal Clinton Supporter
Posted on June 9, 2008 by regencyg

I like to think that I have led my life with distinction. I was raised by a single mother with little help. We were even on public assistance for a time. I have excelled in school since the very first day and now stand to graduate an esteemed high school with the rank of Salutatorian. I have friends of every race, every religion—and lack thereof, every political ideology, and sexual orientation. Even for love of a few stale jokes, you couldn’t truly believe that I hated someone because they were different from me. I wouldn’t and I can’t. Before this Democratic Primary, I’d never had the honor and the pleasure of being called a racist, a crybaby, or anyone’s psycho ex-girlfriend a la Glenn Close out of “Fatal Attraction.” It’s been a season of firsts.

I turned 18 in November. My first thought? Oh God, I have to vote.I hadn’t listened to the pundits, I didn’t even know who was running. Some Hispanic guy, some black guy, and the former First Lady of the United States; oh, and some other white guys. The only one I recognized was Edwards and my heart did an awful large thump for what could’ve been in 2004. (I hadn’t forgiven John Kerry for conceding Ohio, I still haven’t and he’s invoked my ire ever since.) Yet, it wasn’t John Edwards and his invincible haircut that caught my attention; it was the woman I had never noticed and the history I’d never cared about.

For the first time ever, I noticed Hillary Rodham Clinton outside of Bill Clinton’s shadow. I noticed a woman who daredto stand side-by-side on a stage with a large group of men and consider them her equal. I saw a woman who had a mind like a mantrap, who could recall facts like the kids I know can Google. I saw her make fools out of her competitors when they just didn’t know answers that came naturally to her. I was more than impressed.

Then, the season truly began and I saw Hillary Clinton lose Iowa. Then, I saw her win New Hampshire. Then I saw her lose some and win some on Super Tuesday. Best of all I got to watch somebody play the race card and somebody else be framed for doing it. Reminds me of a shirt a lot my friends have. There’s a cute white bunny on it and beneath the bunny it reads: “I did it, but I’m blaming you.”

Yep, that sounds about right. Do you know why Hillary Rodham Clinton won New Hampshire? According to one “political analyst,” or those who get paid to regurgitate what the Washington Post says verbatim, it was the Bradley effect. The Bradley effect takes place when polled likely voters claim they will vote for a minority candidate but fail to do as much when they are in the voting booth. The insinuation: closeted racism. That was just the first indication that this primary wasn’t going to be fair, but it was far from the last.

South Carolina came and the biggest double-edged sword to be forged came out full force and he went by the name of William Jefferson Clinton. He was a gift on the stump. He was all charm and down home sweetness, but he was a wonk and there was no denying that East Coast education. He was an asset to Hillary Clinton that could not be denied. So he had to be neutralized—and best believe that he was.

By February 15th, Bill Clinton barely dared to stick his head in view of a camera lest he be misquoted and vilified for the nineteenth time. Suddenly, the “first black president,” as coined by Toni Morrison, was the first KKKlan President. He and his wife, both with a lifetime of civil rights advocacy and battles behind them were outcasts in a community that once revered them. For what reason? What could he and his wife possibly gain by espousing racism after all this time?




What had made Hillary Clinton so formidable was the sheer size of her coalition. She had African-Americans, one of the most dependable voting blocks in the Democratic Party, she had working Americans who remembered what life under a Clinton was like. She had her determination and she was in it to win it. Nobody else was of any real consequence. That is, until the first-term Senator from Illinois stood up to bat.

…And the pieces came tumbling down.

He showed up. He spoke out loud. The masses—though not the majority—fell to their knees in awe. I didn’t. I was neither impressed nor fooled. The media was. The party leaders loved what he brought to the game. He had style, had new voters, he had money. Oh, they had tingles up and down their legs. This was February, around the time that I realized that the fix was in. Naively, I still hoped that things could change. I think that even Hillary did.

A string of bare defeats and incredible victories later, here we are. It’s June 8th, the day after Hillary Rodham Clinton has suspended her campaign for the presidency in order to endorse Barack Obama. I and many thousands—perhaps millions—of others are left without a leader. It isn’t as easy as saying “let Democrats be Democrats” and vote Democrat. What we’ve seen these last two months was far from Democratic. I’ve seen so many minority cards played that I can’t stand the card game anymore.

I’ve seen a distinguished Senator and beloved First Lady verbally molested in a fashion I would never allow if I were a producer on network or cable television. I’ve seen death threats leveled against her. I’ve seen more than a single man or woman say that all it would take was a good “doing over” for Hillary to see the light, whatever that proverbial light was. I’ve seen men laugh at her laugh. I’ve seen the nutcracker and boys who call themselves men talking about the way they gird their loins when she comes anywhere near them. I’ve seen those same boys where the masks of saints when she deigns to entertain their company only to sneer at her back on exit.

I’ve seen a party that has claimed as its mantle the interests of the people turn their noses up at their expressed desires in direct violation of their very own written rules. They’ve said, “We must respect the rules.” Why thank you, Alice Germond. Sadly, those rules state that they also should’ve respected the voters. (Rule 13 A of the Democratic Party Rules & Bylaws, entitled Fair Reflection of Presidential Preference, if any can be bothered recall.) But those weren’t the rules they were interested in and so weren’t the rules they followed. Democracy didn’t die the day we allowed the best President we would’ve ever known to leave history with no impression; it died the day that 30 people decided that their desires were more pressing than the expressed wishes of 600,000 people in Michigan and 1.7 million in Florida.

Until the very last primary I prayed that someone in the party would see sense. I even prayed they’d defend my candidate against the harsh, uneven criticism leveled against her by the media and her opponents. The problem wasn’t that she couldn’t defend herself; the problem was that she had to defend both herself and her opponent with her hands tied behind her back. Any historical fact—from the most trivial and benign to those even minutely inflammatory—became a gaffe and sandstorm. The news cycle for her was lost time and again to media-made monsoons of Tuzla (never-ending, I recall), to LBJ & JFK (true, however, it was), to RFK and his assassination on the 6th of June. She couldn’t win the day for losing because if it was folly, it made her a fool and if it was true, it was anyone and everyone’s dog whistle.

Her opponent didn’t and hasn’t faced that. I imagine he won’t. Now that the media has picked him—and the party leaders have gone along with it—they’re gonna have to save him from himself. By not vetting him or questioning his many “misspeaks” or gaffes, they’ve left the country to choose between the lesser of who-cares and why-should-I. They’re gonna have to cover their bottom lines.

They had a brilliant mind and an iron will. They turned her away.

They had an unbeatable candidate and a popular, voter-driven mandate. They said, “No, thanks.”

They had the White House in November, like they promised. They decided they wanted the hot, red car instead, with the dollar signs on the hood, something they can drive home and show their kids.

They wanted to be rich and cool. They didn’t need those poor working-class people to cramp their style. They didn’t want those Latinos, or Asians, or LGBT people, or the disabled, or the elderly, or the Jewish, or the Catholic people reminding them of how things used to be. They didn’t want to be reminded of those horrid “old politics.” You know, the kind espoused by the foolhardy Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the lackluster Harry Truman, by that truly despicable John F. Kennedy, and even further still by that disgustingly traitorous American Lyndon B. Johnson who fought for the Civil Rights Acts, bent arms and bent ears to bring it to life. He lost the South forever for the Democrats but brought morality back to the American consciousness, that loathsome toad. And how ever will we forget Robert F. Kennedy, who lived and died on his ideals, the ideals embraced by a generation and that saw their completion decades after his own senseless end. Damn those old politics, nothing good ever came of them. Guess it’s time to try something new.

Hope and change. Those very words have lit the torches and the candles of a dozen movements that have carried this country forward to where it is and I imagine that those words will carry many others in the future. Nevertheless, what no ones wishes to address or be caught addressing is the fact that “just words” will never change the world. If there is no mind to a movement, it becomes chaos or worse. What we have now is a war of “just words” that without distinction will be interpreted in any way our opponents see fit. What we have now is an opponent that is not impressed with just words that are pretty, and words that are light. We have an opponent who laughs at our sonnets and our metaphors, whose spirit does not lift with a good hymn, and a chant makes him punchy. We have an adversary who is all about “straight-talk.”

Hope and change will not deter him. Hope never put a dollar into an empty bank account. Change is the thing a struggling mother is looking for when the food stamps don’t cover Pampers and milk. Hope is what that same mother has when she can’t get out of bed, but she can’t miss work today—she just can’t! Change is what happens when she has to take her kids and sneak away from her apartment in the middle of the night because the change she used to buy the Pampers isn’t there to pay the rent.

Everyday Americans will just have to keep holding on for another term more. Democrats aren’t gonna save them like they promised. How do I know? I know because the “Democrat” they picked has exactly one hope in the hell of being elected. I’ve met the Republicans, most of America has—John Kerry has certainly met them. Thanks to them and their fair friends, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Senator Kerry hasn’t seen the inside of the White House save for on the Christmas tour, and he won’t ever again. That’s a common sentiment among Democrats—and no doubt will become familiar to the party’s “nominee.”

To quote the eminent Maxine Waters of California, “We don’t need hope, what we need is help.” Sadly, neither Representative Waters nor the rest of her Super Delegate compatriots are in any position to give us that help. They have done the politically expedient thing, they have spoken aloud and made themselves heard; they have covered their backs—and left us in the rain.

By 2012, most of them will still have their homes, unlike more than a million working-class Americans thanks to the foreclosure crisis.

Expect gas prices to get so expensive that working isn’t worth the cost anymore. Between gas, taxes, utilities, and—I don’t know—being alive, there’s just no sense in it. A living wage isn’t one if you can’t live on it, and everyday Americans can’t keep living like this.

Doctor? You don’t need no stinking doctor. You won’t have anything to live on during retirement anyway, so I wouldn’t plan to live that long. Haven’t you heard? Universal Healthcare Coverage is for other countries. Dying unnecessarily is an honor and a privilege in the United States. Get used to it.

As for global warming, I suggest you buy, in bulk, shorts and flip-flops. Don’t expect Al Gore to stick his neck out for you now. God knows there isn’t a Democrat left who will.

But what can I say? It’s evidently a great year to be a “Democratic” Party Leader. It’s just a really, really awful year to be a run-of-the-mill Democrat."

You can see the original article here.

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