My heart goes out to the people living in Tennessee and Arkansas. I can’t even begin to imagine the horror some have had to endure over the last 24 hours. What was supposed to be a great day where politics was concerned ended up being a worse nightmare for many living down south.
TobyJoe and I have been watching the results come in since last night. We’ve been glued to a muted CNN. (Modest Mouse plays in the background. I have this idea that TV-watching only “counts” if it’s audible. Dumb? Entirely.) Of course, watching the numbers come in has me ignorantly hypothesizing.
Here are some of my fleeting, (stream of conscious) thoughts:
I can’t believe only about
500 registered Democrats voted in Alaska. Wait, how many people actually live in Alaska? The nation is split on who they want as their Democratic frontrunner. Wow, wouldn’t it be awesome if Clinton and Obama ran together? I know that won’t ever happen. Hillary can’t use “Clinton” on her signage. Is it that there are more people living in the Northeast and therefore there are more people voting? Or do the folks in the middle just not care to get out and vote? If Obama gets the nomination, I think many Hillary supporters will happily change their votes. If Hillary does, however, I am not sure Obama supporters will change theirs. Perhaps Obama is more electable. I prefer Hillary’s healthcare plan to Obama’s. Obama’s speeches are something to be savored. I wonder why Edwards hasn’t come out in support of anyone yet. I wonder who’s more likely to ask Edwards to be VP? I like Edwards. Why do the Latinos like Hillary so much? Which Dem can deal with all the swiftboating better? What is that smell? Oh, baby vomit!
(Edited to add: A LOT more than 500 people voted in Alaska. The stats on CNN that day were incorrect or the percentage of votes counted wasn’t actually at 98%. Sorry!)
Here is a more refined thought:
I want to mention a few things about the whole race/female thing as it’s impossible to ignore, especially when our newscasters and talking heads seem to want to differentiate between the two every chance they get. I was visiting another Web site yesterday and witnessed several people attack a woman who voted for Hillary Clinton. She had several reasons for backing Hillary Clinton and mentioned those reasons. At the very end, however, she mentioned something about her being female. That set several people off. “I think it’s SO wrong to vote for someone just because she’s female!” The comments kept coming, verbal attacks against the voter’s character just because she mentioned liking the fact that a female was contending for president of the United States.
I watched a lot of news yesterday. I think it was CNN (there’s a small chance it could have been MSNBC or CBS) who stood outside and interviewed people as they exited their polling stations. There was one black gentleman who, when asked, said that he voted for Obama. He was then asked why he supports Obama and his reasoning was (and I’m paraphrasing), “He represents hope. He stands for change. And, yes, his being a black man had something to do with it.” The guy didn’t seem to know anything about Obama’s stance, beliefs, etc.
I’m not sure what question I want to ask here and I’m admittedly wading into very unfamiliar and dangerous waters. But here goes nothing. Why has there been such a backlash for women voters mentioning voting for another woman? What’s the difference between the two decisions? Is it only racist if a person were to vote for the white guy solely to vote against a black guy? Is it not racist to vote for the black guy just because he is indeed black?
Here’s how Webster defines the word Racist:
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination
We all know that racism is more complex and varied than the cartoon version people always reference. The type of racism evident in this gentleman’s vote is interesting, to say the least. Thus far, the pundits and mainstream media have limited the discussion of racism in this election cycle to the act of avoiding particular candidates. There’s another site to racism in the discussion of electability, and it equally trivializes the important aspects of a potential President: voting record, views on the Constitution, respect for our FOUR-branch system of government, and general trajectory on issues major and minor.
I am happy with both of the Democrats running. I would cast my vote for either one of them in a heartbeat. But, I don’t know everything they stand for. So, my goal over the next several months is to learn as much as humanly possible about both Democratic contenders. I hope to move beyond getting information from bulleted lists, or deciding to vote for him because Oprah told me to or her because I liked Bill so much. (Not that either one of those are reasons I voted for whom I voted.) I want to feel like I made a very solid, informed decision and not just a good one.
Now all I have to do is find the time.