Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My Struggle is Over

As you all can see, "I Voted" yesterday. I was hoping to dip my finger in ink afterwards, and provide a photo-op for the propoganda machine. But all the State of Illinois could come up with was this sticker. On second thought I guess a picture of a middle aged lesbian woman holding up an ink stained finger after voting wouldn't have been a very effective marketing tool. :)

I struggled with this primary, I really did. I have debated between Obama and Clinton in my head almost daily for several weeks. I have watched the debates, read the blogs, and haunted even the most obscure corners both candidates' websites. I have listened to Obama's amazing command of the spoken word. It certainly tickles the ear and cheers the soul after the years of barely coherant "speak-a-fying" from the White House. I have seen Hillary struggle to disengage her almost immediate association with Bill's (oh horror!) infidelity in the public's minds: to try to demonstrate her own merit and ability. I have said this before, even if Bill wasn't in the picture this woman would have been a political star in her own right. All this tumbled around in my head as I drove to my polling place. And it did right up until I checked in and stood looking at my form and holding that ink pen.

And as I stood there, the final question that came to my mind was this: Which candidate would represent real change in my lifetime. Which candidate would be my message to Washington that change was not a request, it was a demand. Who would most deliver swift and effective change in all lives of all Americans the day they were elected. So with that question asked, I answered with my vote.

I voted for Hillary Clinton.

My heart said Obama, but my head said Hillary Clinton. Before I am accused let me make it clear that I didn't automatically vote my gender, or hers. I voted for the person I felt could most relate to my concerns for this country in this particular election. I find it annoying that just about everything negative that has been said of Hillary would be expected and respected in a man, and that attitude must change. Maybe it won't in this election, but I would be a hypocrite if I allowed the subtle sexism directed against her to stand unchallenged. No woman has ever been taken this seriously as a contender for president, or been as frightening to the establishment. One only has to listen to the braying of Rush Limbaugh for thirty minutes on any good day to know this is the truth. This is the only time in our countries' history that 50% of the population may have an experienced voice in this office. I think back to some great political minds like Barbara Jordon and Ann Richards that weren't even considered for the high honor of the oval office purely by accident of their birth and I believe I know what Anne would do if she could cast a vote today.

With that being said, I truly respect Obama. I would celebrate his election certainly. I do not believe he has the experience to immediately make the changes needed in this country, and I don't think we have the time to waste on a learning curve. Maybe the only way to change our government is revolution. But the most effective way change can happen in our current democracy is to find the candidate that can find some measure of compromise between the deep factions that have been artificially created in this country. Obama can speak to this, I believe Hillary actually has the experience to do it.

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