Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What Matters

Speaking only for myself, not the other SideTrack contributors.

As I am watching the Super Tuesday results tumble in (very slowly), I realized something very important about my attitude toward these primary battles and the upcoming general election.

I voted early (just in case) for Barack Obama. But for the record, I do not hate Hillary Clinton, and though I feel concerns of what a Clinton presidency would mean for Democrats (especially in Utah) are valid, as well as concern over her ties to the DLC establishment, they are guesswork and far from pre-concluded. In general, I find the "Your Candidate Sucks" mentality distasteful in any primary. Argue, debate, disagree; but remember everyone comes to their conclusion for their own logical reasons (even Republicans), and emotional attachment to a candidate, in place of reasoned argument, will not change minds. If you haven't won them over, it is probably a short coming on your own part.

Neither current candidate won me over consistently (it was Edwards that really reeled me in). To me, concerns voters have of an Obama presidency are just as valid as those "Hillary-Haters" have, and it is just as much an act of guesswork. Neither candidate has run a perfect campaign, nor did I expect them to. Hillary's occasional diversion into attack campaigning was a big turn off. Obama's Social-Security talk and "Unity/Bipartisan" rhetoric said very little to me. So why did I vote for him? Basically, he spoke more often to progressives. I don't believe, as many do, that Clinton doesn't value progressive voters, but she rarely spoke directly to them. I feel Obama deserved my voter for doing so.

To me, this primary, and the upcoming GE is about coalition building, specifically a strong progressive coalition, and a Democratic majority in House, Senate, not just the White House. I want to see Democrats take back the governing bodies, and for the first time in my lifetime (Bill Clinton came close, but it wasn't the right time) show Americans what they are capable of, how liberal policy will improve our quality of life. Put more simply, I want to see the United States making better decisions in domestic issues and abroad, a return of integrity, self-respect, and the respect of other nations. Either Democratic candidate will work toward those goals. No Republican candidate will. And in the end, the coalition building will be up to us.

That said, there is a clear success story tonight being reported by CNN, MSNBC, MyDD, OpenLeft, DailyKos, FDL, and even Comedy Central's Indecision Blog: Record voter turnout.

It is the real victory, in my eyes. A Democrat will take the White House in November, and it has been a long time coming. But the crop of candidates we had in this long (and not yet over) campaign for nomination -- coupled with the lack of content coming from the Republicans -- have engaged a record number of voters, activist-citizens, and campaign volunteers. America is once again engaged in the simple process of democracy in record numbers.

That is a coalition. That, to me, is a success. And it would not have happened without the dialog of every candidate standing on the stage at each Democratic debate, each townhall, each fundraising rally, etc.

That is what gets me excited.

P.S. As I finish writing, I am told Romney won Utah. Imagine that. (Shaking my head)

1 comment:

  1. I would love to see a female take the presidency. Just.not.her.

    I feel like a traitor typing it, because seriously? I would love to vote for a woman.

    However, the fact that she has a hoo- hoo has got to come after I think she would be a president I could support.

    Even though I'm a registered Republican I could support Edwards and Obama on quite a few things,
    but Hillary is pretty much at the bottom of the heap for me.