It is very hard to ignore the primary fight from across the pond. Election results are front page news here in the UK. The bookstores are just as filled with U.S. Campaign biographies as the shops back home. People find that I am an American and are desperately anxious to learn if I know anything they don't, and eager to offer their opinion- which is always anti-Bush, and often pro-Obama. It is a reminder that whoever becomes President of the Untied States casts a giant shadow on rest of the world.
I woke up today, and learned that the primary fight goes on still. To me, this is a disappointment. I pretty much made up my mind about a year ago that Barack Obama was my candidate. A friend of mine emailed me last night, and said: I'm ready for the primary to be over so that we can focus on the issue at hand. (IE- throwing the bums OUT!) I couldn't agree more. I think that John McCain is going to be hard to beat and it's time to start.
But what really surprised me, upon reflection- was the fact that Hillary Clinton pulled off two wins yesterday.
To me, Obama seems like a clear choice. To most of the people I know, or read, back in Vermont- Barack Obama seems like a clear choice, too (or, if not, then he is TOO FAR TO THE RIGHT- there is that strain of Vermonter, too). In fact, to almost everybody I interact with on any given day, Barack Obama is the clear choice and front runner.
Nobody, but NOBODY thinks nominating Hillary Clinton would be a good idea.
And yet, obviously, a lot of people I've never heard from completly disagree with me. They got up yesterday, dragged themselves to the polls and Voted for Clinton.
And that Scares me.
I'm not scared because they voted for Clinton- I think she'd make a fine president. I just think Barack Obama would make an even better one.
No, it scares me because I realized that, once again, I don't know ANYTHING about what a LOT of my fellow Americans are thinking.
I don't need to agree with them, or they with me- but I should, at least, know where they are coming from...understand why they make the decisions they do.
Because if you don't even understand your opponent's position and why they take it, you have no chance to reason them out of it (or perhaps, to be reasoned out of your own, should it prove the weaker).
For another thing, if you don't understand why your opponents make the choices they do, it is very hard to empathize with them, and to build consensus.
If you don't know what drives them, you don't know how strong they are.
And that scares me...because this has happened to me before.
The first time I realized that there were oceans of people in America that I did not even remotely understand was on election night, 2000. It had never occurred to me to worry that Bush would even come close to the Presidency! I mean, the man was a joke, right, everybody knew it.
Well, the joke was on me. I'd just as soon it didn't happen again. And this time, the lack of mutual understanding isn't just between Liberals and the Right-Wing- it is within the same political party. We need to learn to talk to each other so that we can talk the rest of the country out of voting for John McCain.
So...please, as a favor, would anybody out there like to explain to me why you are supporting Hillary?
I found some interesting articles on this subject.
The first is from a young reporter in Seattle who writes about what the Clinton Candidacy may, or may not mean to her. It's here.
The is another article from CBS news about Ohio voters. Working Class and feeling pressed, for them, it is, once again "The Economy Stupid".
The first comment I got on this post is also illuminating about why someone in "Obama's" demographic might choose to support Hillary as well.