Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Right Now (It's OUR Tomorrow)

I've been holding this thing inside for awhile--my comments, my thoughts and my fears about this never ending primary we seem to be entangled in for life. I've basically done a 180 in the past couple of months. At first I thought this would open up a good dialog for the country...you know, the first serious African American contender and the first serious female contender for president. What historical times we are living in! And how long overdue!

But as February faded to March and March to April, my moods seemed to change. I, of all people, was becoming disenchanted with the whole thing. Sure, I have always and continue to support Barack Obama as I believe he's the right candidate for the job for many reasons, not the least of which is his ability to inspire and lead a movement (and if America needs anything it's a good movement). I never disliked Hillary Clinton on a political level--in fact, I often supported her. But for certain reasons which are personal to me I picked a side and called it a day months ago.

But now that we're really in the thick of it and the Republicans have a clear advantage in terms of raising money, raising support and making a good run at the big prize in November, I'm left to ponder--What the hell are we arguing for?

The longer we drag out this primary, the more bad it will do. And herein comes the 180--the time for an enlightening dialog is over. Sweet nothings whispered over afternoon coffee or an evening brew won't change the fact that the McCain train is running down the tracks while us Democrats are constantly stumbling over ourselves. The longer we fight amongst each other, the less fight we'll have in November.

It infuriates me that choosing one candidate over another is seen as picking sides in an unwinnable war between who has overcome the most--Blacks or women. Women of color especially feel tugged at both sides. White women are urged to side with one of our own (there are a plethora of posts to that effect here). Men are deemed anti-feminist if they favor Obama. It's just pure madness--and it's the kind of madness that Karl Rove likes to watch with an after dinner aperitif and a shit-eating grin.

It's the kind of madness that needs to stop.

The feminists bashing Obama for the sake of showing support to a woman candidate has got to stop.

The ridiculous dissection of Clinton and her every move to somehow show that a woman can't hack it (or that she as a woman can't hack it) has to stop.

Simply put--the in-fighting has to stop. For too many weeks now we've been battling over something that isn't going to be achieved this year or next. One way or the other we're going to have the first candidate of color or the first women candidate--there is no compromise. This is not a situation where we can all be pseudo-social workers and have a win-win for all concerned. This is a situation where we need to grow a pair (ovaries or testicles--it doesn't matter) and come to a conclusion about who we think can honestly lead this country not only in this mythical and hypothetical "After the election" world we dream of, but in November--the first hurdle we must jump.

I'm sorry, but it is time to come to the conclusion that if you can't be with the one you love, you've got to love the one you're with or you're going to end up hating what you're forced to accept.

So imagine my surprise last night when CJV decides to tell me (and I don't know how serious he was) that if Obama wins the nomination, he might vote for McCain. I would have passed out had I not decided to hit him upside the head.

And then it hit me...this is what's happening to America now. Regardless of whether CJV was being serious or being a facetious prick, the truth of the matter is that this is what is happening in the heart of America right now. Scary? Yes. True? You bet.

The time has come to pick a leader. And I'm sorry to the Clinton-supporters out there, but there is a slim chance in hell that she'll pick up this nomination. It's about the simple math of it all at this point. So maybe, instead of picking at each other for stupid, insignificant and ridiculous comments, histories and anecdotes, we can all just agree that the time has come to heal the party and move forward as a group to change this country into something we wish to see...and more importantly, something we wish to be.

It's this easy: We need to put aside the debates about privilege and sacrifice and put on our big girl and big boy pants and really go out and confront the REAL issues--the issues that have allowed people like McCain to rise to power in the first place. Therein lies the real task, and if we don't start working on it now, we're going to fail miserably in the fall.

Or we could just keep fighting and end up with a never-ending war, continued erosion of the Rule of Law, disenfranchisement of millions of people, a continued race-baiting battle over immigration laws, the decline of protections for women and people of color in the judicial realm, a miserably imbalanced economy and the disintegration of the middle and working class.

The choice is ours. The time is now. Cue the music...



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