Saturday, June 7, 2008

Democratic Primary Ends

As many of you know, Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign today. I watched her concession speech. Her main talking points were unity, and progress. I felt like she did a commendable job weaving the two points together in making her main argument - Elect Obama. Clinton asserted that the Democratic Party is the progressive party, the party that is fiscally responsible, and the party that cares about peace; therefore, the Party needs to come together, because the Party is stronger as a whole - a Party divided cannot stand. The message was fairly clean and simple and, for the most part, delivered well. I only have one real gripe with her speech, and I admit that it's just a feeling I got from watching the speech - I could be quite alone here. All the civil rights and progress that Hillary discussed was in regard to African Americans and women. Now I understand Obama is African American and Clinton is a woman, so it's easy and convenient to draw those lines, but there are other minorities and other equality/discrimination issues today. She could have at least mentioned how this landmark primary opens the door for all groups. This complaint really reflects on Americans in general. Asians, Latinos, Gays, Lesbians, Muslims, etc. are all groups that face some measure of discrimination on a daily basis. The degree of discrimination, of course, varies group to group, but these groups have also largely been marginalized. If progress and civil rights is going to be the Party's badge of honor, then perhaps they should move immigration, gay marriages and other such issues back into the limelight. They won't because that won't get them elected, but at least acknowledge that these issues certainly exist. Clinton honored the suffragists and the civil rights leaders of bygone days in her speech; she mentioned their courage, their perseverance, and their fearlessness - they never shied away from issues because they were inflammatory. The homage was nice, but lip service is cheap; if the Party really wants to stand for progress and to honor those progressive titans, then mere words are not enough.

On a related, but different note...While I'm certain many Hillary supporters will now rally around Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, there were a few spattering of boos and the collective cheers and applause in general seemed quite subdued whenever Clinton mentioned backing Obama. I'm not sure this country really needs yet another divisive election, but that's probably exactly what we're going to get.

Also, because I don't want Guys to throw another temper tantrum I've added a link to his "Duty to Rescue" post. It's worth reading and worth thinking about; the issue could probably go either way.


no634 said...

Isn't the "we feel discriminated against!" a theme this year? You can mention every group and someone will still be offended.

I think the beauty of the process is that discrimination doesn’t mean that someone is disenfranchised: can still vote, bitch, and advocate for change.

mootgoescow said...

Oh, it definitely is a theme. It's not about being disenfranchised. I think being marginalized and being disenfranchised is different. Disenfranchised would mean that our votes count less. Marginalized means, while our votes still count, our issues aren't being discussed. And my bitching (if you want to call it that) is how I'm advocating for change. This race is going to be close. The Party that broadens its platform the most is going to win. I'm simply saying that if the Democrats really want to claim to be the most progressive and inclusive party, they should at least acknowledge that these groups and issues exist.