Here in Washington, the state with the most bizarre electoral processes imaginable (I’m convinced it’s because by February in Washington, at least in Western Washington, we’ve all got cabin fever and have lost it big time), we had our caucuses on Saturday. I loved it, I loved it last time around as well, although I wasn’t at all interested in the candidates. It was a total Anyone-But-Bush vote and literally, I don’t think anyone at the caucus back in 2004 gave a rat’s ass which Dem ran. We chose poorly as a result, and to this day I can’t even hear John Kerry speak without wanting to scream.
But I digress. This year the energy was phenomenal, and meeting up with neighbors and new friends was better than ever. I hope people make this an every-four-year event–I think we all had a good time. Of course, as is known now, the vote went heavily to Obama, and that’s cool. I just want our country back, I don’t really care which candidate does it–and I firmly believe both could do it.
Which brings me to an interesting question I’ve been mulling over. Is it possible to stay with one’s choice without “splitting?” By splitting, I’m referring to that emotional way we tend to find negative reasons to support our positive choices. That is, I am for Person X because Person Y is terrible. Is it possible for us, or even desirable, to put the period in the sentence after the first clause: I am for Person X.
Case in point: I am for Hillary. I am not for Hillary because I’m afraid Obama can’t win, or because I think he’s a worse candidate, or because of any of the other reasons one might come up with. I’m for Hillary because I think she’s super smart, she’s tough, she single handedly moved the conversation about national health care out into the public dialogue (and took numerous body blows in the process), she’s not afraid of difficult issues and she’s passionate about things I care about.
Now here’s the rub: because I say those things, does that mean Obama doesn’t share some of those qualities, or even all of them–who knows? No it doesn’t. It actually doesn’t mean anything about Obama. I’m only talking about Hillary.
I found myself in a peculiar position at the caucus because I really didn’t want to–in fact felt strongly about it–say anything against Obama. I just don’t want to. I think he’s got sterling qualities and he’s enormously talented and gifted. I can’t bring myself to say anything bad about him, yet the expectation was built into the process–try and convince the undecideds to vote for your candidate.
Listen: both of these candidates are superb. One of them will speak to you for specific reasons, and you will be drawn to follow that candidate. This isn’t 2004, for god’s sake, with John Kerry as our candidate. It’s not Dukakis! We have two excellent candidates. Two awesome candidates! Only one will win the nomination and then we’ll have one awesome candidate, and we’ll take back the white house and the country. Period.
Daily Stats: (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Car: 81 miles (so many storms this week, I fairly gave up trying to get anywhere with anything but a car)
Bike: 5 miles (finally on Saturday, I took a tentative ride to run errands)
Ped: 3 miles