Friday, February 29, 2008

Words in a Vacuum

I write because I must. It’s a kind of compulsion. I live alone in self imposed isolation and the few visitors I get do not share my political passions. I have no problem with views contrary to my own. I welcome them. The most interesting conversations do not come out of complete agreement. It takes a little friction to stimulate a rousing…….pretty much anything. I have always learned most from those who disagree with me. It is in disagreement that we hone our thinking skills. It thrills me to hear a Bravo! from Sitenoise. But Sitenoise has also been one of my harshest critics. And in conversation with Sitenoise, I have learned to curb my tendency to fling four letter words around.

K Mckierman left a very thoughtful comment about my use of the B word in reference to Hilary Clinton. I was a passionate supporter of Senator Clinton until the evening of the South Carolina Primary and have talked quite a bit about the evolution of my support for Obama. I did not change my mind solely because of Obama’s oratorical prowess. Part of the reason I changed my mind was the way Senator Clinton behaved when she lost a race. It embarrassed me that she did not thank her supporters and congratulate her opponent. This behavior has become a habit with her, and makes her look like a poor loser, a bad sport, and unkind to those who worked for her as volunteers. It is perhaps unfair that we expect so much of a female candidate, but we do. I know Democratic men who say they simply cannot vote for her. Not because she’s a woman, but because she is divisive and they think the Republicans can use that visceral dislike so many independents and conservative Democrats feel for Senator Clinton to defeat her. I want a Democrat to win more than I want a woman President. But what has really excited me is the activism of young people in support of Obama. They will inherit the reigns of power. Without their involvement we have no future.

And as for ohplease, I’ll stick with my comments about Ralph Nader. If you, ohplease, were taking over where Ralph left off, I’d be more interested in listening. Ralph Nader is old. He is older than John McCain, who I think is too old to be President. Why do we have a retirement age? It’s because, after roughly fifty years of working really hard, we are old at sixty-five. I admired Ralph Nader when he and I were young. We are both old now. I’m not saying Ralph Nader should shut up and go away. He should keep his issues alive through his writing and his organization. He should stay out of Presidential politics as a candidate. His involvement in that process has tarnished his reputation and therefore his message, which is important and should be heard.