Sunday, November 2, 2008

You Go Girl!

Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire Primary. They say it was her strategic show of emotion that saved the day. I say: Her tears won her the primary but may have lost her everything else.

That mist moment came in a New Hampshire cafe when Hillary thought she was hopelessly behind Barack Obama in the polls. She was feeling sorry for herself, and let her tell it, feeling sorry for the American people. It was a watershed moment that some pundits believe turned a 10-point Clinton deficit into a 3-point win - an unprecedented one-day swing, especially considering Obama had done nothing noticeably wrong to lose the vote, and Clinton had done nothing noticeably right to win it...except to cry.

What does it say about us when we are driven by fear in on election (2004) and by tears in the next (2008)? It does not bode well for the world when the pre-eminent standard bearer of democracy persists in voting out of weakness.

Barack Obama speaks of bridging the great divide. His message of change crosses lines of race, politics, and nations. It is a promise he cannot deliver himself; only we, the people, can fulfill that promise. Obama promises to help.

Hillary pooh-poohs Obama's message - calls it "just words." "Just words"? Where would America be without its words? Do we think the American Revolution could have been fought and won without Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty, or give me death"? How could Americans (and the world) put the slaughter of the Civil War into perspective without Lincoln's Gettysburg Address? The words of great Americans resound through the centuries, assuring us, and moving us forward.

For those women who are inspired by Obama "words," but feel desperately bound by the bonds of sisterhood, you might consider this:

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr stood within shouting distance of the White House and delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech. Two weeks later, racist white men tossed a bomb through a church window in Birmingham, Alabama killing four young African-American girls. It is a stain on this land that cannot be erased, except it be erased by a sight that warms our hearts with a clarity equal to the hateful act that broke out hearts 45 years ago.

Today, two young African-American sisters by the name of "Obama" move inexorably toward the steps of that same White House. And you thought Hillary was the most important female in this campaign. Au contraire, female voters of America. That distinction belongs to you - you desperate housewives - and to the little Obama girls.

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