The Internet is a place where people can find like-minded persons and share one's thoughts. There are many things about it that recommend it as a way to organize and commiserate, but I have discovered it also has a downside in a closely contested nomination battle. In the final analysis, this diary is about that, but let me make a few points about who I am.
My credentials as a Hillary supporter are elegant. It's possible that I was the only recognizable blogger on the World Wide Web who stood with Hillary for the first three months of her campaign. You cannot imagine what that was like. It was pretty awful. I went from being DCDemocrat of the golden Democratic credentials to being troll-rated on a regular basis. There was so much enmity towards Hillary in the early months of the campaign that the bloggers who now continue to fight to make Hillary the nominee (even after Hillary has endorsed Obama) were no where to be found, and the people who didn't stand up in those months included the names of all the bloggers who became Hillary's most ardent defenders and now are being sung in diaries in the progressive blogosphere.
I truly was alone.
On Super Tuesday, I had the honor to meet at Hillary's National Headquarters a certain famous blogger. This blogger and I were making calls on behalf of Hillary. I told this blogger that I would never support Obama, and this blogger argued that electing a Democrat was the most important thing I could do.
Strangely, I am now working for Obama as this and other bloggers continue to try to make Hillary the nominee even after Hillary has joined Barack Obama's cause. I understand that various of my fellow Clintonistas now style me an Obama plant who worked by stealth in their midst all these months. Such is the power of our new medium to invent surreal narratives. If it's any reassurance to my friends, I was not an Obama plant, but I am realist. Either Barack Obama or John McCain is going to president next January 20, and I prefer Barack Obama to John McCain.
What is disturbing about the World Wide Web, I think, is the ability of otherwise fair-minded, intelligent, and decent human beings who feel wounded to find each other and feed on each other's grief in a way that should be a therapist's worst nightmare, a process that prevents them from accepting what is real and getting on with finding new meaning for their lives.
In 2004, I observed (with hindsight) that we at Daily Kos became unrealistic in our analysis of data as we dismissed every shred of evidence that Kerry was going to lose. I determined afterward that I would never let that happen to me again. My embrace of our nominee, Barack Obama, partly reflects that experience.
Facts are facts. Hillary has lost. She is not going to be the nominee, and all the conversations going on among my fellow Clintonistas about how to change that outcome are going to be no more effective before Denver than they were before South Dakota and Montana. If we couldn't make Hillary the nominee while she was fighting to be the nominee, how can we do it now that she is not helping the cause?
Hillary is working for Obama, and so am I. Bill Clinton is voting for Obama, and so am I.
If we did not have the Internet to feed our dismay, people quietly would be adjusting to the new reality, licking their wounds, and developing a new narrative, but instead, many are jousting at windmills, feeding on each other's disappointment, and planning assaults on the process that have no chance of succeeding.
Any psychologist, any psychiatrist, any therapist, would advise people to find a new narrative to account for the new data. It's time for people to move on. It's the healthy thing to do.
There are five things people now can do:
- Stay home and not vote in November.
- Go to the polls, skip the presidential ballot, and vote down ticket.
- Vote for a third party candidate.
- Vote for John McCain.
- Vote for Barack Obama.
My own narrative demands this of me: If the results were different, if Hillary had gotten the delegates for the nomination, I would have been rallying Obama supporters to let go of their grief and work for Hillary. I would have begged them to find a narrative that accounted for the new data. I would have pleaded for the unity of the party. For my own narrative, I can do no less for Obama than I would have done for Hillary.
Barack Obama for president.