Posted by: Joolz2u | June 3, 2008

An Open Letter to all Democratic delegates, super or otherwise

I am not only writing to those who do not endorse Hillary, but to those who are still uncommitted and do not really understand the ramifications of simply toeing the party line and not standing up to do what is right for our country and our party. Unless you fully understand the ways in which Barak Obama and his political supporters have alienated a large swath of dedicated, core-group Democrats, you cannot possibly fathom the unhealable rift that will trouble this party for years.


I have been called a racist on more than one political message board just for asking a simple question about Obama’s connection to Tony Rezko. I didn’t make any accusations, I simply wanted to know if the allegations against Mr. Rezko were true and if so, what exactly was the nature of Obama’s connection to him. I’ve been called a bigoted, religious zealot by people who don’t even know me, simply because I am a white woman from a southern state. I have been insulted, ridiculed and belittled, and so has Hillary Clinton, all by supporters of Senator Obama, and these are the “new Democrats”. These are the people who have recently joined our party and turned it into something I don’t recognize. We are supposed to be the party of social justice and progress. We are supposed to be promoting equality on all levels; racial, gender, economic, religious. We are not supposed to tolerate racism or sexism in any form, and yet it seems to me that the party leaders have either decided to allow this behavior to go on unchecked with the belief that the party loyalists will simply fall in line once the primary is over, or they simply don’t know what to do about it so they will do nothing and hope for the best.


I have an unshakable faith in Senator Clinton that she can get our country back on track. When I cast my vote in the primary, I had to take a moment to compose myself because for the first time ever, I didn’t just vote for the party I believed in, I voted for the PERSON I believed in and I got tears in my eyes. I have lived in the south for almost 10 years, but I am a native New Yorker. My mother, the life-long Republican, the one with the autographed photo of Barry Goldwater on her wall, the one who knew Ayn Rand personally and studied with her, the one who stood on a street corner handing out flyers for Dewey, my mother voted for Hillary Clinton for Senate. Twice. 


On September 11, 2001, I watched in horror as my beloved city was attacked. When the second tower collapsed, I held back my hair and vomited until I was empty, then lay on the bathroom floor and wept for all the souls I knew were still in those buildings. My husband had worked there. When he took a job in Jersey City he took the subway to the World Trade Center and caught the PATH train. The first gift he ever bought me came from the jewelry store on the first floor of Tower 1. There is not a person my age who grew up where I did, when I did, who did not either lose someone on 9/11 or know someone who lost someone. Through this most soul-searing time, Hillary Clinton was a pillar of strength for her newly-adopted home state. She was a voice for the voiceless who had perished in those towers. She understands the mindset of those who did this, and is not willing to embrace them with open arms.


Senator Obama, on the other hand, wants to sit down, face-to-face, with no pre-conditions, with the people who contributed to this. He wants to shake hands with the man who denies the Holocaust and says that 9/11 was staged by Hollywood. How can I, as a New Yorker, an American, as a human being, support a candidate who is so callous and naive? How can I support a candidate who, for SEVEN YEARS after 9/11 aligned himself with a pastor who uttered the words “God DAMN America!”, a pastor who blames the United States for making ourselves the target of a terrorist attack? How can I trust the judgement of a man who did not speak out against Pastor Wright until the pastor started talking to the media and calling him out on being the politician he is? How can I trust a candidate whose speeches are lifted from other candidates and whose political positions resemble Clinton’s mainly because they were ideas touted publicly by Clinton first? How can I trust a candidate who promises the people of his state that he will not run for President in 2008 if they elect him to the Senate, and then turns around and betrays their trust by doing just that? When a candidate tries to shift the focus from experience to character, then he must have the character strength to back it up. How can I seriously be expected to place my trust in this man? 


Believe me when I say that I do not WANT to vote for John McCain, and if he picks a conservative running mate, I simply won’t be able to push the button next to his name. I can’t. But neither can I compromise everything I believe in to vote for a candidate I cannot trust, a candidate who has been the most divisive presence in the Democratic party, possibly ever. I am an American first and foremost, and I cannot place the future of my beloved country in the hands of either of these men. So what am I supposed to do? Stay home? Vote for the lesser of two evils (which sadly is McCain in this instance)? Vote for Ralph Nader? Write in Hillary Clinton? Vote locally but not for President? Please understand that for a huge number of us who are feeling disenfranchised by the Democratic party, these are the only choices we feel we have. Yes, there are some racist wingnuts who won’t vote for Obama because he’s black. But these people are not in the majority. We have real issues, serious questions about Obama, his suitability as a candidate and his ability to initiate the changes this country needs, yet we are being marginalized if not outright ignored. 


The way the Superdelegates respond to this issue could make the difference between party unity and the irreparable splintering of the Democratic party. THAT is what we want you to understand. We are not “threatening” to leave the party. We are pleading with you to recognize the ways in which we feel we are being forced out. In the words of Lee Iacocca:


If  I’ve learned one thing, it’s this: “You don’t get anywhere by  standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action.   Whether it’s building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play… It’s a call to “Action” for people who, like me, believe in America .  It’s not too late, but it’s getting pretty close.  So let’s shake off the crap and go to work.  Let’s tell ’em all we’ve had “enough.”



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