Posted by: Puma1 | July 2, 2008

[GUEST POST] United We Say No Deal — Wounds from RBC Meeting Still Sting a Month Later

~ by Amber Daugherty, Guest Contributor

***

Suddenly I see
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see
Why the hell it means so much to me

~ as performed by KT Tunstall

***

I couldn’t sleep at all last night, for in my mind ran that old familiar tune of defeat.

I went to the kitchen to have a slice of pizza — comfort food in an increasingly uncomfortable world. I sat there, in the dark, thinking about my future, wondering if I would be okay. These past sixteen months have been brutal. Now with every heartbeat I felt haggard and beaten down.

I use the term ‘beaten down’ in the figurative sense, but sometimes the pain is so difficult I check the mirror to make sure I’m not bruised or cut. Standing there, the emptiness is deafening, almost as thunderous as the cries of disenfranchised Florida and Michigan voters.

How could Democrats allow things to spiral this far out of control?

I think back to my studies: women’s rights, civil rights, freedom of speech. Had all that time spent memorizing every word of the constitution, of JFK’s stirring inauguration speech, of MLK’s defiant demand for equality, and of Mary Wollstonecraft’s “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” been in vain? Should I question my teachers for insisting I read and savor these writings? Why should words mean much to me now when I have seen the rights of voters overlooked, their voices are silenced?

I have heard Martin Luther King Jr. repeat his timeless words over and over again in my mind:

“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

While I know he was referring to African Americans and the hardships they face in their struggles, these words have new meaning today.

JFK, too, once empowered me to look beyond the injustice I am witnessing:

“We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom–-symbolizing an end as well as a beginning–-signifying renewal as well as change.”

Too bad I can’t completely agree anymore.

It’s been just over a month since thirty people decided to ignore the voters of Florida and Michigan, giving delegates to a candidate who didn’t earn them. Is it because he’s a man? Is it because he’s a black man?

I’ve given this countless hours of careful consideration. I’m well educated, I know my history and I’ve won my share of accolades in the field of human rights debates. I have no protest to the nomination of a well experienced, honest, steadfast African American candidate…there’s just one problem — that’s not what we’ve got.

According to my youth and education, I should be voting for this candidate…but I’m not. And there’s a reason I’m holding onto my precious vote — he didn’t earn it.

Throughout this historic process, we have seen many advances in America’s ability to be “color blind,” but we’ve also been dealt a heavy blow by the media’s reticent behavior when it comes to a female candidate. A highly qualified, intelligent, compassionate, brave, ready to step up and be counted WOMAN. A woman who has more than thirty years of experience working to better the lives of other women, children, the working class, Hispanics, African-Americans, the elderly — everyday people.

A woman who has dedicated her life to helping and speaking up for those who cannot help or speak for themselves, who find it too difficult to get anyone to hear them…but she listens. For her many years spent on such a noble crusade, what does she get in return?

She’s called vile names, her very life is threatened, she is the victim of personal attacks, she is nothing short of abused. Abuse doesn’t have to be a slap or a kick in order to hurt. Having your life’s work, your legacy thrown back in your face hurts.

Every insult hurled her way hit me too; every cheap shot affected me just as much as her…if not more. I’ve become accustomed to the fact that powerful woman are often treated as less than powerful men. It constantly pushes into my subconscious, pulling at my already fragile faith in the advances we have made as women — marching in protest, demanding the right to vote. Mothers, daughters, sisters and wives insisting men and other women treat them as equals.

These women are my heroes; they stood up and took action against the sometimes disheartening male dominated world they lived in. They expected to be treated with dignity and the respect they rightfully deserved. All the rights denied to them — the right to vote, the right to equality, the right to have the opportunity for advanced education — are freedoms we take for granted today.

In her book, Wollstonecraft contended that society will degenerate without educated women, particularly because mothers are the primary educators of young children. Every time the media shoots down a woman for being independent — for not leaning on a man for support when things get heated — one can’t help but wonder if they’d ever think these things about their own mothers. If you’re willing to say such malicious remarks about a woman who is merely running for a highly coveted office, and who has the experience and knowledge to execute the office correctly, you should also be willing to admit that you don’t take the women’s rights movement seriously. That your mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and all the women in your life who are of any value shouldn’t be taken seriously.

I shall not give my vote to a party that has thrown Democracy to the wind. I will stand instead beside my fellow Americans, for we are all the victims of prejudice at times. We are women, men, children. We are white, black, rich, poor, young, old, well educated, smart enough to know the difference between right and wrong, between just and unjust. I stand because I refuse to allow a lesser candidate to take a nomination he didn’t deserve. I refuse to step down and accept that I am defeated In standing up for myself and my rights I am taking a stand against a media dripping wet with misogyny and sexism.

I stand for my country, my future, myself, and my President, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

A change in the wind is upon us, I intend to fill my sails and coast through the stormy seas of a mismanaged nomination process. I shall dock on the port of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and equality for all.

United beside Hillary we shall all stand.

***

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  4. BTW Doug,

    You might want to look into Obama’s new stances concerning faith-based initiatives and the separation of church and state before you start claiming it as a reason we should support Obama.

    Obama is not a progressive. Period. Plus, we prefer to devil we know, rather than the devil we don’t.

    As for the issues, Obama’s stance on the war changes with the wind. I have no faith that he plans to withdraw troops, and even if he does, I have no faith that with his severe lack of experience that he is capable of withdrawing safely if at all.

    On the environment, McCain was the first to break with his party and acknowledge Global Warming. He disagrees with drilling in ANWR and agrees we need to become less dependent on foreign oil.

    As for healthcare, I view Obama’s non-mandate plan as a hinderance to actually ever achieving universal care. I prefer to have McCain’s market approach than to have Obama create more barackracy and turn the country off to further measures to bring us to a universal system.

    On the SCOTUS, I’m really tired of this being drug out and used to coax us into submission. The Court already has a conservative majority and Obama was in support of Roberts and was going to vote for him until one of his aids told him it would be bad for him when he ran for office. I already addressed his stance concerning church and state, and moreover, Obama has been pandering to the anti-choice movement and is wishy washy when it comes to choice. Again, he’s not a progressive.

    Thank you for your comment and donation to Hillary.

  5. A word to Dougindeep. This blog is for people who do not support the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party. There are a number of reasons that we do not support Obama, and in many cases no longer support the party itself. Both my husband and I changed our voter registration to unaffiliated the first day we could after the rules committee fiasco. We had not been happy when in a fit of temper the rules committee took away all of the delagates of two states when the party rules clearly stated that they could take away half. It had become quite clear before that that the party was not going to allow Senator Clinton to be the nominee, despite whatever outcome of the voting. The final straw for us was the decision over Michigan’s delagates.
    From the beginning of this primary season I found nothing to support in mr. Obama. To be fair though, I went to his U.S. Senate web site and studied his record. I was less than impressed. Still, I listened to the man in the debates and some of his speeches, I never found a new concrete idea coming from him. I wanted to know exactly what he meant by hope and change. Toward the end of the primaries the decision came down to three. Clearly as a democrat I supported Clinton, but if she was not a choice, McCain has been around long enough that I feel like I know I can trust him with the country and with the future of my children’s choices. Now I have grave concerns about Obama. Like many other established families we have stock investments, we do not like the proposals to raise taxes on those. We have real dislike for his proposal to raise the inheritance taxes to 45 percent. What incentive does that give for saving or even investing in the country? I can answer that, absolutely none! Many of the people that the Obama campaign needs to reach are in the same group we are in. Our parents have saved for years and have planned to leave something to the kids, we do not want them to have scrimped for the government to grab the hard earned and saved money. Today much of that money helps students attend college and start of in their own homes and careers. Be serious, college loans are harder to obtain and more expensive, and home ownership is becoming a distant dream.
    Now about your claims of choices for the supreme court. That brings out some real differences with Obama and what I believe in. I did graduate from college, and a requirement was taking a course about American government. In that course I learned that, as I had seen in real life, while the president can put forth a choice-the Senate must approve of that choice. At this time the senate is leaning Democratic. There is no reason for the supreme court to take up issues like Roe-Wade unless a case is brought before it that relates to that issue. Also, I personally hate guns and have simply walked out when they are brought out in family gatherings or in public. The thing is, I do not feel that I have the right to deny someone the ability to defend home and family with one if they are comfortable using a gun. Mr. Obama has a long record of not supporting that concept.
    I would respectfully ask that those who are supporting Obama stop harrassing those who do not. This is a democracy. We are guaranteed certain rights by the Constitution and freedom of speech is the first of the ammendments granting those rights. I am never going to enter one of Mr. Obama’s supporters sites and try to change what they believe, foolish as I might believe them to be. I have been following the childish and rude behavior exhibited by many of those supporters and have concerns about the ability to show respect or even understand that the very fundamental beliefs this country was founded around is freedom of speech, religion and choice itself. You will not change what we believe and anger many of us even more when you behave in this manner.


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