Monday, February 04, 2008

Think...and Vote

My dearest friends,

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, aka, "Super Duper Tuesday," "Giga Tuesday," and "The Tuesday of Destiny."

If you are in one of the 22 states holding primaries and/or caucuses tomorrow, I'm hoping you'll go vote.

If you are in Massachusetts or California, you can vote (I believe) in the primary even if you are registered as an Independent.

If you haven't registered yet, what a great time to do it!

I think you can get a voter registration form at your local post office, or you can visit an online site, such as Rock the Vote to register online or learn how to register in your state. If you get registered, you'll be able to vote in the election this fall--and that's very important.

In general, I don't like to urge people to vote one way or another. I am pro-choice, and this includes politics. I think you should make your own informed choice and act on it--and that it's a private choice that is basically none of my business.

This year, however, I am breaking my mind-your-own-business rule, and I'm sending out this e-mail asking you to give Hillary Clinton your vote tomorrow.

I will keep my plea simple. If you are not currently planning to vote for her, I will only ask you to take a few deep breaths and then give *real* thought to the reasons you have felt resistant to voting for her. Among the reasons I have heard from my (independent or democratic, progressive, intelligent) friends of late:

--"I'm too much of a feminist to vote for her just because she's a woman."
--"I don't like the way she handled her husband's infidelity."
--"She can't win."
--"I won't be able to stand watching FOX news go after her for four
years, if she wins the Presidency."
--"The conservatives hate her too much. I'm sick of divisive politics."
---"It's too much, this Bush-Bush-Clinton-Clinton, thing. It's like Pakistan. It's not healthy."
--"She's not personable."
--"I don't like her."

If any of these are your reasons, I implore you to consider the following:

--We live in a society, which has seen 43 consecutive male Presidents; where the Senate is not even 10% female; where, in essence, our world is governed by men for men. We are not done--not even nearly done--with the fight for equal rights. We barely have one generation
of women who were born after Roe v. Wade and Title IX, and each of those things are in dire jeopardy even as I write this. Our work is not done. It still matters a great deal that women get a seat at the table, that little girls--and especially little boys!--learn that women can be powerful, women can be leaders, women can be EQUAL. Try this, if you don't believe me: find a little girl--or an adolescent--and ask her to name five famous women. If she names anyone
who isn't either fictional or in the entertainment industry, then go ahead and vote for a male candidate.

--How much do you know about the other candidate's marriages? Is the way a candidate chooses to handle his or her spouse's infidelity really and truly the standard of measure you want to use when electing a PRESIDENT? Hillary Clinton is not running for President of the PTA or your senior class. This is much bigger than her marriage. How she handled that painful, embarrassing situation is her own business--and, honestly, if what she's done is honor her vow, even when it felt impossible, isn't that a good quality in a President? If what she's done is found forgiveness instead of hostility, isn't that the kind of leader we want?

--Almost everyone said the NY Giants couldn't win yesterday, and look how that turned out. We thought Bush couldn't win, and he did. Twice. Don't rule Hillary out because you believe she's not electable. Focus on your own ideas about what's important and vote based on that. You
simply cannot know what the American electorate will do in November, so don't give up on anyone based on a fear that they can't win. Give her a chance. She may surprise you.

--If the idea of FOX news coverage of her Presidency bothers you so much, how about you just stop watching FOX news? :-)

--We are a divisive nation. It's time to stick up for what you believe in. Besides, if the people who believe in everything you stand against hate your candidate, then that candidate is doing something right. The small-minded hate-mongers won't love any democrat or progressive,
ever. They hate Obama, too, it's just less politically correct to come out and say so. In short, you can't not vote for the right person just because you fear the ire of the bad guys. They hated Bill Clinton, too, but his Presidency is widely regarded as a whopping success.
Don't let hate win by being afraid of it.

--As for the Bush-Bush-Clinton-Clinton thing...the bad guys stole at least one election--and a lot of people have suffered and died as a result. Voting against Hillary Clinton because sixteen years ago her husband won an election and then another, and then somebody stole one?
It's just bad logic--and unfair, if you ask me. (Which, you didn't, I do realize.) :-) The system is flawed, but the way to fix it is not to reject Hillary Clinton.

--As for the last two complaints, if you've met her and still believe she's not personable, or you still don't like her, then go ahead, vote for someone else. But, if you are basing this on FOX news, or most any other media, just give her the benefit of the doubt and take a moment
to investigate further. Watch this video, for instance. Or listen to her daughter. Or, at the very least, consider the actual value of having a personable President. The idiot running the show right now is known for his folksy, personable nature and he's the worst thing since taxation
without representation. Maybe we'd be better off with someone who comes off as a little more...Presidential.

The last thing I'll say is this: my e-mail is not an anti-Obama message. I gave money to the Obama campaign. He's a great candidate and the implications of having the first African-American President are monumental. I do not wish to get into a debate about which is more important--a woman or a person of color.

This e-mail is an attempt to counteract some of the small-minded foolishness that has seeped like a conservative fog into the minds of even some of the brightest and most progressive among us. If you have said or thought any of the above, I am trying to wake you up, splash
some cold water on your face, and invite you out into the fresh air and sunshine, so that you can make your choice with a clear head. If, after you give it some honest thought, you really and truly believe that someone else deserves your vote, then by all means, vote for another candidate.

In short, I want you to THINK. And I want you to VOTE.

Thank you so much for tolerating my e-mail invasion of perspective. It makes me really uncomfortable to pontificate, but it just feels so important to speak up...

This concludes our broadcast. :-)

Feel free to forward.

With love, both for you and democracy,


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