By Patricia Wilson-Smith
I have to admit – at times, I have been just about ready to shoot myself in the face over this nomination process.
I can’t quite tell whether or not I’ve been antsy because I’ve never been this engaged in a nomination fight before, or if this really truly has been the world’s longest primary race, or race of any kind in fact. I guess I could delve into Wikipedia to try and gain some historic perspective, but damnit, I just don’t have the energy.
I think the most amazing part of being so deeply interested in the happenings of this particular race has been watching the cataclysmic shift in the political power base, and specifically watching Billary go kicking and screaming into their joint political sunsets. I don’t think anyone could have imagined a year and a half ago that we would be about to witness the bitter end of the Clinton era, and everything that entails. I don’t think anyone saw it coming, especially not the Clintons themselves – the ushering in of a new day, rife with so many possibilities. I also don’t think anyone could have predicted how really truly enlightening the whole thing would be – how many bright hot lights would be shone on so many things and people who I’m sure would rather have continued to dwell in the dark.
Let’s see – you have the Bush Administration, just recently being outed by Scott McClellan, who essentially in one fell literary swoop, validated everything that the nation has slowly on its own grown to know about Dubya’s White House, and it’s shady and reckless dealings. It feels to me like a pretty rare moment, when a consummate administration insider breaks under the pressure of his own conscience to cast such damaging aspersions on a sitting President – and just in time to save us from a possible third term at the hands of a man who thinks it was all okay. Whoa.
And of course you have Billary – and the take-no-prisoners, leave no truth standing approach to power grabbing that they’ve been accused of for so many years by the political right. I cannot tell you how many Rush Limbaugh littanies I’ve sat through during which he described the Clintons and their tactics in terms that at the time seemed petty, sarcastic, exaggerated, and otherwise unbelievable. As I re-play some of those snarling recitations back in my head now, I have to admit that the guy had a lot of it right. Much to the Clintons’ chagrin, the power of the media, the Internet, and technological advancements in general have made it possible for each and every one of their campaign-trail transgressions to be vetted and broadcast and bandied about in near real-time for every rabid blogger and every news organization in the world to guffaw about. I mean, even with my deep disdain for Ms. “they-shot-at-me-so-I-deserve-to-be-President”, I can’t help but believe that she honestly just didn’t realize how easy it would be for someone to produce the very footage of the Bosnian event that she tried to re-write in her many retellings of the story. A Jehdi-mind trick gone awry, and all because of a tragic underestimation of the power that is access to instant information.
Then there are the lunatic ministers – Hagee on the right, Wright on the left, and so many others somewhere in between, who in
doing what has in the past come so naturally (and without repercussions or consequences) have managed to create an entirely new discussion about Religion and Politics, Religion and Race, Religion and Gender (I thought Michael Pfleger’s imitation of Hillary was hilarious, by the way), and Religion and well, Religion. Are we better off because we all now know what some who claim to be purveyors of the Gospel, spreaders of the good news of the deity of their choosing, etc., also may have dangerous opinions, and way too much power through which to spread them? This is a question that I think we’ll all begin to ask once the dust settles, and President Obama is busy about the business of running the country; but for now, still only a question.
But finally – we have the colossal, glaring spotlight that now shines on the failings and mis-steps of the Democratic Party rule-makers (see “Superdelegates – Who the F&%$ Knew?!?”, and ” A Brief History of the Michigan and Florida Democratic Primaries”). If we hadn’t been thrown head-first into what now feels like a never-ending nominating process, would we have ever been alerted to the disastrous and possibly even unconstitutional methods by which the Democratic Party has decided to select its candidates? Most certainly not!
Yep – these have been truly illuminating times, and it’s not over yet. This week will be one for the history books. This week, we resolve the issue of “hey, those votes don’t count – no wait, I need them, so uh, yes they do!” This week, your favorite Senator and mine will almost assuredly be rewarded for playng by the rules, and running one of the most honorable campaigns on record when he overcomes the remaining 45 delegate deficit to secure the nomination. And this week, the nation takes a historic quantum leap towards electing a non-white-male to the presidency of the United States. I’m awe struck.
It’s been tough, though. So many days and nights of political disagreements, phone calls, events, road trips, etc. Now that I’m on the other side of this thing? I feel like, hey – if as a nation we were forced to suck down a blue pill and open our eyes to the realities of our churches, our political process, and our society in general, then so be it. No matter what happens from this point forward, this race has changed the nation forever – we’ve seen the matrix, and we can never go back now. The only thing left for us to do is don the cool black outfits, slick our collective hair-do’s back, and begin to do the work that will turn what we realize now is a flawed reality into the one we long for. The one that Senator Obama has proven by his historic candidacy is attainable.
It has been tiring, emotionally draining, exhilerating, and yes, ever-so frustrating, but now that we’re in plain sight of the finish line, I think we’d all have to agree, it’s all been so worth it! Black Women for Obama loves you, America! See you at the finish line!