What This Idealist Learned From the Primaries

10 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

Happy post-primary. It is final...finally, and Barack Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee. Somewhere inside me the swells of relief are meeting up with the waves of excitement and pride - but I'll be damned if I can unearth them to show you. See, anticlimatic is a mild description of what I'm feeling. Fatigued - too cliche. Weary - too connotated. Like a steak once pink and juicy left on the grill too long, I'm just plain charred by the past few months.

I started getting excited about Obama's campaign in December. He was motivating generations of disenfranchised citizens to get involved; how could I not support that? He is articulate - and he reads books (simplistic though this may sound...can you say the same of our current commander in chief?). He is thoughtful. He has a super cool wife. He seems like a good dad who embraces the importance of family. He understands the concept of privilege and what it does to a country in terms of power and poverty. He just gets it. And he's fresh. While Hillary Clinton has many of the same qualities listed above, her spouse is oh-not-so-super cool, and she is the antithesis of fresh. It is symbolic of our times how much this matters.

As the primaries continued, I was entranced. I rode the rollar coaster of adreniline and was smitten with the possibilities. But the longer it went and the more mud piled up in the media's coatroom, my descent from the political high was as swift as an addict's on crack. My rosey filters fogged. My convictions petered into a puddle. And I was lost. Confused. Drifting.

I'm still drifting. And I'm jaded. This idealist is afraid to be hopeful. Even after an evening like last when a candidate like Obama - with his politics and his skin and his history - will write entire new chapters in social studies text books, I'm still befuddled. And though I'm not completely opposed to a ticket of Obama and Clinton in '08, what would such a union mean about the integrity of politics in our country? The integrity of relationships? Of truth? And those questions - and likely the answers I know are coming - leave me absolutely stone cold.

 

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