Friday, May 23, 2008

This is too much.

I'm supposed to be in a very "valuable" demographic, at least as far as one Democratic contender for the presidency is concerned. I'm a woman in her 50s. I'm college educated, have a Master's Degree and I'm white. And I am so far out of her preferred demographic that it's not even funny. Especially now. Hillary Clinton, the woman who's gotten the farthest in any presidential contest in this country, has just, in my opinion, torched herself. Well and truly torched her chances of any sort of victory. Well and truly alienated any thinking woman or man in his or her 50s. Commenting on the reason for her not dropping out, she brought up the assassination of Robert Kennedy in California. The 40th anniversary of that killing is coming up soon. On the heels of Ted Kennedy's recent, devastating diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor. And, when the comments elicited the righteous outrage they deserved, her spokesperson in essence said that (a) Hillary didn't exactly say that; and (b) people were "reading too much into that." Hillary herself noted that she was just quoting history. No. Well, yes. Yes, she WAS just quoting history. But she was quoting - and invoking - the most bleak and painful aspect of our history as a nation. Our history of killing our leaders is long, considering the actual age of our country. We are, after all, only 232 years old. And during that time, people who have either mental imbalance or some weird sense of their own importance or the importance of their own agenda, have tried (often succeeding) to kill our president. The list of those killed: Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Kennedy. The list of those attempts: Jackson, T. Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, Ford, Reagan. Let's not forget that RFK and MLK also gave their lives. And they weren't presidents - they were, however, leaders. So. She's put out there what, probably, many people have worried about. But many of us who may have, and still do have, concerns about this do not have a worldwide platform upon which to air our views. We keep them inside, or talk about them to close friends. She "put it out there in the air" as my guitar teacher says. And then subsequent namby-pamby pseudoapology? Did she ever stop to consider that the same whacko that might consider putting a bullet in one candidate's head might well target her? Or, since her "sniper fire in Bosnia" fantasy, has she become immune to the power of a gun?

What is absolutely astounding is the thought that any of us who are old enough to remember the dark times in our history would want them even brought up again! I was a kid in the 60s. But I clearly remember where I was when JFK was killed. I think all of us who are old enough remember that. And all of us are determined, no matter what the past 8 years have been for any of us, to NOT go back to those days where it seemed that our politicians were killed before they could get going. And who knows what it was that they could have accomplished, if they'd have lived. How different would the nation be if each and every person on that list of "successful" attempts had lived his full allotment of years? It was remarked that Hillary is a "professional politician." Well, maybe so. But I don't like her particular version of the game of politics. And I don't appreciate being lumped into a demographic of people who "will" vote for her just because of her - or my - gender. Hillary, you stepped into it up to your hips. There's no graceful way to exit this particular bit of self-inflicted sniper fire. It's time to fold up your tent and go home. Maybe Bill was right in a recent Chicago Tribune article. Maybe it's actually going to be Chelsea's time. And not yours, because you've proven by your many mis-steps that you're just not ready for prime time. Not now, and possibly after all this, not ever.

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