Yes, I know how many of you feel: crushed. This country is being given a chance to move beyond its vicious partisan, polarizing past, and last night, core Democrats picked the most polarizing figure in the country. They picked a machine politician who resorted to identity politics as a final gambit over a man who has single-handedly managed to change the debate over race. A reader channels many others:
I'm 40, a lifelong liberal-leaning moderate, and have rarely voted Republican. In fact, my general tendency if I don't know enough about a candidate is to pick either the Democrat or the woman on the ticket, with the idea that our country needs more of both. Not anymore. I feel more depressed today than I did the day Bush was reelected. Why? Because the prospect of four or eight more years of bare knuckle Clinton-Bush politics is just too much to bear. If Hillary wins the Democratic primary, I will tune out until it's all over. I just can't take any more slash-and-burn politics. Obama is our ticket out of the inferno, but I fear too many Democrats would rather wallow in the partisan mud than rise above.
If you look at many of the reader comments floating around on the blogs and news pages, the venom spewed against the "inexperienced" and "pie in the sky" Obama is spooky. I've even seen people say they won't vote for him because they're tired of people playing the race card. What? I don't know where these ideas are coming from, but it's clear a huge chunk of the electorate know nothing about Obama and are getting their information about him second or third hand.
If there is a silver lining to all of this, it's that Hillary will be crushed by pretty much anybody on the Republican side because of her galvanizing effect on conservatives, libertarians, and disaffected liberals far and wide. Then, maybe, we'll finally be rid of the Clinton-Bush era. But at what price? Obama is the real deal, and it's unlikely this generation will see another leader of his caliber.
All the more reason to fight on. This moment will not come again for us.