Things can fall apart. I see it happening in little ways. We have to DECIDE to hold them together.
I've had two days of meeting Hillary supporters and hearing from them by email.
And I'm feeling a bit sad. The supporters are mostly women, mostly over 40, actually, mostly over 50 or more. A number are angry and disappointed that progressives are embracing Obama-- I mean progressive media. I can't speak for others.
I look to these Democrats, my "sisters" who, usually, are 100% on the same page as me, and I feel their pain. I know that they want to see a woman president, and for some, the elders, in their late sixties, seventies, maybe even eighties, they may see Hillary as their last, best chance. And after the past two weekends, it may seem, to some, that their hopes and dreams are melting away, with nothing but Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania to salvage them.
For some Obama supporters, they go after Hillary as viscerally as they after Bush. And the former Kucinich, Gravel, Edwards and Paul supporters who are leaning third party now, can be even more vicious, viewing both Obama and Hillary as corporate puppets.
Somehow, the progressive community must figure out a way to hold things together, even while we contend, supporting our chosen candidates. We have to differentiate between different progressive candidates and "the enemy" on the right.
Since the very start of the primaries, Hillary has always, for me, fallen short of "other" in my ratings of candidates. She's just too DLC for me. But I'll get behind her if she wins. I can't imagine how my third party friends see her as no different than McCain. She's a big letdown compared to Edwards or Kucinich, but fact is, she and Obama have been moved much further to the left in recent weeks. And we progressives have forced them to do it. Listening to both Hillary's and Obama's talks tonight, it was very gratifying. Both address so many progressive values and issues with priorities and perspectives profoundly different than right wingers.
The next month or two could get very dicey, in terms of how progressives get along.
Nader, Gravel, Paul, Kucinich-- any of them could go third party. There's Cynthia McKinney, a courageous woman, already up, as a green candidate.
We need to stay TOGETHER. It's okay if some support Hillary, some support Nader or McKinney. We can disagree on candidates, but we will still agree on so many other progressive issues. We can't go to war or become divided. The risk is there. We have to make a conscious choice not to call people who disagree with us stupid. We need to maintain our mutual respect and expand our tolerance.
These will be exciting, rocky, at times grueling and stressful times. The attacks from the right will get very ugly and we all need to pull together.