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What Kind of Experience Are We Talking About?

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Message Shirley Bianchi

All of this 'stuff' about feminists voting for Hillary Clinton is really annoying.  I am a feminist, and also a masculinist.  I believe that no one, regardless of who they are, should be required to fit into a nice cultural box that was put together by someone other than one's self.  How many men do you know who are jerks, and how many women who are ding-a-lings?  I imagine plenty of both.  Or perhaps vice-versa. 


That being said, I have never supported Hillary Clinton because of her vote for the Iraq war.  In my opinion, that vote was an opportunistic vote – not a vote of conscience.  It is also my opinion that when we are dealing with the lives of human beings, one votes one's conscience.  One does not vote for one's own benefit, whatever that may be.  One excuse given by her was that when Bill was the President he didn't get support for his programs, and she didn't want to do that to someone else.  That doesn't equal people dying.


Further, I knew Bush was lying about Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction.  It was such an orchestrated drum beat that it resounded clear across the nation to my rather remote corner of the country.  If I could detect the rhythm in that drumbeat, why couldn't she when she was so close to the source?  I have never understood why legislators who voted for the war didn't hear it.  And I applauded John Edwards when he boldly said, "I was wrong."  I could have forgiven Hillary the same.  But she never said it, and now it is too late.  It would be seen as an opportunistic statement.


Much is being said about Barack Obama's lack of experience.  Frankly, it depends on what type of experience one is talking about.  There is experience, and then there is experience.  He has a different set than Hillary has, but they are experiences, nonetheless.  His include living in other countries, going to school in other countries, and being a community activist.  These are invaluable as well because they give him a much different perspective from someone who has never had those overseas cultural experiences.  Being overseas, or over-border if it is to the south or north of us, brings the realization that the United States is not the only center of the universe.  Being a community activist (I was one) brings the experience of how frustrating it can be to deal with a government that may be totally unresponsive.  It takes the courage of one's convictions to be a community activist.  One cannot be a dedicated activist and make opportunistic decisions for oneself at the same time.  One must be totally committed to the cause.


Although I voted absentee for John Edwards the day before he withdrew, and thus the rest of the primary season is academic for me, I will support whichever one gets the nomination for the simple fact that either of them are so much more preferable to 'more of the same' McCain. 



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Voluntarily retired California county elected official.
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