Saturday, June 07, 2008

the process by which groups of people make decisions: politics

i didn't support hillary clinton in her bid for the nomination. this was never a difficult decision for me to make: her politics, her style, and her perspective on issues simply did not resonate with me.

however, when reading about her suspension today--and i believe it's important to use the word "suspend," the word clinton used, and not call it a "concession"--i wondered how i would have felt back in college, when i first became politically engaged, when her husband first ran, and when i first understood what it meant to be a feminist. these "firsts" may have indeed influenced my leaning toward hillary as a candidate. it makes me smile, remembering so brazenly wearing a "vote for hillary's husband" t-shirt in my small midwestern college town. i was labelled a Liberal, a word that filled me with a sense of pride and rebellion, and a word that has different connotations for me today.

a good friend (who was far more sophisticated than i) helped me to understand that identifying as a feminist didn't mean that one voted for a woman at any cost. i remember ruminating over that concept while i sat across from the ice cream station in the dining hall of my all-women's dorm. i had to re-think, to re-adjust my fervent belief that women needed all of my support and all of my attention, especially those women who aspired to participate in the political process as candidates.

just the other day, i shared with this friend how her lesson was an important addition to my political and personal values, one that helped shape me as a questioning, and curious member of this world. both of us do not support hillary now, yet both of us understand the importance of her bid, of her success, and of her determination, as frustrating as it may have been to observe.

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