What I want rabid Obama supporters to understand

(This post is directed toward those Barack Obama voters who want to elect a Democrat to the White House in 2008) 

It’s interesting as I talk with other Clinton supporters the same theme comes up. I personally like Barack Obama and think that he would be a great candidate. However, what drives me away from him more than anything is some of his supporters. I would say the vast majority of his supporters are very friendly and rational. I can talk with reasonable and friendly Obama supporters like Jeff and David and have an engaging and civil conversation where there is mutual respect and an eye on the larger picture of getting a Democrat in the White House. I went to happy hour tonight with two of my friends who are Barack Obama supporters and had a civil and respectful conversation. We all agreed that it was imperative to elect a Democrat to the White House to bring about a change away from the failed policies of George W Bush, whether it be Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

However, I would say there is a vocal minority of Obama supporters who tend to be more rabid and irrational in their support for him. I know this is a minority of Obama supporters, but unfortunately I have been mostly running into these Obama supporters lately. These are supporters that follow him like a rock star and see him as being the panacea for all the ills of America. They see any opposition to him as blasphemous and immoral. These are the people that it is difficult to have a civil and respectful conversation with. I would consider voting for Barack Obama, but these Obama supporters drive me even further way and motivate me to work harder for Hillary Clinton.

So here’s a list of things that I want these rabid Obama supporters to understand:

-Just because I support Hillary Clinton doesn’t mean I don’t believe in hope or that I don’t have an idealistic streak. I hope for a positive vision for our future just like everyone else. I just believe Hillary Clinton is the one most capable of bring about that positive vision. I believe both Clinton and Obama hope for a positive future for the nation.

-Please do not attack my integrity because I am not voting for Barack Obama. I do have morals and I do believe in honest government. Please give me respect even if I don’t vote for your candidate. We are civil people that should be able to respect one another’s positions without getting personal and pushy. If I have already reiterated my support for Hillary Clinton, please don’t try to continuously evangelize me toward Obama everytime you see me and don’t make me feel guilty for having different opinions than you. Give me more credit than that.

-Please do not create a false choice between Barack Obama as the second coming of Jesus and Hillary Clinton as the anti-Christ. Just because I am supporting Hillary Clinton does not mean I worship the devil and support corruption in government. Once again, can we be rational and not see things in such black and white terms. Can we once again have mutual respect for our different opinions? Can we acknowledge that both are flawed candidates, but either is much better than any of the Republican candidates?

-Please stop telling me that Hillary Clinton is the same as George W Bush. Do not patronize me like that. That is a ridiculous premise. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s policy positions are mostly the same. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are nowhere close to being like George W Bush.

-Please acknowledge the historical nature of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. I readily acknowledge the historic nature of Barack Obama’s candidacy. It would be amazing and wonderful to have the first African American as president. However, rabid Obama fans discount the historic nature of Hillary Clinton being the first woman president as nothing special and just upholding the status quo. A woman being president after 43 straight men in office would not be status quo. Race should not trump gender and gender should not trump race. We should all work together to work for racial and gender equality and at the same time acknowledge the historic and amazing possibility of having either the first African American or the first woman president in office.

-Please do not be petty and say that if Hillary Clinton becomes the nominee that you will not vote for her in the general election. Please be rational and keep the big picture in mind. Most Clinton supporters I know would gladly support Obama if he were the nominee. We all want to elect a Democrat into the White House to reverse the damage done by George W Bush. Do not be shortsighted and say you will not vote for Hillary Clinton if she’s the nominee. All you ensure is that John McCain will win the presidency, which would defeat most of the things you are hoping for. Remember that in the end, we’re all on the same team. Don’t let petty infighting create long lasting scars that will weaken the eventual Democratic nominee.

So these are just a few things I hope rabid Obama supporters would understand. Once again, I’m sure the vast majority of Obama supporters are extremely friendly, civil, respectful, and rational. I enjoy having engaging conversations and having constructive dialogue with these folks. However, for the small minority of rabid Obama supporters, please remember the big picture. Please show respect to my opinion. My support for Hillary Clinton is not a rejection of Barack Obama. I just ask for some respect and civility even in our differing opinions. I personally apologize if I or any Clinton supporter have been disrespectful to any Obama supporters in the past. But remember that there is much more that we agree on than disagree on. Those small differences are irrelevant compared to larger differences that we have with John McCain and the Republican Party. So let’s work together to elect a Democrat, whether it end up being the first woman president or the first African American president, to the White House in 2008!



  1. You have written a comprehensive and well thought out essay. There is no place for rabid supporters anywhere, anytime for anybody; however, I agree to disagree on the majority of your points. I can refute most of them but I’m sure you have already heard them.

    In a nutshell, I want to be proud of my President. They are so close on the issues that it boils down to really just a couple of things: judgment, personal integrity and behavior in the political arena.

    It is difficult for me to support someone who has been embroiled in Travelgate, Filegate, Pardongate, Troopergate, Whitewater, Zoë Baird, cattle futures, the Chinese dishwashers who wrote checks for $500 and $2,000 to her campaign, the money from Ponzi schemer Norman Hsu, the $100,000 to her Senate campaign from a sleazy marketing operator in Nebraska, who paid her husband $2 million for unspecified “consulting services.”

    She has failed at the two big political issues she has tackled: Health care in the ‘90s and her campaign. It was Hillary with her secretive, misconstrued plan which has held anyone back from even revisiting Health Care, it set such a negative and destructive tone. The longer her campaign continues she is going backwards both in votes and money. She is losing two for two…

    Past behavior and successes predict future behavior and successes. She looses on all counts. I think that is why people get rabid. She still doesn’t understand that it is her own behavior and past that is causing her to lose.

  2. I want a Democrat in the While House as well. Obama is a unique candidate and comes at a time we need him most. This is a critical turning point for the US. If we perpetuate the old Washington standards and relive the old Washington politics we would be throwing this remarkable opportunity for real change and unity out the window. Obama is competent and inspired and attracks competent inspired people. He is the closest thing to JFK since JFK (yes, I Do remember those years). Hillary is sharp and female but has monkeys on her back who will never release their grip. There is also the matter of refusing to release her financial and White House records until After the election. Clinton divisiveness was evident in South Carolina when they were willing to divide races and Democrats to get a few votes. And if Hillary is unable to manage her $100 million campaign war chest, how can we expect her to manage a country? It’s just a preview of things to come with a Clinton presidency.
    There are unknowns with both candidates but Obama has endorsements from those with nothing to gain. They believe, like I do, that he will not only beat McCain, but with our support lead our country into civility and pride.

  3. You said: “I personally like Barack Obama and think that he would be a great candidate. However, what drives me away from him more than anything is some of his supporters.”

    I can more or less agree with many of your arguments but your reason for staying away from Obama seems unintelligent. You’re more intelligent than that and I suspect you have better reasons for not liking Obama.

    I would vote for Clinton if Obama is not the democratic nominee but I have clear reasons for why I would 100X rather have Obama as my president than Clinton.

    Besides all the reasons listed above in the comments from others Obama will be a much better president to help the US re establish the damage Bush has done in regards to foreign policy. I feel Obama understands not every culture/nation thinks the way the US does and that the US way of thinking is not always the best for that country. Clinton’s vote on the Iraq war is the best example I suppose.

    When it comes to politics… I have always voted based on the character of that person and the hope they can inspire in normal everyday people. I think that is one reason why so many people are for Obama. Obama’s policies are not too different versus Clinton, but his character is arguably less tarnished and worthy to be the US President. I choose Obama in 08

  4. You’ve made some fair points, but I do hold that Clinton is more like GWB than her supporters would like to admit. She was an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq war, she endorsed the bill to attack Iran, and she will not commit to ending torture. The rumours on capital hill is that the neocons basically know that the Dems will take the whitehouse, and that they view Hillary Clinton as the heir apparant to the neocon foreign policy. One only need remember that Ann Coulter would rather have a Clinton foreign policy over a McCain one to see where Clinton has the capacity to go.

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