}

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Hillary’s victory


The video above was played right before Hillary Clinton delivered her speech tonight. I saw it on CNN, but there were some audio-visual issues and didn’t get to see it properly. I think it’s worth watching.

The video itself is well made, like many of the best of ones made for Democrats. The specific intent is to place the events of today in its historic context, but it also touches on many Democratic Party values.

In her speech tonight, Hillary focused mainly on values, what she represents and how dramatically that contrasts with the politics of fear and bigotry promoted by Donald. It’s important to do that, I think, to draw the clear distinction, since so many Americans claim they can’t see it.

I also watched the other two speeches. Donald’s was excruciatingly painful to watch, not because he was so bad at using a teleprompter, though that didn’t help, but because his words were so repugnant. I admit I stopped listening a couple minutes in because I was sure something he said was an outright lie, and I was thinking about debunking it, until I heard another lie, then another, then…

I also watched Bernie’s speech, and I was agreeing with pretty much everything he was saying, of course. He was absolutely right to point out that real change comes from the ground up, not the other way around. The extreme rightwing took control of the Republican Party by starting at the bottom—school boards, county boards, state legislatures and on up to Congress, something TV preacher Pat Robertson urged them to do after he lost the 1988 Republican presidential nomination. If Bernie can lead his supporters in that progressive effort, then it will have a far more profound affect on the USA’s politics than winning the White House ever could have done.

I checked Facebook a couple times in the evening, and I saw a lot of angry words from Bernie’s supporters. I get that. I’ve lost a lot of elections, so I know what that feels like. No one should tell them what to feel, how they should act, or even what they should do next. There’s plenty of time for that—though I hope most of them will commit to the grassroots change Bernie championed, and obviously I hope they’ll help defeat Donald. But, all in good time.

I also was watching the New York Times' live updates of the California results, and I noticed that Hillary’s lead over Bernie really didn’t change all night. Because of that, I was ready to project her the winner once they crossed 75% counted, especially because most of the incomplete counties were ones in which she had a massive lead. But, no one called it until around 90% was counted; now, I kinda wish I had—it would have established my pundit bonafides. (I console myself—barely—with the fact I was the first of my Facebook friends to share the news).

It’s important to note where we are: Hillary ended up with 380 pledged delegates more than Bernie, whereas Obama had only 102 more than her in 2008. She also ended up with 3.68 million more votes than Sanders, unlike 2008 where she had 300,000 more than Obama. So, she’s more successful than Barack Obama was in 2008, which is no small thing. Neither is being the first woman to be the presumptive presidential nominee of a major party.

Next, we must defeat Donald. No doubt about that or any equivocation. We must also continue to push for progressive change. Bernie has pushed Hillary on that, making her more progressive, and we need to thank him for that. But now, we need to deliver the White House and US Senate so those progressive ideas can become reality.

The real work is just beginning.

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