Sometimes, my significant other has a nasty habit. She'll say something bad about someone she doesn't like, justifying it by saying "well it's true!". I like to chastise her for this, as I'm a man with many flaws, living with a woman with few, so I'll take the opportunity to be self-righteous whenever I can.
But one of the negatives of being self-righteous is that you will inevitably become a hypocrite, and that's exactly what I've become.
A few days ago, in a Daily Kos diary about some Hillary supporters threatening to support John McCain, I posted the following comment:
If Obama somehow loses in the fall, I think there
are a lot of people (me included) who will dedicate themselves to doing all that is possible to prevent Hillary Clinton from getting the nomination in 2012.
The quote was recommended by 36 members of the community, which for me a is a pretty good haul, and it ignited a long conversation. Although most of the following posters reflected a similar sentiment to mine, there were a few who disagreed, suggesting that it was comments and people like me who were making it difficult for the party to come together.
For some reason, this struck a nerve with me, and I've been thinking about it a lot the past day. Although I initially tried to defend myself, I realize they were right.
My comment was a cheap shot for a cheap pop, the equivalent of Mick Jagger yelling "Hello New York!" to a crowd at Madison Garden. It served no purpose, and I am ashamed that I posted it.
What bothers me the most about it is that the comment was born out of pure passion. It wasn't a well-thought out or intellectual statement. It was a statement meant to incite one of two responses, both polar opposites. I have preached unity in the past, but I have let myself down for a cheap pop. That is why I'm a hypocrite. I myself had become a vehicle of divisiveness.
We all started this journey a long time ago. Many ideas and positions took a long time to mature, and with this primary being unusually close and unusually long, for many the passion became a double-edged sword. On the one side you have the loyalty and respect of one candidate, on the other, the dislike of another. For many, it didn't take long for there to be no middle-way, making reconciliation even more difficult.
So what did I choose to do? Did I choose to lay off, after beginning to realize that much of this had gone too far? No. I chose to stoke the flames. With the Clinton campaign winding down, stoking these fires makes it only more difficult to reconcile with the other side, which is experiencing the ending of their dream, a painful thing that I am lucky to not fully understand.
Today I apologize for my behavior. It was inappropriate and immature. I pledge to not post another anti-Hillary diary, and to not post another anti-Hillary comment, regardless of whether I think it's the truth or not, as in this matter, I think it best that the truth is our shield and not our sword. The time has come to let things be. Even though the individuals here can only do a little damage, collectively we can do a lot.
To those who recommended my comment, it would be cathartic to me if you would remove your recommends. I don't deserve them. I'm going to post a tip-jar here though, so feel free to just trade them out. Thank you for hearing me out.