I hate the primary season. It’s an exercise in mandatory hair-splitting, but I realize it’s a necessary evil.
It’s painful to have to decide, because we’re called upon to differentiate between candidates — any one of whom would make, at least, a decent enough president — at the expense of promoting the truths we hold in common as Democrats. Ordinarily, I would look to people whose endorsements I respect because they share some of my ideals and have the insight and experience I don’t (in my case, it might be Charley, Bob, and David; Jim McGovern, Ted Kennedy, Kate Donoghue, Deval Patrick, and John Kerry, among others).
When there’s no overwhelming consensus among such as these, I realize that I’m on my own to sort it out. It’s no wonder some of us want to bury our heads in the sand until it’s all over and the decision made. But not participating is somehow not an option, even if I’m not sure when I go to the polls whether it will do any good in the grand scheme of things (It may be that the astonishing Democratic turnout numbers in some of these states are influential on their own).
It’s painful because of the nastiness between presumptive allies — from the campaigns, from the media, and even in the comments on this very blog site (I know, I know, you could have knocked me over with a feather). Once I’ve actually decided (assuming that’s before the polls close on 2/5), I may be tempted to play it close to the vest, choosing to be ridiculed as undecided rather than face the seething, condescending wrath (must…resist…temptation…to link to…specific…comments) of those whose candidate I didn’t pick.
In Salon, Tom Tomorrow puts it all in perspective. (Link should work the second time, if not the first; Salon gets cute with the cookies, and makes you look at an ad first.)