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Davis, California

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

A heroic end

In the end, Senator Obama suffered a marginal defeat in Indiana while conjuring an overwhelming victory in North Carolina. But the match as a contest was over a while ago.A string of consecutive victories guaranteed Obama’s pledged delegate leadastheoretically unassailable.With his latest triumph, however, bloggers, newscasters and the Drudge Reportthe premier portal of breaking newsarefinallycalling Obamathe nominee.The curtains,for once, are truly drawing to a close.

What we should now do,firstly,is acknowledge the passion of two patriots who truly believed in their own capabilities to lead the country.

One is a woman defined by her qualities as a fighter,a quality she internalized and utilized to triumph over the specter of sexism,toovercome gender barriers and to climb to the very top.If anything,thevalianceshe mustered to push on,the pretension she masked to assuage supporters during tough times and the bravado,iffoolhardiness,she summoned against unflinching criticism are admirable.She wouldn’t just yield,because at stake was not only theClinton brand but her own trust in her leadership.And in the boiling heat of the kitchen,she didn’t get out like in the past.Shethrew the kitchen sink,sometimes futilely,against inevitability itself.

Nobody faults Senator Clinton for remaining in the contest.Politicscan be an inherently brutal bloodbath.At any other moment,moreover,Senator Clinton would have been an outstanding Democratic nominee.But the state of disrepair that George W.Bush left the nation in requires not just another president who is well-versed in policies.It mandates the emergence of a candidate who can fundamentally change the system.It demands a new era of progressive ideals.Clinton,simply said,was playing the wrong type of game at the wrong time.

AnAfricanAmericancandidate,Obama’s ascent as the nominee is,well,afairy talecome true.Becausein many ways,rooted in Obama’s narrative isan American classic.For weeks,he endured the unendurable.Often,hewas charged with accusations of unpatriotism,extremism and elitism.He withstood,at times unsuccessfully,the full-force of Rovian-style distortion.He attempted to transcend politics of the past,only to find his immersion in the past.Faced with mounting odds,he roared back to victory by returning to his theme of hope.In his finest moment,it truly is,as the Wall Street Journal conservative columnist Peggy Noonan once suggested,the moment of Obama.

Thus,for the powerful character and emotional intensity both displayed,let us applaud the heroism of Obama and Clinton.In our bitterness at each otherscandidates,let us not forget that the heightened interest piqued in a whole new generation of voters.Let us acknowledge the motivations of the older generation in voting for Hillarythe personification ofexperience” – a vote that is an extension of their own experiences.Let us not forget the tears,sweat,blood and hours spent not only by the candidates,but by volunteers,operatives,consultants,canvassers,all for their undoubted commitment and steely dedication tothe cause.Let us also not forget,too,all the dropped-out candidates that participated in and contributed to the race.

Let us further celebrate a nation that has finally awakened from its slumber.Voter turnout records shattered across the country,a nation rebelling against the mistakes of the past.Most of all,let us realize that there is a true desire for collective change across the nation.

We now stand at an axis between the past and the future,where the old form of cynicism is in an existential crisis,upendedby an ideal of hope.For Democrats,also,the end of the slugfest is near,but a new horizon looms ahead.It shines brightly.And so,before everyone goes back to work,before everyone returns to normalcy,before everyone breathes aresounding sigh of relief,let us herald this promise.History has been made and waiting is to be remade.We are,as Obama frequently says,at adefining moment in history.His victoryonTuesdayproved it.

 

The curtains are finally,finally closed,but you can still conjure some surprises for ZACH HAN at zklhan@ucdavis.edu.XXX

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