Why Hillary supporters should vote for Obama
-first published Aug. 23, 2008 I was on the convention floor in 1984 in San Francisco when Geraldine Ferraro accepted the vice presidential nomination. No one wanted a woman to be at the top of the ticket in 2008 more than I. And, who better than Hillary? She is the most qualified candidate by far. But, I’m starting to look at this campaign more in meta-theoretical terms as an academic and feminist, so I am taking a stab at convincing other feminists to do the same, even though they might have to hold their noses to do it.
I can support Obama because I see him as a symbol — not of male/female or African-American or elitist vs. working class. I see him as a symbol of a social critique that began many years ago and has been led and fostered by feminists. He is not a perfect symbol but I think he works.
It is Obama’s world view and his upbringing AFTER a time of social change that works for him for feminists. Where John McCain represents the patriarchal view that power is to be wielded for control and self-interest, Obama’s approach is one of shared power and inclusiveness. While it’s understood that anyone running for president has a deep appreciation for the power that comes with being the leader of the free world, Obama at least has an understanding of a new vocabulary. He hopefully understands at a gut level that political economy is a major contributor to our place in the world, not entitlement or specialness. He might not use the term standpoint epistemology but he knows of its existence and fundamental place in the world, unlike McCain.
Obama represents at least a way of looking at the world with a better meta-narrative than we’ve had in a long time.