Tonight Hillary Clinton will be speaking at the DNC. Naturally, it is not the acceptance speach that she had hoped to give, but perhaps it will help bring some closure to the Democrats. Hillary is supposed to release her delegates to Obama, presumably with the music from “Born Free” playing in the background.
While Hillary and Bill seem to have been walking alongside the Obama bandwagon, some of her supporters have still not forgiven Obama for getting the nomination. Interestingly, the percentage of Hillary supporters who say they will vote for McCain has increased recently. McCain’s minions have cleverly decided to tap into this by featuring Hillary in one of their advertisements. McCain’s people have been trying to win the support of women voters for quite some time and the Hillary situation gives them a possible opportunity to tap into a powerful motivating force: spite.
Obviously enough, the people who supported Hillary are most likely opposed to most of McCain’s political views. After all, his voting record and positions are significantly different from Hillary’s in key ways. Obama, in contrast, is very similar to Hillary in his votes and positions. Thus, a plausible reason why some Hillary supporters are saying they will vote for McCain is that they are angry and wish to punish Obama (and the other Democrats) for “taking” the nomination away from Hillary.
If this is the case, then the Hillary supporters would seem to be acting in an irrational manner. After all, they would be letting their anger guide them towards an action which would be inconsistent with their professed political values.
Of course, perhaps their true political views are that Hillary should be the candidate and Obama should be punished for taking the nomination from her. In this case, they would be acting in accord with those values (which might be irrational in themselves).
Another possibility (and but one more among many) is that they think that if McCain gets elected, then Hillary will have a chance in the 2012.This strategy seems to be borrowed from the Republicans.
I’ve spoken to some Republicans who actually hoped that Hillary would get elected because they believed she would wreck the country and thus help push the country back to the Republicans for years to come. Interestingly enough, some Hillary supports have expressed the view that McCain should be elected so that he will continue to wreck the country in the manner of Bush. Having lost, Obama will be tainted with failure and will be out of the running in 2012. So, it will be a clear nomination path for Hillary and then, presumably, smooth sailing to what is left of the White House.
From a moral standpoint, there is much that can be said about allowing evil (or a perceived evil) to happen in the hopes of getting what you desire later. After all, those who care about the well being of the people would certainly not want to allow someone into office who they think would damage the country. That would clearly be an evil action.
This can, of course, be countered by arguing that the evil is necessary to bring about a greater good. So, Hillary supporters might argue that while they regard McCain as a bad choice and someone who will do things they oppose, he must be elected so that Hillary will be able to do all the good they believe she will do.
It can also be countered by taking the view that it is not about good and bad. Rather, it is about getting your candidate into the office, regardless of how much damage this does. That would certainly be wicked.
It might be the case that the explanation is less sinister. It might be a mere case of disappointed bitterness. Those who fell in behind Hillary wanted to win and the enemy was Obama. The convention, which is Obama’s, would seem like a fresh slap in the face to the Hillary supporters. After all, who wants to see their enemy praised and lifted high? Hence, the Hillary supporters would have a surge of bitterness as the convention approached. Perhaps the bitterness will fade as the Democrats start trying to get their act together against McCain. Then again, maybe McCain can keep fueling that bitterness and bring some of the spiteful Democrats over to his side. After all, a spiteful vote sill looks the same in the results tally.