This is my personal story. I share it this morning because I know others may be feeling down and out right about now.
First let me say that Hillary has always been 'my candidate'. From the first time I noticed her when Bill Clinton first arrived on the national scene, I asked myself...."Well why isn't she running for office"? As the years passed and she rose in the public's conscience, I watched her with admiration and with awe as she achieved the goals she set herself...and as she suffered set backs to those goals.
She fought for Universal Health Care and failed initially, but she never, ever stopped fighting for it. She just kept chipping away and advancing the idea of it in America and because of her and other Democrats who have fought for it over the years we now have the ACA and are that much closer to actual Universal Health Care. I fully believe we will get there one day if we keep fighting the fight.
I have watched Hillary fight for women's issues and rights for decades now. I am damned glad she didn't stay home and bake cookies and have teas. And I even more appreciate that her comment pissed off a lot of people at the time. The idea that a feminist must be polite and politically correct in her fight for women's rights always annoyed the snot out of me. If Hillary's off the cuff comment made folks uncomfortable then more power to her!
When the Clintons left the White House and Hillary moved into the spotlight as she ran for and was elected a Senator for New York, I knew then that one day she would would be back in the White House, not as a supportive spouse, but as President. I think I knew that all the way back to the first time I saw her stand her ground with national reporters in the early days of Bill's campaign. She never backed down and she never backed away. She was different.
Then came 2007 and Hillary announced her intention to run for President. I was just over the moon! As were many women I know and even a lot of men! I thought that finally....in my lifetime we were going to have a woman president and she was the one woman I had always wanted to be president. I didn't just want her for president because she was a woman, but I would be disingenuous if I didn't admit that it was a part of my reasoning. .....but I also knew she was qualified for many other reasons, her work as first lady, a senator, her fight on behalf of women and children's rights and issues, her support of civil rights and her stand on so many issues important to me.
As 2007 moved into 2008, the campaign became heated....and yes ugly at times. I saw Democrats attack each other in ways I had never imagined. The rhetoric was not limited to one candidate or it's supporters.....there was ample vitriol to spread around for one and all. Misogyny and racism abounded.....and damned if it wasn't coming from Democrats! Democrats are supposed to be the party of inclusion. But oh my god it got ugly. How were we ever going to heal the wounds that our words flung at one another had caused?
I will tell you that we Hillary supporters never gave up. Even when Hillary herself saw the writing on the wall and understood that 2008 would not be her year.....many of her supporters, myself included, refused to accept it. Hillary and her supporters had worked damned hard to get the nomination and by god we weren't going to let some guy no one had ever heard of a few short years before steal her thunder!!! Dammit he cheated and we all knew it. He and his supporters had smeared Hillary and unmercifully. We were freaking robbed I tell ya! I would never vote for that Barack Obama! He didn't deserve my vote! Screw him!
Then some folks went PUMA. In the early days of PUMA I confess I considered it......for a split second. I was madder than hell and all I could think was that it would serve the Democrats right if I voted for McCain to get even for them dissing my candidate.
Thankfully that sort of insane thinking didn't last long....with myself or the vast majority of Hillary's supporters. We crawled to our corners and licked our wounds and listened to our hero give her concession speech and then a speech in support of Barack Obama at the 2008 convention. We started thinking about SCOTUS and women's rights and civil rights and LBGT rights and we clued in that if we really and truly gave a damn, we had to support the Democratic Party and vote for Barack Obama.....even if we had to hold our nose and do it.
So I did. I voted for Obama in 2008 and dammed if he didn't grow on me. I may have reluctantly voted for him in 2008, but by the time 2012 rolled around, I voted for him with pride and enthusiasm. I was and am now a huge supporter of President Obama. He is a good and honorable man and I know he wants what is best for America and what is best for us all.
I know I have rambled on here in this post.....but I just wanted to share that I have been where many Bernie supporters are today. I know it hurts. I know it sucks. Believe it or not, I understand, I have been where you are.....but please know this.....you will never walk alone. Democrats, for better or for worse will always have your back. The fight may be slow at times, but Democrats never, ever stop trying. We are the party that gives a damn. Our passion is our strength.