I’ve mostly avoided the our-hope-is-better-than-your-hope, your-mother-wears-army-boots,Chelsea slug-fest between Hillary supporters and Obama supporters, but one place where it naturally has flared up is when I talk to my mother. She was bitter in that you-never-call way that mothers can get when she expressed her disappointment that my brother and I support Obama while she doubted much of what came out of his mouth and believed in Senator Clinton 100%. And she gave me my best window into how much the Clinton campaign has meant to thousands and thousands of women around the country.
So I thought of her when I read this post from DownWithTyrrany. It doesn’t exactly mirror my own feelings about Hillary, or my mom, but the puzzling, unbridgable gulf it describes feels really familiar:
And so, my heroes were always my parents’ heroes. Today is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the last American hero, and the 2nd day since the coronation of the next. And how I’ve yearned to call my mom and share the moment with her. But I can’t. She is basically incapable of appreciating this moment. Because she is one of the many women who feel deeply hurt and betrayed by the loss of Hillary. And there’s nothing I can say or do. I can only try to understand the great hope and anticipation she felt at seeing a woman in charge — another hope she’s been waiting her entire life to see realized, a hope which she was told (by an irresponsible press and a recklessly cocky campaign) would be inevitably fulfilled in January, and a hope dashed, in her mind, because of the often sexist coverage of the media.
For all of the poetry and timing of this moment, how bittersweet that it has come at such a high cost, and I’m not talking about the general election. I don’t care who my mom votes for, or whether she votes at all. I do care that she is hurting. I care that she apparently thinks I don’t understand the depth of her pain and disappointment — a disappointment so profound that she can’t bring herself to celebrate with her son the epic turning of the page that she raised me to care about.