Just focus on the issues

Published 7:52 pm Wednesday, June 11, 2008

By Staff
I have not been a big fan of Hillary Clinton, but last week I couldn't help be disappointed as I watched her historic campaign come to an end.
Watching a woman come so far in a presidential campaign, with so much support from all walks of life, made me proud.
But watching her campaign surrogates blame sexism in the media and on the campaign trail for her demise as a candidate did not inspire any pride.
Of course there were people who didn't vote for her because she is a woman. Of course there were blatant attacks on her because of her gender, in the media and beyond.
Barack Obama has suffered the same indignities as an African-American candidate.
But blaming those problems for a loss in a primary or an entire campaign gives those folks too much credence - and ignores the fact that plenty of people will support them regardless of race or gender or religion or any number of things.
Clinton lost because she didn't have the right campaign organization, not because Chris Matthews or any other pundit called her names.
Last week a friend confided that she didn't want anyone to think her a racist if she didn't support Obama. My response was that I certainly didn't consider myself sexist if I didn't support Clinton. I've been hoping for a woman in the White House since I knew who the president was.
Would you also be ageist if you didn't vote for John McCain? For most people, this race is about the economy or the war or gas prices or a million other things that don't have anything to do with race or gender or age.
I'm proud of our country that we've finally had an election year that saw both a female candidate and an African-American candidate with such legitimate chances to win the nation's highest office.
I'm proud that my son has been born into an America that is finally beginning to see beyond race and gender.
But I hope once he starts voting, we'll not only take for granted that a woman or an African-American can sit at the big desk in the Oval Office, but that we won't talk about race and gender incessantly as we count down to that first Tuesday in November.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or by e-mail at kerry.bean@brewtonstandard.com.