Hearts of darkness: The horror, the horror, as some Clinton supporters vow to support McCain

When the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws panel voted some supporters of Hillary Clinton stood and began to shout “Don’t steal my vote!” and “Let’s go, McCain!”. In "Apocalypse Now" (based" on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness), Kurtz (play by Marlon Brando) utters some of the most famous dying words in fiction: "the horror, the horror." I don’t use the word horror lightly, but the horror of Kurtz’s jungle and the horror of years more of needless death in Iraq under McCain should make reasonable people shudder.


While Americans are rightfully concerned about the economy, and sensible middle class voters ought to see through the Republican’s discredited trickle down tax cuts for the rich economic theories, the dangers to the republic of a McCain administration are that the erosion of our civil liberties brought about by eight years of Bush and Company must be brought to a screeching halt. All the damage already done to our constitutional rights by Bush and his go-along Congress must undone.

There are too many fuzzy similarities between Bush and McCain. This nation must have a president who is the antithesis of Bush, not a president who may or may not truly recognize the damage to the foundations of our democracy which we’ve suffered these past seven years.

Patrick Galloway writes in his essay "Heart of Darkness & Apocalypse Now: A comparative analysis of novella and film":

The dominant theme of Heart of Darkness is man’s vulnerability to his own darker nature and the various ways in which this terrible, savage, proto-man can be unleashed; power, the jungle, "the Company," all serve as catalysts for the emergence of this hidden, voracious id-thing within us all, most realized in Kurtz.

I’ll leave the similarities between Kutz and George W. Bush and some of the neocons who brought us the Iraq War aside, at least for this column. I want to focus on those "Let’s Go McCain" Hillary Clinton supporters who certainly don’t have the power of a Colonel Walter Kurtz.

Each one of them who believes in the ideals and vision expressed by their candidate is expressing a kind of madness now. Hopefully this is a temporary insanity, for each who really votes for McCain is succumbing to a darker nature of the heart made up of unreasoning anger and resentment, what author Galloway calls a "voracious id-thing within us all."

Together these voters could add up to enough votes in just one swing state in a close election to put John McCain into the Oval Office.

We don’t need to be reminded what happened in Florida in 2004. Just imagine if enraged Florida Clinton supporters cause the election to go to McCain in 2008 without hanging chad and disenfranchised voters. They will be responsible for keeping Americans fighting and dying in in a futile religious civil war in Iraq.

A McCain presidency will bog down a Democratic Congress as they fight to keep personal privacy and other civil rights from becoming more of the tragic jokes than they are now. The Senate will end up wasting time trying to block Supreme Court nominees so a new court won’t overturn Roe v. Wade. These are just just two more examples of what to expect from four more years of a conservative Republican president.

If Barack Obama’s delegate count puts him over the top this week, and Hillary Clinton does not withdraw and enthusiastically and wholeheartedly endorse him, she will send the message to those of her supporters threatening now to vote for McCain that they want to hear.

Not, be be clear, what she is actually saying, but what they want to think and believe she is saying to them.

She needs to understand that the human heart can have a dark side, a side that can be unleashed when someone is feeling frustrated and angry.

Hillary Clinton needs to admit that among her cheering and adoring supporters there are some who will need her to be at her persuasive best to convince them to resist their urge to punish Obama by trying to deny him the presidency.

There will be those who suggest that Hillary Clinton will allow her own darker impulses to jeopardize what she knows is best for America. I prefer to hold my own judgment in abeyance until we see what Hillary Clinton does when, as expected, Barack Obama’s delegate tally goes over the top.



Hal Brown has been a clinical social worker and psychotherapist since 1971. He often writes about politics and politicians from a psychological perspective.

Comments

  1. adamrussell

    Please remember that as much as McCain might seem like a nobody, his support comes from the party with the culture of corruption and deciet. These are not just words, but my experience over the last 30+ years.

    Nixon tried to steal an election he already had won.
    Agnew (Nixon’s vp) convicted of corruption in office
    Ford pardoned Nixon to spare the republican party further indictments
    Reagan/North sold arms to terrorists
    Daddy Bush pardoned those convicted of the above.
    Quackenbush (Calif insurance commissioner) gave a pass to massive fraud by insurance companies after the 1989 California earthquake. His job was keeping them honest but he sold us out instead.
    Baby Bush lied to the country to get us into war.

    A vote for McCain is a vote for the despicable republican party. He is just a new face on an evil empire.

  2. pollchecker

    “A vote for McCain is a vote for the despicable republican party. ”

    It’s really very simple. Vote for McCain if you want 4 more years of Bush!

    Keep saying it! 4 MORE YEARS OF FAILED BUSH/MCCAIN POLICIES or SOMEONE ELSE!

    The Clintons are starting to act desperate. Maybe they are showing their true colors?

    I think Amy Poehler’s SNL skit about Hillary being a bad loser (posted on another blog) is probably more true than some might expect though. At least that is the way it really is starting to appear.

    I would not hold my breath waiting to see Bill out there campaigning for Senator Obama for POTUS.

    Hey, maybe Bill should run for Governor of NY in place of the disgraced outgoing gov?

  3. Flapsaddle

    Would that electrons were so predictable! I think I’ve said something about this a few times previously.

    The high probability of disgruntled Clinton supporters who would rather see McCain win than Hillary lose; the slight possibility of Obama loyalists being in the position of willing to stay home and see McCain win rather than Obama lose. And the low-rent white voters that are the Archie Bunker loyalists to Clinton who would rather McCain win – who would not bat an eye at voting for him – rather than see a black man in the White house in a role other than that of domestic staff.

    The heart of darkness is that the rank-and-file of the so-called “Party of the People”, the party allegedly dedicated to fairness, inclusiveness, color-blindness and other PC mantras du jour are really no less petty, vindictive, spiteful and racist than are their doppelgaenger GOP soul-mates.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  4. pollchecker

    Somewhere I heard a prominent man say “the best predictor of future history is past history.”

    Past history says when the GOP has messed up the economy as bad as the GOP has done, our country elects a Dem.

    After Nixon/Ford….we had Carter
    After REagan/Bush….we had Clinton

    and these are just recent examples of history.

    Another lesson from history….ANGRY PEOPLE VOTE MORE.

    People who are struggling financially participate in the process WAY MORE than when economic conditions are good or are perceived to be good.

    That said….it doesn’t mean to let up on Bush/McCain.

    History has also taught us what happens when we make ASSumptions. DISASTER!!!!!

  5. DejaVuAllOver

    Yes, of course many disgruntled Clintonites will vote for McCain. Frankly, on any important issue, I don’t see how Hillary is much different. We’ll get the neocon-israelite war with Iran, we won’t be out of Iraq anytime soon and the working class will continue to take it in the shorts. I despise them both but frankly, at least McCain is honest and forthright about his sickness. Hillary just lies, then does what she damn well pleases, regardless of what she may have said or promised.

    So anyway, I agree with Hal, but I don’t think it has much to do with punishing Obama. It’s simply the fact that Hillary’s supporters are every bit as arrogant and violent as McCain’s and their promised policies aren’t much different, either.

  6. Sandra Price

    DejaVu. It kind of calls for a duel with pistols, doesn’t it? It would be cheaper than having to sit through all the insulting commercials.

  7. DejaVuAllOver

    Amen, Sandra. Aaron Burr doesn’t look like such a bad guy anymore. He least he solved the Alexander Hamilton problem! I would do almost anything to fast-forward out of this sick mess, including load the pistols and count to ten…….!

  8. Flapsaddle

    …and Al Gore should have won easily in 2000, given that there was no war, the budget was in decent shape and people were generally satisfied with the economy. So, why not?

    Nader siphoned some 95,000 votes from Gore in Florida, making it contestable; however, forget the “chad” nonsense as it is more or less irrelevant. Gore managed to lose his home state of Tennessee and pathologically-devoted-to-voting-Democratic West Virginia. Had he carried either state, Florida would have been a non issue.

    As to the present prolonged feces-flinging contest between Clinton and Obama, I’m reminded of Napoleon’s maxim about never interrupting your opponent when he is in the process of making a mistake.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  9. adamrussell

    I think there are disgruntled repubs that will vote dem rather than vote McCain.

  10. bryan mcclellan

    You do the loading and the counting Ladies, and I’ll blast the first to turn before the count reaches ten.

  11. pollchecker

    Because the one important thing to remember is how likeable you are on TV. Gore & Kerry came across stiff and unlikeable. Bush even though he’s a low life comes across likeable.

    McCain does not come across more likeable that Obama in any category.

  12. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Get The New Hillary Clinton Action Figure! Delegate Bribing Hillary comes with these accessories: Super Delegate Bribe Money & Phony Statistic Sheets (New Action Hillary is sold in Food Markets Only)

  13. Don Quixote and Company

    Soccer Moms Scorth Earth……….I think that those who protest…doth protest too much, me thinks…eh Yorick? If the Clintonites are wonder women,i.e. home, children, job, maybe a crummy man around the house…does it make sense to support a man who will most likely send their children to more war to die? I think the majority of those women in D.C. were of another ilk. (1) Loud; (2) Childless; (3) Poor quality of personal life. Most of them were older with buzz cuts! I have heard the generality that Clintonites say they will support McCain. Why are the Obamanites so nice, logical, and human..while the Clintonites have sharpened teeth, and bayonnets? As the saying goes…everything starts at the top. This country hopefully has dodged a bulltet by not having the Hill. I was her supporter in the beginning. I did not know who Obama really was. But, as the campaigns continued I began to like him, and respect him, and I began to have disdain for the Hill with her political tactics and slogans. If you do a rewind of the last 3 months……you do not hear much quality in her speeches, but mostly volume and slogans. I swear that Bill told her to emmulate Truman….IM SERIOUS. I did a search and watched his footage. ITS TRUE….SHE DID! Unfortunately, that kind of rhetoric is okay for the 1940-50’s, but most of us are sort of 21st century monkies now. We can drive our cars and eat our bannanas at the same time!
    I digress, don’t report me. I believe that Obama will pick the Kansas state governor who is superwoman, articulate, personable, intelligent, quick-witted, tough. I think the Clintonites will have no choice, but to shut the hell up when it becomes obvious to all that the K-state Governess is A+, and that she is everything that the Hill wishes she was. Don’t pack your bags for Havana yet, folks, stick around.

  14. Flapsaddle

    The Kennedy-Nixon debate of the 1960 campaign definitely showed that poise and charm could trump mere ability to be factual. A suave, unruffled Kennedy saying very little worth noting, but – having the good fortune to be against a rumpled, shifty-eyed, sweaty-looking, five-o’clock-shadow Nixon – easily carried the debate but almost lost the match. Had Nixon chosen to contest the questionable balloting in Illinois, particularly in a Chicago dominated by the Daley machine, it might have been different.

    Gore does seem to get a bit smug and preachy when he’s on a roll, and that tends to turn off people; Kerry is one of those people who exudes that “Yankee charm” that also puts off a lot of people. George Bush’s “aw, shucks” oratorical bumbling seems homey and lets others tend to identify with his media persona. Another part of Gore’s problem was his anti-gun stance, and that may have put off a lot of people in his native Tennessee and in Appalachia.

    How McCain comes across WRT Obama may depend on the target audience being played – and identifying and co-opting particular parts of the Venn of the demographics is how it will be played on both sides.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  15. ekaton

    Oh, please do not pick Hillary. Richardson is a FAR superior choice, in my humble opinion. Please. Clintons. Please, just go away now.
    — Kent Shaw

    click pg. 2 below for more comments

  16. JerryG

    Only a foolish Democrat who casts reason to the side and operates purely on emotion will vote for McCain. I’m sure we’ve heard all the cliches so there’s no point in repeating them here.

    After watching Hillary these last few months I’ve come to the conclusion that she is just the kind of pit bull Obama needs on his ticket! Her tenacious will and shrewdness will compliment Obama’s methodical and rational approach to the vision he is intent on bringing to fruition in American politics. Yeah, yeah I know all about the Clinton baggage, I’ve written about it here on several occasions. However, there is a paradigm shift occuring in America and that baggage has become moot.

    Pardon the obviously sexist comment but Hillary is just the kind of partner Obama needs to help him clean house of all the Republican cronies and moles that currently infest Justice, Homeland Security, State and all the spook agencies!

  17. pollchecker

    “I believe that Obama will pick the Kansas state governor who is superwoman, articulate, personable, intelligent, quick-witted, tough. ”

    I think a lot of people would support Senator Obama picking such a person for VP. The problem that it would create (the the Genuises of Propaganda would surely exploit) would be the question, why not Hillary?

    This would continue the Obama/Hillary debate and be a distraction in the coming election….EXACTLY WHAT THE GOP WANT AND WILL WORK TO CREATE….of this I have NO DOUBT AT ALL!

    No, since they are already attempting to exploit the Hispanic vote (seen as an Obama weakness) and since they need a VERY STRONG TURNOUT FROM the ANTI-WAR voters, he really has only ONE CHOICE: Gov Bill Richardson.

    They will play like they are looking at other people but if Senator Obama is as smart as he acts, he will in the end shore up both these groups by picking Gov Richardson.

    Of course James Carville will run his mouth about Richardson selling his soul for the VP but Carville & his hideous Rep wife are moving back to Louisiana. I say GOOD RIDDANCE! Hopefully by Jan 2009 we will have a Capital without Bushies or Clintonites like Carville.

  18. Hal Brown

    First, Don Quixote – I don’t recall posts from you here before so if you are new, welcome. Good points well written, you’ll fit right in with this little community of posters. (And by the way I appreciate all of you!)

    Second, I agree about Kathleen Sibelius (see her official Kansas website here) except (lame humor alert) she’s a governor, a Mary Poppins was a governess… or strictly speaking, a nanny.

    But speaking of Mary Poppins, in addition to everything you wrote about her she also has the engaging personality and looks of a Julie Andrews including a genuine smile.

    Note that not only is she from KANSAS, a Democrat in a state where Republicans outnumber them 2:1, and how heartland can you get, I mean Dorothy and the Yellow Brick Road? AND she was named one of Time Magazine’s five best governors:

    For Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, the problem was simple. There were too many cars in the parking lot, she says. Right after the Democrat surprised political experts in 2002 by winning the Governor’s race in a state where Republicans outnumber Democrats almost 2 to 1, she needed to erase a budget deficit estimated at $1.1 billion. A commission that Sebelius appointed to find government waste discovered that the state owned hundreds of cars it didn’t use, so she sold 700 of them and forbade state agencies to buy more. The money earned from the car sale was small, but it showed that the new Governor was determined to find savings anywhere she could, from having all state agencies join together to bid for computers to asking state housekeeping workers to wear their own pants instead of government-issued ones. Through spending cuts, fee increases and some borrowing, Sebelius was able to balance Kansas’ budget in her first year in office without raising taxes or cutting funding for education, TIME reports.

    (See article).

    Pollchecker,

    Richardson is a good choice too. The next few days may determine whether or not Obama offers the VP slot to Clinton. He’s certainly better known than Sibelius, and if he chooses her many will accuse him of a kind of reverse sexism, choosing her because she’s a woman to lure back Clinton supporters.

  19. Hal Brown

    If he does pick Clinton I wonder if he will insist she throw some of her top campaign managers off or under the bus. If she does run as VP it would be interesting to see Mcauliffe cheerleading for Obama. And then there’s the question as to whether Bill "this is may be the last time you see me in a campaign like this" Clinton will campaigning for an Obama/wifey ticket.

    And what the @#$%^& is this about:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton will concede Tuesday night that Barack Obama
    has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, campaign
    officials said, effectively ending her bid to be the nation’s first
    female president.

    The
    former first lady will stop short of formally suspending or ending her
    race in her speech in New York City.
    She will pledge to continue to
    speak out on issues like health care. But for all intents and purposes,
    the two senior officials said, the campaign is over.

    AP Breaking news

     

  20. pollchecker

    Maybe John McCain should have Hillary Clinton as his vice-presidential candidate. He would then be able to show he is a maverick reaching across party lines.

    Hillary was once a Republican and in some Dem circles is called Republican Lite.

    She might actually consider accepting it. After all at 72, John McCain would be the odds on favorite to die in office. Check out McCain’s kind words at the link below. I’m sure he is hoping some of these disgruntled supporters will vote for him. After all, he is a gun toting white male from Arizona (even though his campaign won’t come out and say it that way)!

    McCain Praises Hillary: She’s Inspired American Women

  21. Hal Brown

    It gets stranger and stranger:

    Hillary Clinton is "absolutely not" prepared to admit Barack Obama has
    beaten her in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, her
    campaign chairman told CNN today. Terry McAuliffe rejected as incorrect
    media reports that Clinton would concede Obama has the delegates to
    win. developing story

  22. pollchecker

    Perhaps Terry McAuliffe has been partying too much with GW! Or He’s just nuts and a bit delusional!

    I was so happy when he was no longer head of the Dem Natl Committee.

    He is part of the OLD POLITICAL CLIMATE and I wish he would go away more than ANY OTHER CLINTONITE! He is one reason why I could not in good conscience support Clinton’s campaign.

    In some ways, HE IS WORSE than Carville!

  23. Pablo

    If he picks hillary as his running mate, I will definitely go Nader, because that will tell us he is not the peaceful, pro-“the people” candidate he has presented himself as. And I would hope millions would follow suit. We need a viable third party anyway, perhaps that would be the incentive to form it! If he puts in hillary, then we know it will just be another 4 more years of repuglicratism, and I won’t go for it. I’ve supported Obama because he is much more reasonable than hillary, spoke out against the illegal war, and is a great diplomat, but if he picks hillary, I will no longer believe what he has been saying. That being said, I don’t think he would do that. He has not run on the warmonging platform, so why would he pick a violent person as his running mate? He has not run on a clinton-style-ship-all-our-jobs-overseas platform, so why pick a VP whose past shows she only favors corporate interests? I’ll apologize if I’m wrong, but I think all this talk about picking a VP who doesn’t hold his values (unless you believe hillary’s rhetorical deceptions) is silly.

  24. Hal Brown

    This sounds like extortion to me:

    The advisers said Clinton has made a strategic
    decision to not formally end her campaign, giving her leverage to
    negotiate with Obama on various matters including a possible vice
    presidential nomination for her.


    She also wants to press him on issues he should focus on in the fall, such as health care.
    AP breaking news

    Essentially this is saying she won’t campaign for him until she gets what she wants. After all how can she campaign FOR someone they are also running AGAINST. Not only is she about to destroy her chances of any presidential appointment, but she may damage herself so severly she’d be denied the position of Senate majority leader if that’s what she wants.

    Perhpas SHE should start her own third party.

    —Update—

    Now reporters say she said she would take the VP slot if offered (if extorted?) so what will that make her considering all the things she said about Obama? Hillary a hypocrit or a liar?

     

  25. ekaton

    And, she can pull in the religious right vote in this country. Google “Hillary Clinton The Family” and you’ll find out why.

    — Kent Shaw

  26. pollchecker

    Ah….extortion by any other name…..

    Hmmmm! Some say that being President is about the leadership and the decisions a man will make in leading our country.

    Using this logic, the VP slot is the first TRUE test of how wise (not smart) Senator Obama is.

    This will determine if he is sincere in his words about change or a coward in his cowtowing to the political machine that Scott McClelland’s new book so clearly illustrates.

    I do not believe he can win with Hillary as VP. I will not vote for an Obama/Clinton ticket. I’m tired of the Clinton’s as I believe the vast majority of the country is as well. I would support Nader even if it meant John McCain wins. I have stated these reasons in several different places so I will not repeat them.

    Personally I believe the idea of having Hillary in the Senate to legislate the health care bill is important considering Sen. Kennedy’s health condition and her experience with health care issues. And I think Bill as Sec. State is original and worth serious consideration if not debate.

    I just don’t know why Hillary is destroying her future political career. Are the Clinton’s so driven to be the first husband/wife President’s that they would do and/or say anything and everything? If so, then surely she would not be the best candidate for the VP job.

  27. Pablo

    Yeah, but let’s not forget that hillary (and Obama’s as well) health care programs are not the kind we really need, as theirs make the rich richer and keep the costs high. We need a single payer solution as the best candidate, Dennis Kucinich, offered. (Ayyy, que miedo! Socialized medicine! The naughty ‘S’ word!). The only way we get costs down, which we all know are ridiculously high now, is to eliminate the insurance company leeches, especially the scumbag CEOs. Give them real jobs, like busting up rocks on a chain gang (they’d do the same to us if it profited them!). She gets gobs of $ from the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, so we know what motivates her. I think she might have been sincere a decade ago, but she has sold her soul and is no longer worthy of public trust.

  28. pollchecker

    I would like to see what a Health Care Bill would look like with Dennis Kucinich as Chair of the Committee on the House side and Hillary Clinton on the Senate side. If the Dems gain the majority in Congress, it could happen.

    The way things are going even the doctors are vastly supporting a single pay system. So we need these very health care professionals to speak loud and clear with their cash!

  29. Pablo

    I finally watched Sicko,
    and if Mr. Moore is indeed exposing the truth, then the single-payer systems used in many nations who provide health care do not create long lines, rejection of many procedures, and doctors that don’t care because they’re underpaid. Sure they’re only rich, not filthy filthy filthy rich, but do we really want a system that attracts doctors that care more about being filthy rich than your wellbeing? It appears we have been being fed a line of BS for years from the press and the politicians! Imagine that!

    Excuse me for once again sounding like a communist, but I believe that no human in this proud nation should have to live in fear that tomorrow they might get sick and get rejected healthcare, or not have food, or shelter. If we got our priorities straight, quit financing an army to police the world, and quit manufacturing and stockpiling weaponry, with the $ we freed up, we could easily make sure nobody in our country lives in fear of hunger, lack of health care or shelter. I know those are horrible stresses to have.

    We are so rich we should be ashamed of how we let people suffer. We have no problem going into another country and spending massive amounts of $ to cluster-bomb them, but if anybody starts talking about using taxation to care for our own, a high percentage become very vocal. It’s just insane in my opinion. I say tax the rich and invest in our proud nation.

    Pardon me one more time for sounding like a communist, but I really don’t see anything wrong than socialized medicine. We’re already OK with a socialized military; why not a socialized healthcare program to take care of our own?