Rooting for Clinton, half a world away
I was upset about the results of the Iowa caucus on Jan. 3. To my frustration and dismay, Hillary Rodham Clinton, long the Democratic Party front-runner, was humiliated by Barack Obama. She finished third behind John Edwards.
Her chance to run against the Republican candidate and take the White House seemed likely to be dashed. Before Iowa, she had seemed a sure bet to become the next president of the United States, polling nearly twice as popular in nationwide surveys as the closest contender for a long time.
In fact, the black candidate from Illinois seemed to lack maturity and actual experience in domestic and international affairs. Nevertheless, his popularity rose rapidly and threatening to overtake Clinton in the wake of his dramatic victory in the first showdown for the Democratic nomination.
Almost no one imagined the former first lady winning over the young Illinois senator in the New Hampshire primary. Predictions by polls and news agencies forecast Obama’s triumph over Clinton by a two-digit margin just as ballots were being cast in the polling stations across the state.
To tell the truth, I hope Clinton wins a decisive victory in every subsequent contest.
With her entry to the White House in Washington, D.C., the Clinton rule will be expected to last 16 years, broken only by the Bush presidency.
After Clinton’s defeat in Iowa, I lost interest in the U.S. presidential election. I barely watched the reports on the American news network, CNN. I thought my heartfelt support for her would come to nothing.
The day after the New Hampshire primary, I was stunned by the news that Clinton had won a miraculous victory in the state.
I am fully behind her in the American presidential election for the following reasons:
First, her senatorial experience, coupled with her eight years as first lady, place her well above the infant stage in national experience, which can not be said about the novice senator, Obama. He may attract voters with his eloquent style. They may be led to daydream by his vision.
But in a strict sense, such hypnotic promise usually ends in futile results.
American citizens should take lessons from Korea’s election five years ago, in which Koreans paid a high price for electing a silly and stupid candidate despite his lack of actual accomplishments.
At that time, Koreans might have been attracted to his refreshing style, reforms and frugality. His arguments turned out to be out of tune with reality. Many of his electoral promises were really filled with contradiction and hypocrisy.
Second, another Clinton presidency will surely be evidence that there are no limits to dreams and that there is hope for lots of impoverished, alienated, persecuted and underprivileged women across the world.
Many Islamic countries and less-developed nations have faced stumbling blocks to the improvement of women’s rights. Blackmailed and deprived of their basic rights by authorities, most women in such countries are forced to live like slaves. It is very clear that male chauvinism and fascism still prevail, particularly in the Third World. Such inhumane conditions should be removed for more peaceful, harmonious and equitable gender relations.
Clinton may still have a long way to go before she reaches her destination.
There are many primaries and caucuses along the way in the next few weeks. The Super Tuesday duels on Feb. 5 will be a decisive watershed in the Democratic Party’s selection of their candidate for president.
I really hope that her passion for the dream will come true with American and worldwide recognition of her genuine vision. Her own political philosophy and experience, supplemented by her husband Bill Clinton, enriches her mission.
Kwon Yule-jung, director, management division, Daejeon National Cemetery