HRC gets it

There was lots of good stuff in Clinton’s speech, and then there was this:

I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me, or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him?

Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids?

Were you in it for that young boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage?

Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

NPR had closeups of people in the crowd obviously having big wakeup moments at this point. It doesn’t take much of a step to hear “just for me” as “just for yourself”. Anyone still nursing wounds from the primary campaign, hearing that moment of that speech, must…must...understand that voting for McCain, or not voting, or not bothering to give money or to pitch in for Obama, is simply narcissistic self-indulgence, trampling the unfortunate and the deserving for the sake of a reckless, heartless misunderstanding of what it means to act on principle. Someone should suffer for the wrongs done to Hillary, but anyone who thinks that will be Obama if McCain is elected either has no heart or no brain. It’s like voting for Nader, compounding the careless, heedless pique of a child who punches a younger sibling because Dad turned off the TV with the wilful ignorance of tourists who yell at people who don’t speak their language. And just as destructive. If the voter who chooses to act out that way is among the lucky upper middle class intelligentsia for whom the Bush years have been infuriating, but actually not all that personally injurious, all the more disreputable.

Actions have consequences. That goes for actions performed with great earnestness and a cloud of indignant rationalization, and even if the actions make you feel really good and avenged and noble and principled and pure.

Let’s have an end to this meme of teaching “them” a lesson by cutting off the nose of A to spite B’s face; Hillary nailed it.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.