June 5th, 2008

maus, thoughtful

Cult of iconography

Senator Clinton sent emails out today, telling her supporters that she would withdraw from the campaign on Saturday and throw her support to Senator Obama. While I obviously don't have access to any of the emailed responses, the Clinton campaign put the email up on the website, which can be accessed here:


The responses on the blog have been an interesting study in the transition from a cult of personality to a cult of iconography. Clinton's most vocal supporters have a very specific view of reality that casts Clinton as a hero, martyr and messiah who will lead us all to the promised land, Obama, the DNC and the media as the evil villains who muscled Clinton out of the limelight and stole the election, and McCain exclusively as a prop to demonstrate their refusal to support the villains in this melodrama.

When confronted with Clinton's statement, as well as previous statements declaring that it would be a grave mistake not to support the Democratic nominee, Clinton's followers have nonetheless kept to the narrative. Some have demanded that she keep running, either as a Democrat (by pushing through to the convention) or as an Independent (the more common suggestion) or write-in candidate. Most are dissatisfied with the notion of her as the VP candidate, saying it degrades her. And none of them can bring themselves to even begin to entertain the notion of supporting Obama.

For these people, nothing matters now but the mythos of the campaign. Clinton's words and actions will not change their minds, but only further their anger and despair.