I used to be a psychologist, and one of the things that I would often tell my clients is that the relationship between feelings and actions isn't one way. People who are depressed tend to isolate themselves even to the point of staying in bed all day. However, if they force themselves to get out of the house, even though they don't “feel like it,” they often start to feel a little less depressed. Sometimes the feelings come first, “I felt depressed, so I stayed in bed.” Other times the feelings come second, “I went for a walk, and I now I better.”
I started to work for the Obama campaign even though I didn't like him much. I did this for several reasons. First, because Hillary asked me to. One thing she said in her concession speech was, “Are you doing this just for me?” This isn't about one candidate, it is about improving our country. I want to get as many democrats in office as possible. Second, I wanted to work with the Obama campaign to try coordinate our efforts to get Becky Greenwald elected. I traded my services for Obama for their services for Becky. Finally, I didn't want to be a cry baby like I have seen a few William Meyers supporters, and some Hillary supporters be. I find it absolutely silly, that anyone would support a candidate like McCain or Latham just because the democrat that they wanted didn't win.
None of these reasons had anything to do with me “liking” Barack. I didn't. But you know what? When I started campaigning for him, I started having to come up with some reason besides “he's a democrat” to support him. And I started to find some reasons. One of the big ones that I tell people is that amazing speaking ability that I once disdained as “just words” could be really useful in a diplomatic situation. And think how much cheaper that is than another war. Also, that “elitist thing” that people say about him–maybe he comes across that way because he is so intelligent. And right now what our country needs is an intelligent president. I don't want someone “just like me” in office. I want someone a whole lot smarter than me in office.
After awhile, just like I used to tell my clients, my feelings followed my actions. And now–I have to admit–I like Barack. I like him a lot. He might not have been my first choice, but he is my choice now. I'm not “holding my nose” and voting for him. I'm voting for him because I like him. That isn't to say I regret the choice I made in the primary. I don't. I like and admire Hillary Clinton now more than ever. However, just like she said in her concession speech:
“So I want to say to my supporters, when you hear people saying – or think to yourself – 'if only' or 'what if,' I say, 'please don't go there.' Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward. Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama is our next President and I hope and pray that all of you will join me in that effort.”