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September 20, 2017

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The Democrats: Shall we overcome? Or not?

If anybody doubts that Senator Barack Obama's pristine image has been bloodied in the last month of this endless campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton's 55-45 win in the Pennsylvania primary this past Tuesday should dispel them. Worse yet, the Democrats' hopes for a decisive win in the November election, once seen as a virtual certainty in waiting, are well on the way to being dashed also. What do the results in Pennsylvania tell us?

Perhaps nothing new. Clinton was expected to win. She had a twenty point lead in earlier polls. Some polls reported that lead narrowed to about five points just before the voting. Even with a ten-point margin of victory, Clinton won't gain very much in the contest for pledged delegates. She is still behind in the popular vote and the number of states won, as well as in the delegate count. She still would have to win over the overwhelming majority of super delegates, who are free to vote as they please, to win the nomination.

That said, there are disturbing messages lurking behind these results, and they relate to race, sex, negative campaigning, and the increasing bitterness of Democratic voters in this campaign. Two months ago, Obama's clarion call of change was so compelling that the Democrats could reasonably believe that Dr. Martin Luther King's mantra "We Shall Overcome" of forty years ago would finally become true with the charismatic black-father-white-mother first-time Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. The miracle seemed about to come true with Obama's string of primary victories all over the country — forever ago, it seems now.

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