OK. As most of you know, I can “fly off of the handle” when my “Rhetoric BS Bucket” is filled to overflowing. The news of the DNC and their clear, unadulterated, manipulation of the primaries set me off. Big time.
What I wrote about the need for change, stands. We need HUGE changes in campaign finance, and term limits. But, that is for another post.
I watched the opening of the DNC Convention last night…toggling back and forth between CNN, CBS and Fox (i’m a glutton for punishment). I watched through Cory Booker’s fiery indictment of Trump, with a message of hope through “Rising Up” rather than fear-mongering.
I watched Al Franken and Sarah Silverman struggle to keep control of a crowd who clearly saw them as a “warmup act,” forced to “stretch” while waiting for a scarey looking, and faltering Paul Simon to come on stage to struggle through a version of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” (a futile attempt to build a bridge to the Bernie or Bust crowd).
I made retching sounds as I listened to commentators from BOTH sides of the “Extreme Media” placate their viewers with their take on what every word meant…and I even found myself yelling back at the television, like the crazy coot that I seem to become when politics are involved.
But, then… I got schooled.
First by a mother. And then by a grandpa.
After watching the parade of assclowns who have turned this political season (almost 2 years worth…like back to back to back hockey seasons combined with football and basketball) into a horrible, never-ending-reality-shitshow, I all but forgot how refreshingly intelligent, dignified, and wholesomely relatable our First Lady, Michelle Obama is.
I am long over the idiots who try to blame our nation’s woes on Obama with the kind of blind ignorance that is born out of laziness at best, and bigotry at worst. But I can, and will always stand up for the amazing PEOPLE that are the Obamas. Great parents. Brilliant scholars. Quick, hilarious, modern, dialed-in, and good to the core…doesn’t begin to cover how I feel about them.
My dislike for the Clintons was the initial reason that I became involved with Obama’s first campaign in 2008. I have the limited edition, Shepard Fairey, “Yes We Did” poster hanging on the wall to remind me how I felt then.
I haven’t felt that way since.
Not when his own party dismantled much of his original agenda…even with a Super-Majority in Congress. Not after watching several of his campaign promises fall flat in a mire of Bi-Partisan stupidity. Not when I became so frustrated with the entire political process, and the laziness of the electorate (who get most of their news in soundbites from Fox, CNN and Colbert) that I “gave up on politics.”
But,Michelle…she hit me hard…straight in the heart…when she talked about raising her kids in a “house that was built by slaves.”
Don’t try to tell me that his Presidency wasn’t important to our country.
She hit me hard again, when talking about the fact that Hillary has given her life to service of her country, and “Never Gives Up” (to which I started to yell, “even when she should have kicked her assclown husband to the curb!!!” and then choked it back).
She, like her husband, has the amazing talent to say what she needs to say, with language and words selected to have impact while delivering the intent of the message she is sharing. And, how she and her family are forced every day, to rise above the rhetoric of the extremists.
She said, “We insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country. How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”
“With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models.”
“And make no mistake about it, this November when we go to the polls that is what we’re deciding, not Democrat or Republican, not left or right. No, in this election and every election is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives.”
And talking about Hillary, Michelle said, “And when she didn’t win the nomination eight years ago, she didn’t get angry or disillusioned. Hillary did not pack up and go home, because as a true public servant Hillary knows that this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointments.”
“I want someone with the proven strength to persevere, someone who knows this job and takes it seriously, someone who understands that the issues a president faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.”
And when I wiped the tears from my face, and began mourning the loss of two such amazing examples of service and goodness that we won’t see again soon… Bernie strode onto the stage to a 5-minute long standing ovation.
And he schooled me again… on what it means to serve, in spite of disappointment.
He thanked his supporters. He reminded people of the work that was done, and the work that still needs to be done, making the point that a “movement” lives beyond an event, as long as it keeps moving. Then promising that it is not over.
And finally…in the most important move for this convention, he spoke of the need for unity, and full support of the candidate of the party.
I will write more about Bernie later. But, suffice it to say…when Bernie said, “Any objective observer will conclude that — based on her ideas and her leadership — Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States,” a switch flipped in my heart.
Yes. There is the tough part to losing…especially in the “how” we lost. And yes, I also feel that Bernie was even more qualified to beat Trump, no matter what the “he’s too old” set said (he is only 6 years older than Hillary…and 4 years older than Trump).
But, it is time to come together. There is simply no way that I could look my kids in the eye, knowing I had anything to do with electing a “President Trump.”
Hillary was not my first choice. Not by a long shot. But, she is a BETTER choice than the alternative. Period.