I know I said "don't get glammed." I meant it, but do I have to practice what I preach? Last night, as Bill Clinton closed his speech with these rather sappy remarks:
I love our country— and I know we're coming back.
For more than 200 years, through every crisis, we've
always come out stronger than we went in. And we
will again as long as we do it together. We champion
the cause for which our founders pledged their lives,
their fortunes, their sacred honor— to form a more perfect union.
If that's what you believe, if that's what you want, we have to
re-elect President Barack Obama.
I found myself smiling and joining in the resounding applause. I almost stood up.
Remembering myself, I looked around our empty living room, heard my solitary clapping and laughed, embarrassed in front of nobody. The night before, Michelle Obama actually brought a tear to my ever-cynical eye as she concluded her talk.
What's happening to me? Republican or Democrat, I usually adopt a call and response formula when listening to political speeches, forcing Steve to suffer my regular outbursts as I complain about all the things left unsaid.
AND, I have never even really considered myself to be a Democrat, because honestly, I'm left of them. In the old days of Clinton and George Bush, Democrats frustrated me with their positions on things like trade, deregulation and gays. I never thought the Democrats looked much different than the Republicans.
Then, in the 1990s, Ralph Reed and his Christian Coalition marched the Republicans up to the deep end of fundamentalist conservative politics. It was only a matter of time before young impressionable men like Rick Santorum and Paul Ryan would strip off the garments of reason and jump in (leaving poor Mitt on the side with his life preserver and his toe in the water, trying to look like a joiner).
Everything's relative, right? If what tweeters not-so-affectionately call "right-wing-nut-jobs" (#RWNJ) want to spew bigoted messages of hatred toward American people while ironically espousing the humanity of corporations, then the Democrats, with their moderate messages of tolerance, diversity, community, and public service, look pretty darn good.
It doesn't hurt that I truly believe Obama's economic plan to tax the 1% and invest in the middle class represents our best chance for getting out of this economic mess (very optimistically assuming oil prices remain stable and the European economy can hold itself together).
Clinton was right when he said that trickle down economics have no history of success. In our current climate, tax cuts for corporations who are already hoarding money won't trickle down to us, rather, they'll flow in a broad band river to Switzerland, the Cayman's and elsewhere.
Why should we pay to pad their already flooded bank accounts--and then pay for the schools, the Medicare, the roads and everything else they privatize for their further profit along the way? Let's face it folks, we have to pay for those services one way or another: either through taxes to a democratically elected government over which we have at least some power, or to corporate providers to which we would be completely beholden. I choose the former.
I want Democrats to get tougher on climate, to cut out the drone strikes, to deal responsibly with Guantanimo, but those are things to fight for after the election (and those are things I could never hope to see Republicans address).
For the convention, I admit I'm having fun sitting alone on my couch eating my words, getting glammed, and feeling hopeful.