Last night I bawled my eyes out.
I’ve watched the Democratic National Committee Convention all week from CNN World News. The speakers were captivating. Not just the politicians (loved Senator Franken mentioning late Senator Paul Wellstone during his speech) but the Mothers of the Movement, the 911 survivors, the fallen police officers’ family members, immigrants, and the woman who has cerebral palsy and has worked with Clinton her entire life, to name a few.
Hearing their stories reminded me why I’m a Democrat. It’s the Party of the people.
The primaries were upsetting; having donated and supported Senator Bernie Sanders and learning through the DNC email leaks how his campaign was sabotaged. Then, when Clinton chose Tim Kaine as her running mate, I thought that’s it. She truly doesn’t care about the progressives in this. A good guy, sure, but he’s pretty conservative and I’d really like to hear his opposition to the TPP.
But what was really frustrating was Debbie W. Schultz’s forced resignation that resulted in Clinton hiring her as an advisor! Whether it’s an honorary position or not, why would you still want someone like that to be a part of your team? I thought I was done with the Democrats. No more corruption. Getting ready for the DNCC, I thought more and more about voting for Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein.
So, here’s my thing: I’ve been a long time supporter of the Clintons. My dad took me out of a seventh grade class to see the then President of the United States, Bill Clinton, who was visiting a local college campus. It was so special. To this day, I swear I locked eyes with POTUS. Within arms reach, from that moment on, I was hooked on politics.
When the Clinton sex scandal broke out, I didn’t care. I was only nineteen and didn’t think it had anything to do with my country. If anything, I was embarrassed it was made into such a big deal.
In 2004, I bought Hillary’s memoir, even taking pictures of myself with it before selfies were cool. I was impressed with her knowledge and devotion, working her entire life to help the people of this country. I’ve heard the stories of the misogyny she’s faced, being told women could never be astronauts or even president. Her perseverance was inspiring to a twenty-something, single woman.
So, of course, I was thrilled when she ran for president in 2008. I donated what I could to her campaign, and watched intently as some new guy surged ahead in the polls. I ended up happily supporting him (the greatest POTUS of my generation), even marching in the streets of my college town when he won. I accepted it wasn’t Hillary’s time yet.
When she announced her run this election, I was thrilled. Until I found out Bernie was running. And he really talked about the issues I needed to hear. You can read more on my devotion to him in my A Bernie Bros post.
So when Chelsea Clinton, only a year younger than me, took the stage last night to talk about her mother, I cried. As she spoke about how her mother balanced motherhood with work, leaving notes for her daughter so she’d always know she was there— I bawled. I could relate so well to that love. My husband had to ask me if I was ok because I was crying so hard.
Watching the video introducing Hillary, I was reminded why I respected her for so many years. This is her life’s calling.
As she walked to the stage dressed in white (a shade suffragettes often wore) and embracing her daughter, I sobbed some more.
Finally, in 2016, we have our first woman presidential nominee.
After I allowed the emotions, I got back to listening. I needed to hear her platform and what she would do for America.
And she delivered.
She made a point of thanking Bernie and his supporters right off. She acknowledged our passion and that without him certain issues would not be talked about today.
As she went on to talk about her policies, I was so happy to hear she was basically “Feeling the Bern”. She mentioned Wall Street and the top 1% corruption. She mentioned overturning Citizens United. She mentioned college debt, health insurance, and so much more.
The revolution will continue, thanks to Bernie. And I’m happy to say I’m With Her.
I’ve heard many people say they’re going to vote third party. I understand that frustration. Trust me, I really like the idea of voting that way. I’m tired of the two party systems, which is much of the same old politics.
But looking further, not at just the candidates but at the supporters of each, I can’t allow the GOP to win. I only see hate radiated from that side. What can you do with that? Nothing.
At least with the Democrats, there’s more give. You can get somewhere with people who are willing to listen, rather than people who only hear what they want. It’s too risky of an election season to try to split votes. And if that’s not a good enough answer, I want you to consider this:
By voting third party or writing in Bernie, or not voting at all… it’s selfish. Please think about other people in America. Some of the beautiful people who make America wonderful would be at risk of deportation. Think of the increase of hate crimes. Think of your future. The GOP could appoint a Supreme Court Justice who has no experience and gives quick, short answers without thinking (hmm similar to “you’re fired”, maybe?) regarding your well-being. Think of the women in your life who would have their health rights stripped. Think of the hate.
I’ll stop there. I know my point has been heard a million times over and that it doesn’t make any difference what I say. So just take your time.
Think outside of yourself. While it’s all good to want to vote your heart, I truly believe that in that big heart of yours, there is room for all of America. And that’s what needs to be considered. Sometimes we have to put others first. America isn’t ready for a multi-party system. And there’s just too much at stake this election to try to do something different.
I’m not happy with the DNC or how things have unfolded. But I am happy to know there’s at least a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
Today I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a mother. And I’m proud to see Americans coming together to question, reason, fight, and love. That is democracy.
We are definitely stronger together.