It’s the last night of the family reunion held every four years, and the tables are overflowing. Not only Italian food, but Mexican, Arabic, Thai, Chinese—a melting pot of goodies reflecting the family of the Democrats, and the family of America. The cooks are exhausted, the family is tired, but they know the work is not done. “In this election,” says grandma, “we are either people of heart or people of fear. There is no other choice.” The family, though they never speak with one voice, is in agreement that Hillary comes from the heart. “No matter how they try to portray her in their fearful space, the truth comes through in her story,” says mom. She looks around the tables, especially at the grandchildren. “It’s not about breaking glass ceilings but about empathizing with people who struggle and live heroic lives just down the block. You don’t have to go across the world to lend a helping hand, though that is worthy. Like Hillary, we can look down our streets, in our schools, in our police stations and tenements and see people who are heroes of their own lives. Respect and honor their struggles and you will forget about your ego’s chatter and your self-interest. Tonight Hillary said ‘America is great because America is good.’ Don’t forget that. Don’t fall for the rhetoric of fear that says we must judge, or dread, our neighbors if they have a different colored skin or language or religion.
America IS great because, at heart, America is good.” Alla Familia!
To the Family!
Will Rogers said: “I belong to no organized party—I am a Democrat.” He would not have recognized this well-organized convention that flowed forward with a force all its own, enfolding the values and interests of every diverse part of the party like egg whites into a high rising cake. The importance of this election overtook the family differences, bringing the focus back to Progressive values that begin in the heart. The speakers, one after the other after the other sounded the same theme. We ARE our neighbor’s keeper. From the widow of a fallen police officer to the veterans to the retired generals, to the disaffected Republicans and Independents, there was consensus: we have to enact legislation that is people oriented, not private interest oriented. United in our focus on the children, the elderly, the poor and the struggling, we can make America come closer to her potential envisioned by our forefathers and foremothers. Immigrants are the backbone of the American body, and without them we are like skim milk instead of cream.
The power of the Muslim parent of a son who died for this country spoke more eloquently of the American experience than any patriotic march or right-wing rant. These are good people. This is a good country. As Hillary said, “When there are no ceilings, the sky is the limit.” Speaker after speaker shed hope, light and the optimism of public service, in contrast to the Republican convention of fear, anger and wall building. We sometimes have to go to the dark in order to miss the light. Last night I felt the warmth of the light and it was good.
“A new world is being born.” Jean Houston, Philosopher, Teacher
When I studied with Jean, she acknowledged that birth is never sterile or pretty. It’s painful, bloody and messy. The Bernie Sanders advocates fought their hearts out and changed the platform of a major party. They, mostly, didn’t do this through anger and fear but through a genuine caring for their country and their fellow citizens. Most of them joined the family to help see this agenda implemented by the new president. The wounds will heal and the Democratic body will move forward. Hillary is a consensus seeker—she’ll see to it. Our national motto tells us who we are: E pluribus unum—Out of Many, One.
If you noticed an absence of challenge to the other party, that is on purpose. I could create columns and graphs differentiating the “policies” of DT (he who shall not be named) and the Democrats. But he is so blatant, so in the face, that the coverage of him by the press is ubiquitous. I don’t have to point out the racist, misogynistic, hateful rhetoric because he is proud of it and spreads it himself. He tells us who he walks with and we know who he is. This election is a light or dark choice. People of good will know, and I am content with that. Because America is fundamentally good, the light will win. Dynamic speaker Reverend William Barber said:
“Faith is not used to serve greed. Jesus was a brown-skinned Palestinian Jew and he taught us that. The heart of our democracy is on the line and we must be the moral defibrillators of our time.”
To that a big Amen.
Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are.