It may have been the best political convention ever staged. Everything went right. Every point that could be made was made. Every button that could be pushed was pushed. The videos were powerful and perfectly crafted. The speakers were eloquent and persuasive. The crowd was fired up and ready to go.
The president gave one of the best speeches of his life. So did the vice president. So did the first lady. So did former president Bill Clinton. So did Deval Patrick, Julian Castro, Jennifer Granholm… Everybody rose magnificently to the occasion.
And, as never before, the party presented a united front.
Above all, this convention was authentic. The overwhelming sincerity must have been obvious to the most cynical observer.
They’ve done the very best they could, those Democrats who planned and participated in the Charlotte convention.
Now, it’s up to us.
It’s up to us to live the dream, to realize the hope, to make it happen.
This is not just a war of words. To millions of Americans – the poor, the old, the sick – it is a war of life-and-death.
This is a conflict between might and right, love and hate, our better angels and our hidden demons, between the idealism of Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King and the cold, hard selfishness of Ayn Rand.
Victory will not be easy.
The ideals embraced by the Democrats come at a price. The economic interests of powerful people and corporations are threatened, and they will protect their privileges with everything they’ve got. Millions upon millions of dollars will pour into the Romney-Ryan campaign and into Republican war chests throughout the nation.
Dirty tricks will be the norm as they fight tooth and claw to preserve – even double down on – the policies that made them super-rich while impoverishing the middle class. They will throw truth and fair play under the bus, using whatever means they can to keep Democrats from voting. They will use every human weakness to advance their cause – “poking fire” as we say in Jamaica. They will stir up racism and sexism, religious intolerance and bigotry, resentment and rage, to turn Americans against each other like so many rats in a trap. And they will wage a no-holds-barred campaign of lies and rumors to fan the fires of hate against America’s first black president.
That’s what they’ve been doing for months – even years – already. Why do you think that, in defiance of logic, self-interest and even sanity, polls still show President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney neck and neck? A relentless barrage of propaganda, slickly designed to defeat reason with emotion, has evoked age-old tribal divisions and reignited ancient resentments to divide and rule America.
And that was just the prelude. Now, the big money will really start rolling.
Nothing the Democrats can do will attract that kind of campaign cash. To combat the flood of paid advertising, they must depend on foot soldiers, individuals who make their case to friends and neighbors, and get like-minded voters to the polls, come hell or high water. Do they have transportation? Do they have the ID required by voter-suppressing legislation? Do they know what they need to know in order to vote?
No convention can do that. No speech, however moving, can get those voters to the polls and ensure they can vote. That takes phone calls and available cars and volunteers, thousands upon thousands of volunteers.
How about you? Are you fired up and ready to go? Ready to fight the good fight? Ready to help right triumph over might?
Would you help our president move America forward?
President Obama and Vice President Biden pictured above.