"Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation." -Today's fortune cookie. No joke.
Almost eight years have passed since the (s)election of our president. Through those years, we have seen the trust America puts in herself dismantled. What isn't often spoken of is the fact that the percentage of people who support George W. Bush are in direct correlation to those of us who trust our country, and in particular, our government. The remainder, for the most part, have lost faith in government.
This is not to say that we do not love our country. On the contrary, the fact that we distrust, the fact that we are angry about the state of our union, is because we are so deeply patriotic. We care so strongly about the fall from grace which our country has suffered through that it enrages us.
I am angry not because I have anger issues, but because when I hear about another person who dies because they don't have health care, or because they froze to death without oil to heat their home, I take that personally. I'm a Wiccan, and I take my vow to do my very best to harm none seriously. Every time this happens to a person in America, it is a failure of her government. And Democrats are complicit in this failure.
Since Democrats took power in 2006, we have seen the fourth amendment trampled. We have seen the funding for the Iraq War consistently renewed. And this is only the beginning. And now, it's offshore drilling that's next. Every principle, we piss away without much of a fight.
Every time that that petulant son of a bitch up in the Maison Blanche (petulance is best expressed in French, according to the Republican Party) stamps His Mighty Feet, Democrats scramble for the quickest way to insert their heads as far up their asses as they can physically manage. The Republicans, meanwhile, manage that which we cannot- unity.
It is utterly pathetic that we speak of needing massive supermajorities in each house, because otherwise we can't hold enough of us together to accomplish the people's will. The people want the war over, they want universal health care, they favor almost every position that we represent. All we have to do is stand up for our principles, and the average American citizen will support us. Instead, Congress rests firmly at a 10% approval rating.
I come to the Democratic National Convention as a converted Democrat, with only four years in the party. But I come as a Democrat who is committed to his party. I come demanding that it stand up for its own values. A platform will be introduced and passed at this gathering- one which should be thrown down onto the desks of every Democratic Congressman, every Democratic Senator, and our future President.
That platform is a document which delineates our true beliefs. Not those which head to the hallowed halls of Congress to be watered down and distilled until universal health care means "for those under 18". Not those where "alternative energy" means "ethanol for Iowan farmers". Not those where "we don't torture" means "except for those types that don't kill you".
I come to this convention with this deep seated, yet likely twisted hope that if we can just elect this nominee of ours president, that our problems will begin to end. That the tide will turn, that the ice caps will cease melting. That when we fight a war, it will be again because we have the moral high ground. That people can keep their homes, and no longer face foreclosure levels not seen since the Depression.
This is our time. We come to this convention not just to nominate a candidate, but to cast the die which will set a chain of events into motion that will change our nation forever. That a black man could fight a woman for the nomination of our party, and then ascend to the most powerful office in the world is truly, as Bill Clinton put it, a "fairy tale".
But while he spoke those words as hurtful things, I speak them for the opposite reason- for I believe in the tales of fae, and I believe in miracles, and I believe that we mortals hold in our hands much greater power than we take credit for. And while I do not find Barack Obama to be a messianic figure, I find his message to be one which could unite a nation once again. That finally, we could again pursue something greater than ourselves.
That I will be there to watch the first step of this journey makes me feel richer than John McCain ever could. In less than a week, we will witness the true beginning of a new era in American politics. And I for one cannot wait for him to say those magical words: "I accept the nomination."
And then I will be there to hold him accountable, and to refuse to allow him to make his campaign promises only promises. And I hope you will all be there with me... because this is where it begins, but we have a long way to go together.