After watching four nights of what was a truly spectacular Democratic National Convention, an event that culminated in one of the most incredible moments in history with Hillary Clinton being the first woman nominated as a candidate for President of the United States, I feel … well … kind of hopeful.
It’s an odd feeling. Hope almost feels like it’s too strong of a word for an election season that has become the equivalent of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
Maybe it’s the Clinton effect and the nostalgia conjured up in me. Some kind of wistfulness for the glory days of stuffing envelopes for Clinton/Gore in the fall of 1992 while watching Murphy Brown’s smackdown of Dan Quayle on TV with other volunteers in the Clinton campaign office. Traveling down memory lane by remembering splurging on two $20 bus tickets to travel with those volunteers to Washington D.C. for the Inauguration.
Trust me, $40.00 felt like a crazy ridiculous amount of money when you’re 22 and making $18,000 a year in your first job out of college — in a recession, no less — and staring down a shit-ton of student loan payments that you didn’t have any hope of paying off until 2015. A date stamp that initially seemed like a million light-years in the future arrived as if only a nanosecond had passed. Ironically, these days $40.00 is still a crazy ridiculous amount of money for our family, albeit for different — yet still similar — reasons.
Yet, despite how terrified I am about a potential Trump presidency and the dire implications of what that would mean, I’m letting myself feel this wave of post-Convention hope because I need to. It doesn’t erase or negate the fear related to all the struggle in our lives, both on a very personal level as well as on a national and global stage. It doesn’t dismiss the the fact that exactly one week ago I penned a post (“the day after”) comparing a Trump presidency to a nuclear holocaust. Those fears and those threats are still very real, as evidenced by the news that Trump’s BFF these days is none other than Vladimir Putin.
I am rarely hopeful these days, for these and many other reasons. Hope is not always visible, regardless of where we look.
But on Thursday night I saw a future that’s right within our reach — a strong, courageous, tough leader who is, in the words of President Obama, the most qualified person to run this country. I didn’t see a dictator or someone who embodies gloom and doom. I saw acceptance, inclusion, compassion, love.
I saw hope.
Many people saw something very different, and I’ll have a few things to say about that in upcoming posts. But for today, my personal convention bounce of hope minimized for one shining moment the anxiety and the worry that often overwhelms me these days.
I know this won’t last. If Trump gets elected, it will vanish completely. Which is why for now it’s a feeling I’d like to hold onto for as long as I can.
This is post #61 of 99 in my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project.