Friday, July 30, 2004
The party's party is over, delegates are waking up from hope-filled hangovers, ready to flee Boston on a hot, hazy Friday morning. The imposed exile from my downtown office has ended as well, so I'm back in cube-land after too work-from-home days. Felt good to wake up early, shave off my WFH-DNC beard, and head back into the city for a dose of the normal routine.
As a Boston-based (and fairly politically-inclined) blogger, I had an opportunity to offer up my running take on the goings on during this surreal week... but I felt oddly ambivalent towards the whole big show. Besides, there was so much ridiculous hype about convention-blogging that it had no appeal to me whatsoever. I was happy to sit back, check the rss feeds, and stay outta the fray, even shying away from a couple of DNC-related events I had invites to. Things I normally would have loved to check out.
I think the whole weeding out process got to me, my initial enthusiasm built up and peaked during my full-on support of the Dean campaign, and disappeared with his chances. Even before the scream heard 'round the land, I was becoming disillusioned not just with a couple of his stances on certain issues, but with the systematic picking-apart of his candidacy by opponents and fellow party-members alike. While no candidate will likely match all my opinions on every policy, I initially thought Dean came closer than Kerry, and could offer up real change. I started believing this less and less as time went on, and as a pragmatist, began seeing his chances fade as the primaries approached. Time proved it to be true, and even though I'm firmly in the "anybody but Bush" camp, it's tough to get truly excited about someone I'm not completely behind.
That said, I refuse to waste my vote. In less desperate times, I wouldn't compromise myself by voting for someone I didn't wholeheartedly believe in. But times simply cannot get more desperate than they are now. We must not use this election to make statements that will not be heard, like so many small trees in too many endless forests. Maybe that time will come, perhaps in four years if Kerry does not live up to the words of last night's defining speech.
Before that, though, we must rid ourselves of Bush, relegate him to the history books, and voting for Nader, or one of the lesser-known candidates, especially a write-in, will not help accomplish that. It's an idealistic choice that in any other time I might admire, but no longer. The last election taught us the reality of such decisions, and we cannot forget the lessons we've learned, the tragic results of a presidency given to the wrong man at the wrong time. It's time to right that wrong, and if John Kerry is the man to do it, I'm in.
His speech last night makes it easier to do so. He's obviously come a long way over this long campaign, and his words actually fanned the political flames that Barak Obama's DNC-defining speech ignited in me. Obama sparked hope I hadn't felt since Dean's flame-out, made me sit up and pay closer attention during the second half of the convention. I can't wait to see where this guy's political road takes him.
The cynical side of me wanted to dismiss this whole pol-apalooza as a waste of money, resources, and time... a serious inconvenience to Boston residents and businesses alike, contrived fakery designed to clean-up a fragmented party like the fresh pavement, flowers, and coats of paint that magically appeared all over our city last week. To make things seem that much prettier to those looking in.
In the end, the optimist in me returned. I finish this week with a renewed sense of hope... a positive, if still fairly guarded, outlook on the months ahead. I know the dirty stuff is imminent... the right-wing ambushes loom, the behind-closed-doors scheming is in progress. I say let 'em come, let the cornered attack dogs do their worst before we put them down. Three more months. Just three short months before we move on.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
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