Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Grand Old Shouting Match

The first election to which I paid close attention was in 1984.  That year, I was 16 year old and excited at the prospect that the first woman might be elected Vice President.  I worked for the campaign that fall; I believed in the ideas of Walter Mondale as much as I was excited to have a woman on the ticket.  On election day, I was crushed when the returns poured in and Ronald Reagan won a landslide re-election.  My dad likes to joke that only I and Walter Mondale thought he would win that year and that even Mondale knew better in his heart of hearts.  That’s probably true.  But even though my candidate lost, I woke up the next morning still determined to believe in something greater than myself.

I was struck by this as I caught shards of the first day of the GOP convention on Monday night.  For the most part, it was a spectacle of disorder and attacks on Hillary Clinton, with nothing in the form of pro-active ideas or policies.  We know that the Republican party wants to win the election and control the Congress.  But we don’t know what they will do if they prevail.  They have a quasi-leader; but they lack leadership.  

I’ve cast many presidential election ballots since 1984.  I’ve always been blessed to truly believe in the candidate for whom I voted.  I’ve never cast a hold-your-nose or better-than-the-alternative presidential vote.  I’ll happily vote for Hillary Clinton this year.  She’s not perfect; no candidate meets that test.  She is experienced, smart, passionate about the needs of children, and level-headed.  As president, she will serve this nation well.  I know this because that’s what she has done for the last thirty years.  She wants to lead and she knows how and why she will do it.  I’ll take that over invective and accusations any day.

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