I’m bringing my family with me, too. At least, in spirit. I’m so excited to be going to the Democratic Convention this time after falling short in 2008 of the credentials to get blogger credentials. This time I get to go via Crooks and Liars, but I’m not going alone. I couldn’t possibly go alone because too much of my passion for politics comes from others who influenced and shaped me.
There’s Grandma, whose memory is wrapped in her necklace locked around my neck. Grandma, as solid a Democrat as ever lived, but who never attended a convention. She made sure she voted in every one, and she always had an opinion.
My Mom will be with me too. My earliest memories of politics of any sort are wrapped in my mother. I remember where I was when JFK was shot because Mom was the one who told me. I remember where I was when RFK was shot because Mom was working that night to receive early returns from precincts that night and I was watching it on TV. Mom, who voted in every single election no matter whether local, state or national.
Memo to Mom: Watch the blog and Facebook. I’ll send pictures you’ll like. Videos too.
My last companion will be Uncle Lee, who ignited the passion that pushed me to finally stop being passive and start being active. To start using my voice for more than yelling at the television, to take the risk and speak aloud things that should be spoken, not whispered to empty rooms. His memory and his bracelet will go with me to Charlotte. He was the very first Obama supporter I ran across, way back in January, 2008. For Mary and he, there wasn’t even a question. No doubt. They had the sign in their window already and convinced me to give him a closer look.
Boy, I’m glad I listened to him. I can still hear his voice telling me in the absolute sort of way he had of saying absolute things that there was no question that Barack Obama was the best candidate in 2008. And I will hear his voice in Charlotte, too. He would be cynical about the balloons and buttons, but not about what’s at stake this time around.
Besides family ties, what all of my family has in common is this: They vote. They voted. They worked to make sure other people voted. They taught me that not voting, not participating, is not a protest, it’s just acquiescence. If ever there is a year where every citizen must vote, this is it.
For me, the most exciting prospects for the convention come in two pieces. The first is meeting other bloggers from around the country that I interact with on a near-daily basis, but haven’t met. The second will be witnessing history as Barack Obama accepts the nomination for the second and last time on Thursday night. The only thing that could possibly be more exciting would be seeing his inaugural in January 2013. But for now, this will be a moment to savor.
Most of my Charlotte reports will be posted to Crooks and Liars, but I’ll be sending some real time photos and remarks here too. You can follow me on Twitter or App.net for the real time stream.
Mom, Grandma and Uncle Lee, you’ll be with me and my eyes will see things because you taught me what to look for. My voice is blended with your wisdom and lessons. You taught this child well, and hopefully I’ve passed it down to mine.