I had no plans originally to watch the Democratic National Convention last night but as it turned out we watched a good deal of it beginning with Tammy Duckworth and following it thru Michelle Obama. I figured that I, like most people, would hear the speeches and since I usually lean towards the side of the Democrats, I would basically hear the counterpoints and arguments as to why the Democrats were different, where the Republicans were wrong, how out of touch the Romney-Ryan ticket is, etc., etc. I did hear all that but I think there was one obvious and important difference that in my mind pretty much says it all – and is really why I just can’t find much common ground with the Republicans. And it is actually pretty simple. While the words and positions were obviously different, when I really thought about it, what really stood apart in my mind and in my heart was the tone last night of almost everyone who spoke. They were all real. I didn’t hear hate. I didn’t hear an intense anger. I didn’t hear speakers attacking other’s character. I didn’t hear an “us vs. them”. I didn’t hear the viciousness I have come to expect from the Republicans. I heard a kinder and gentler message. I heard people who actually cared about those in this country not as well off. I heard leaders who found it important to not just look out for their own interests. I heard from people I would actually want to know and who did not embarrass me as a fellow American.
I know it is too simple but how great would it be if everyone could stop for a few minutes and try to link into the energy and the type of emotion put out by each party. It would help at this important turning point. I think people need to look past the “rules” they have in their heads. We need to start to begin to work at getting the more subjective nature of us as human beings more in focus. I learned along time ago that one must learn to gauge that which is around them at two levels. What you think is right and what you feel is right. The intellectualizing of much of what we do is a result of what we think we should do – not always what really feels right. Most of us have an innate ability to know what is right in our heart. In most simple terms, most of us know what is right if we really take the time to listen to our inner self. Who among us hasn’t started in one direction with a decisions or action and then shifted direction or changed in some fashion when we paid attention to our heart. Who among us hasn’t made one decision that we really knew just didn’t feel right and then, after things went bad, looked back and really knew then what that bad feeling we had was really telling us. I know it isn’t really our heart we listen to but our inner psyche is always there to help us also “feel” the right answer.
Does the Democratic Party have it all right? Are all the Democratic leaders “good” people who don’t have a personal agenda? No, I’m not that stupid or idealistic. But I do believe we have people on this side of the aisle that actually care and want to do the right thing. How can that be bad – even if it doesn’t work 100% for everyone every time. I know I get snarky and I get a bit too intense and personal in my anger some times. Hard not too when the frustration gets too intense and you get scared of what can potentially happen. I think the speakers last night made that all too clear. And they did it pretty gently – and with class. And they made me feel better. These were people not spitting out talking points – they were speaking from their hearts. I know we’re not done and there will be more intensity and more lashing out (as there should be) but what a great start.
Last point – Michelle Obama – can’t say I’ve heard any other First Lady (or potential First Lady) be as elegant, forthright, and genuine that what I heard last night. What a great speech and what an ability to make it all real. I might be naive but I really believe she cares.