I'm not a lifelong Democrat. My parents were Republicans, largely because they were cynical about Chicago politics and steeped in resentment, which the Irish do so well. I began to make my break when I was old enough to vote by writing in Nelson Rockefeller in a Republican primary.
In my first presidential election, it was Dr. Strangelove/Goldwater vs. Lyndon Johnson, who lied his way through the Vietnam War, but at the same time passed the Civil Rights Act. It didn't matter because I was living in Washington D.C, whose residents couldn't vote at that time. Really.
Most of my life I voted for Democrats, but often the choices were so bad I voted Socialist Labor. Remember them? I voted for Ford against Carter because I didn't trust Carter's religious views. I almost voted against McGovern because he ousted Tom Eagleton as his VP, due to Eagleton's mental health issues. Then again, McGovern was running against Nixon, so "no more questions, your honor." I didn't vote for Clinton the second time because I was disgusted with his lying to a grand jury.
About 10 years ago, I gave up the conceit of being an independent and became a Democrat to the point that even though I'm disgusted with Danny Davis, I won't vote for the Republican or Independent because I know we need a reliable liberal vote in Congress.
However, my senior citizen sensibilities were a bit dumbfounded when I saw all the women and minorities speaking at the Democratic Convention. I kept thinking, "Another woman? Didn't we just have a woman speaker? Another Hispanic? How come so many Hispanics?" It made me nervous. I kept wondering whether we could get away with that, if it wasn't going too far. Sure, Lilly Ledbetter and Elizabeth Warren, but a nun? Movie stars? An illegal? Hispanic twins?
It gradually hit me. I'm the one who hasn't kept up. We really have come a long way, Baby. Deval Patrick, Sandra Fluke, Tammy Duckworth, Rahm Emanuel, Lily Ledbetter, Jennifer Granholm, Gabrielle Giffords — what a bunch. I was so proud. What we've said we wanted for this country is actually happening.
And Bill Clinton. I think I'm almost ready to think like the dreaded French — that a leader's private life should be private. My God, what a speech! He laid it out like a new lawn.
Interesting that Hillary Clinton wasn't there. She's busy, but she could have been there. Lots of the pundits think she'll run in 2016, with, uh, Bill's encouragement.
And furthermore …
Did you notice how many speakers at that convention have been — or were related to — Democrats who were injured or killed in the line of duty?
Also, am I the only one that thinks that Michelle Obama has been a flawless and involved First Lady and has blossomed in the political spotlight? Keep an eye on her political prospects when those girls are in college.
Can you imagine two female Democratic presidents in a row? Can I hang on until I'm 92?