That’s all I ask.
You don’t have to order the free buttons or bumper stickers from Move On. You don’t have to buy a t-shirt with McCain on the receiving end of some John Starks action. You don’t have to suddenly mobilize, take the election into your own hands, and register your entire neighborhood.
Just be excited.
All I ask of you, and I rarely ask you for much, is to be joyful about this if you’re joyful, to believe in it if you’re finding yourself inspired to believe. I’m asking you not to be afraid of this historical moment, not to be concerned about all the ways that this could go wrong, all the promises that seem to pile high on all the other promises. Don’t be afraid of the words sounding too right, the rhetoric being too polished, the fireworks and the confetti and the chanting being all too much.
And yes, it was maybe all a little too much.
But folks…be excited about this.
The text I received from the arena tonight read “I am the luckiest person I know.” I never thought someone would send me that message from a political convention. I never thought I’d agree.
And folks…please do not focus on the minor stumbles in the phrasing, or on Joe Biden’s awkward point to the crowd, or on the kids being up on stage (although they are damn cute kids). Don’t focus on the nonstop cheering at the top of the speech or in the middle of the speech or after the speech, or the country song that felt so out of place but was a clear political move. And please don’t focus on Born in the USA for that matter, although politicians should have learned their lessons from Reagan on that one.
Folks. My generation has never gotten a speech like that before.
I’m not going to do an analysis. You can get those all over the place.
I’m just going to ask this favor.
Be excited. Be invested. Believe in this. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on what could happen here.
And I know, I know, there are so many things that could go wrong, so many things that likely will go wrong, and at the end of four years, we could be devastated and look back and wonder why we ever cared so much in the first place. Hell, in two months we could be sitting, lost and wondering what happened (in other words, 2004 all over again) and struggling to figure out how the hell we come back from this one. And yes, I know there are nothing but precedents for us losing leaders like this, watching them fall, watching them taken from us through tragedy or poor decisions. I know this. I think about it constantly.
And yet, I am excited.
I wholeheartedly believe.
And the best thing I can do with that belief, with that excitement, is show it to you in its pure form, to share it with you, to present it, matter of factly, as something that inspires me.
You, in turn, can do with it what you will.
But please, if you too are inspired, excited, hopeful, joyful, if you too believe in what you saw tonight, wish you were there in that stadium, if you too are full of hope for change and find yourself suddenly unafraid to use those words without irony–if only for this tiny historical moment–please, my friends, I ask you, I beg you: wear all that proudly.