Saturday’s DFL Senate District convention was amazing. This was my second convention, but the first was over 15 years ago, a whole other Margot ago. Anyway, I walked in a regular gal with candidate’s chosen, clear and calm. I walked out a completely resolute, energized, regular gal. It was the people engaging in the democratic process that did it for me.
Yes, we had the MN candidates there (most of them). Senator Amy Klobuchar gave a truly wonderful speech that reminded us all why the national race at the Senate level is so important. But, it was the delegates themselves representing the full spectrum of the party who truly had my ear. The first timers. The lifelong. The politicos. The ground-level hippy chicks. The parents. The frustrated. The pumped up and the hopeful. The gift was simply being in this space with all of these people who were committed to the process of democracy. Seriously.
The sub-caucus math-ing (I know, not a word) was amazing; people counting and balancing, bartering one ideal for another for a greater ideal. The non-delegates off the floor, fingers dotting, lips mouthing numbers. The campaign managing renditions of George Stephanopoulos (thanks Deanna) cooly hangin’ in the periphery. The positioning of delegates with t-shirts and signage… I was snared coming out of the restroom by a determined campaign worker who noticed my Madia sticker and got me into a t-shirt quick-like, but not before she detoured to cheer on a Madia related sub-caucus.
I had my moments of cattiness about a couple resolutions, and the bad manners of certain elected persons – no, not who you might assume. I was joyfully frightened by delegates who were trying to make sure I didn’t “escape”, even though I was not part of their sub-caucus.
Most importantly, I was focused on the things that concern us all – the war, the economy, health care, education, the environment. I was moved and motivated by people caucusing for the people, by impassioned delegates who spoke on GLBT rights, veteran’s affairs.
This season’s campaign process has my clear attention for the first time in my voting life, as there is a lot at stake in the big picture, beyond the campaign, and the obvious relevance of the presidential candidates. And, I am not voting against anyone (oh, okay, accept Norm Coleman).☺ I am voting for candidates. And, if my candidates do not end up on the ticket, I’ll still be voting for the candidates who do. I have a great deal of respect for (almost) all the Dem candidates. I will remember this election year as a wonderful moment in time, a moment to engage.
In the bigger picture of my microcosm – Democrat, Republican, Independent, et cetera – it seems like a larger number of people are engaged in truly working this democracy, and it’s very cool.