By Tharon Johnson –
What is there left to say about the Democratic convention this year? Yesterday closed out four days of optimism, hope, and a vision for the country that showed us that as long as we work together, every American can be lifted up. The Democratic Party did not resort to fearmongering and scare tactics which only serve to divide us along the lines of race and gender. That’s the key difference we saw from this week and last week – the Democrats want to work together to give everyone a leg up, no matter their creed. The Republicans want to cripple the many for the convenience of the few.
Yesterday was not only momentous because we got our first (fantastic) speech from our first major female presidential candidate, but because Secretary Hillary Clinton reminded us of just how stark the difference is between her and Donald Trump.The introduction speech from her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, highlighted that divide as well by showing us a woman who has spent the last five decades of her life fighting for what she believes in, as opposed to a man who has never had to fight for anything. When Secretary Clinton finally got up on stage, sheshowed us her passion for the issues and offered solutions for our country. In perhaps the most biting line of the night, Clinton said “a man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” We cannot allow a man with that temperament to come any closer to the White House.
For me, the most resonating line of the night was when Clinton said, “let’s put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable.” That sentence perfectly encapsulates what separates our two presidential candidates: empathy. Clinton cares for those she has never met, she wants to create opportunity for those who have none. It doesn’t matter whether they look like her, sound like her, or think like her. All that matters is that they need help. All evidence points to Trump not seeing the country or the world in that way. He and the people who elected him did so out of fear – a fear of change. When you’re accustomed to privilege, any attempt to equal the playing field feels like oppression. Those feelings are understandable, but must not be allowed to poison public policy.
Make no mistake, this is a historical moment for our country, one that has been a long time coming. One of the final glass ceilings has been broken and we are all better for it. There is just one glass ceiling left to break, and I hope to see it with my own eyes on Inauguration Day as President Hillary Clinton smashes through it.
It now falls on us to help her shatter that last glass ceiling. There are only 101 days left until the general election, a day when we will be faced with a choice between a future we can all be a part of or a future where the American Dream is reserved for those privileged enough to gain access. As Democrats, we must work together to take this excitement and emotion pouring out of the convention and translate it into action. Whether you’re a campaign manager or a freshman college student volunteering for the first time, we need to knock on doors, make phone calls, and most importantly, vote. Starting today, we must work every single day to ensure that Secretary Clinton is elected so her progressive vision for America can become a reality. I’m with her.