I’m really excited about tuning into the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this week and next. I always watch them both. I enjoy the speeches, the cheering, the energy, the excitement and the sense of renewed hope for positive change to possibly benefit all Americans.
I’m sounding a bit too optimistic you might be saying and this is probably true.
Still, I savor the feeling that I’m witnessing part of history, even if merely watching the goings on from the comfort of my well-worn leather chair in my family room.
Real change seems almost impossible these days as the two major political parties are too often gridlocked, seemingly forgetting about the art of compromise and working together for the common good.
Still, once again I’m hopeful…
Another reason I look forward to these political shenanigans is because every four years while I’m watching and listening, I do some reflecting.
I remember when I was growing up, my family always tuned in to watch the conventions. I’m not sure if this was because we were vitally interested or merely due to the fact we only had one or two TV stations available for viewing. Nothing else was on. We watched the conventions for hours, or so it seemed to me. We cared not only about what the politicians were saying, we also cared about what Walter Cronkite had to say about things. His opinion mattered, or maybe it was his calm and sensible delivery or maybe it was both.
In contrast, this year the three “old-timer networks” are featuring limited convention coverage with only the major components of it being broadcasted. They now leave the more in depth, or at least the lengthier, coverage and analysis up to the too-many-to-count cable channels.
I will listen carefully to the various “experts,” but somehow their opinions don’t seem quite as “weighty” as Walter’s.
During the conventions, I like to look back and remember what I was doing during the last go-around and the go-around before that and so on.
I try to remember where I was and what I was doing.
It’s a chance to think about your life in four year increments.
Four years ago the conventions were taking place shortly after my mother had passed away from breast cancer. I was still in quite a melancholy mood.
And of course, my own cancer was not yet on my radar. Not even close.
I had no idea what was in store for me in about two years time down the road. Perhaps it was better that way.
During the conventions this time around I’ll be watching and reflecting about how the world of politics has and hasn’t changed over the years.
I’ll remember the conventions from my youth when there was fear and worry about issues probably not that much different from those we face today.
I’ll vaguely remember when Hubert Humphrey took center stage as both a presidential and later as a vice-presidential candidate, creating lots of extra buzz in my then home state of Minnesota
I’ll remember the times I was watching while on family vacations and the times I watched while simultaneously preparing lesson plans for the start of another school year.
I’ll remember the especially historic DNC convention of 1984 when finally, there was a woman standing next to Walter Mondale who was not his wife but his running mate. Back then, I didn’t realize it was still going to be quite some time before a woman was running for the top job.
Yay Geraldine Ferraro and yes, even yay Sarah Palin for making it onto the tickets!
This year I’ll be wondering again why it’s taking so long to get a woman into that all-important top job.
(I happen to firmly believe part of the gridlock solution is to get more women into political office at all levels).
I’ll be remembering my mom, too, and that time four years ago.
And of course, I’ll be reflecting about life before the great divide, you know, before the big ‘C.’
I’ll be watching, remembering and yes, feeling hopeful about the future.
Because the future is always about hope.
It has to be.
Will you be watching the television coverage of the conventions?
Is there a convention that stood out for you?
How much longer do you think it will be until a woman becomes President of the United States?