I watched as much of the Democratic national Convention last week as I possibly could. I loved the speeches by Michelle, Ted, Hillary and Bill. I especially liked Beau's introduction of his father, and of course, Joe's speech. I felt energized, hopeful, and encouraged by the passion, eloquence and enthusiasm of each speaker.
I was so filled with anticipation as I waited for Barach to address the convention from Mile High. It was the forty-fifth anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. What a great time to see Barach Obama accept the Democratic nomination for president. He didn't disappoint. Hs eloquence is amazing. He gave content to his ideals, and he demonstrated that he has the ideas necessary to lead America.
This week, the Republicans meet. Part of me wants to say, "Who cares." Part of me wants to watch and comment sarcastically on Twitter or my Facebook status update. It is as though no matter what any of them say this week, I won't possibly like it. It is not helpful to be that closed minded. I do myself and the people with whom I converse a disservice by not embracing the process with an open mind. It makes me wonder how many of us are so partisan in our politics that we are more concerned about winning than about leading, more concerned about being right than about listening to others who just might be right as well.
So, as much as I don't want to do it, I'm going to listen with as open a mind as I can muster. I'm going to listen to Sarah Palin tonight and listen to how she plans to help John McCain to lead this country should the Republicans win. I'm going to listen to John McCain tomorrow, and rather than dismiss him outright, I'm going to think about what he has to say.
I encourage all of us to remain open, to learn from those with whom we disagree, and to recognize that all of us want what is best for our country, even if we disagree considerably about what that is. This is no Joe Lieberman appeal to Democrats to support McCain. It simply is an appeal to listen rather than speak, to consider that we can learn from "the other side" and a reminder that the political debate, ultimately, is good for all of us.