It occurs to me, rather all at once just now, that perhaps it's not about an individual. Perhaps it's too much to expect so much from any one person.
I've complained before that the Obama-mania turns me off a bit. Last week, I'd gotten a bit razor-tongued with some classmates about this, when they were going hyperbolic about Obama's revolutionary ways.
Here's what I realized today, when I finally started getting it together and watched all the speeches at the DNC- it's not really about Obama anymore. I should have seen it in all the frenzy amongst my very young classmates. Sure, they were over-the-top about it. But they were engaged. This 23-year old was chatting it up about this and that, and, granted, most of what he said was extremely biased and perhaps verbatim from some recent propaganda circulating around. However, these are people who would usually prefer discussing the merits of my fantasy football picks (I missed the draft, so dudes, my automatically selected picks are atrocious) than anything political.
And then, in reflecting just a tiny bit more, because it doesn't take much reflection when you're being bludgeoned square in the face with the obvious, I thought, well, maybe it just doesn't matter. Maybe it's irrelevant that Obama is probably not going to radically change the country. Maybe it is a sheltered and idealistic notion to believe any one leader can. Maybe the point is the palpable feeling you get listening to all of these speeches, watching the composition of the crowd, hearing the buzz afterwards.
Because ultimately, what probably matters the most is that people believe. Maybe if they believe, then Obama really will change things, maybe the country really will shift. Probably not, but I'm not even sure that matters. What impresses me, all sudden-like, is that people have the ability to hope and believe again. The last 8 years have been taxing, to say the least. The years before that had plenty of moments of disappointment too. So, it's either ignorance of the past (what I probably had believed previously) or just amazing resilience (which tonight I'm more inclined towards) that leads people to engage this much again, put a stake in this that much again.
I know the few people who are reading this are likely thinking NO DUH. Perhaps. Perhaps the Dems just finally got their sh*t seriously sorted out and figured out how to run a convention without any division, pandering, or major missteps. Perhaps I'm drinking the Kool Aid and someone deserves a raise for some well-crafted speeches. But for the first time in a long time, today I thought, well, maybe there is a reason to hope. But it's not Obama that's the reason. He just found a pulse, put his stethoscope on it, and then described it out loud- and the people listening to him said, well, that sounds like he's talking about my heart. Then they looked around and realized everyone felt the same inside. And in that recognition, there was suddenly a burst of energy that unified them all.
Sorry for the cheese. It's particularly weird coming from me, and may well be a sign of heatstroke. Today's high? 108.