As a young woman, watching Hillary claim the nomination moved me to tears
She shattered the glass ceiling for women everywhere
PHILADELPHIA – On August 18, 1920 women in the United States were granted the right to vote. It’s taken 96 years, but a woman has finally won the presidential nomination of a major political party.
Last night, I stood on the floor of the Democratic Convention and watched as Hillary Clinton graciously accepted that nomination. And for the first time in four days, after divided delegations and staged walkouts from different angry factions, I felt something other than frustration with the Democratic Party. I felt hope.
In her hour-long speech, Hillary pitched herself not just as the only option, as her opponent so often does, but as the clever one. Less a fixer. More a doer.
“America is once again at a moment of reckoning,” she told the roaring crowd. “Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of trust and respect are fraying. And just as with our founders there are no guarantees. It’s truly is up to us. We have to decide whether we’re going to work together so we can all rise together.”
It was clear. It was concise. It was enough to drown out the few dozen Bernie supporters who walked out of the arena during it. But more than anything, it was a far cry from the chaos we saw at the Republican Convention.
Donald Trump’s 73-minute speech, rich with attempts at stoking fear and urgency, presented no real solutions for improving America. And even less hope.
There in Cleveland, we watched as he said: “I will restore law and order to this country, believe me. I am the law and order candidate.” His audience responded: “Blue lives matter!” A Trump presidency offers a grim future for our country.
On entering the arena last night, I was prepared for a similar experience. Instead, the Democratic Party appeared more united than ever before.
Following every tweetable soundbite, Hillary’s audience erupted. Every last sentence was punctuated by deafening cheers and signs hoisted into the air.
Not long after the end of her speech, when the balloons and confetti littered the floor, I spotted a woman clad head to toe in Bernie gear. She was openly weeping near a cluster of social media superstars asking members of the press to take their pictures, laughing for the camera as they tossed balloons into the air.
You may assume she was crying tears of frustration – Bernie supporters have been anything but calm this week. You’d be wrong.
She was thinking of her two small nieces as Hillary spoke of shattering the glass ceiling, she told me, and was inspired. Even for a former Bernie or Buster. Though she might not totally agree with all of Hillary’s policies, a future with her looks a hell of a lot better than one with a man who has no interest in unity.
As the first woman in American history to win the Democratic nomination told her audience: “Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger. None of us can do it alone.
“That’s why we are stronger together.”