If you can recall, my anticipation post for the RNC largely reflected how excited I was to see my fellow Wake the Voters again and not so much to experience the RNC. But this time around, it’s different. It’s time for the Democratic National Convention!
There is a stark contrast between my excitement level for the RNC and that for the DNC. In my anticipation for the RNC, I had to 1. Calm myself, 2. Remind myself that Republicans are people too, and 3. Keep an open mind, or at least try to. It’s no secret that I have a difficult time practicing bipartisanship and exercising self control when it comes to demonizing those on the right, and the RNC was going to be a real test of that. I came out of it largely unchanged, but picked up some insights here and there about the humanity of Republicans. Disclaimer: I never desire to demonize Republicans. I acknowledge that this is a rather toxic practice and I am very earnestly trying to rid myself of it. However, with the DNC, I am so thrilled that I cannot even put into words a to-do list. I took a look at the itinerary and there are topics that literally make my heart skip a beat: women of color, immigration reform, criminal justice reform, and so on.
There are a lot of things I can thank Wake the Vote for. Of those things is a more clear discernment of what I identify with, and that is the left side of the spectrum. I have realized that the issues that the left concerns itself with are issues that I find personally significant and issues that I am deeply passionate about. The current thumping of my own heart as I write this blog stands testament to that. There is just something about the Democratic party that gives me a certain peace. With politics there really is no safe haven, but I find that when I am surrounded by those who identify with the left, I feel more comforted– one less guard to put up. There is an atmosphere of affirmation and compassion when I am in these spaces. And of course, these sentiments definitely have bias– there is no denying it– but being who I am, an individual who has her share of intersecting, marginalized identities, I am able to breathe a little longer and let my shoulders relax a little more with the Democratic party.
Maybe that is why I am so excited for the DNC. Maybe what I’m looking forward to is not necessarily the politics and the political process, but being around individuals who I assume to love not me, but my experiences. Maybe I’m excited to be surrounded by people who look like me, think like me, and vote like me. And yes, for a large part I am oversimplifying the whole of the Democratic party and underestimating the many flaws it has, especially with issues that pertain to intersectional, marginalized identities, but I assume that with the DNC I am going to be in less spaces in which my experiences are constantly questioned, probed, and trivialized when compared with the spaces of the RNC. Maybe I am really looking forward to being around those whose party does not have a raging bigot as its candidate. Nevertheless, I am hyped for the DNC.