the DNC

while I didn’t watch the whole convention, I did get a chance to see a few speeches, and to me, the most rousing were by women! Jennifer Granholm last night (former Governor of Michigan) gave a roof-raising shout out to Obama’s auto industry bailout, Michelle Obama (first night) gave such a well-delivered speech emphasizing the personal backgrounds and stories of she and Barack, and Sandra Fluke, former Georgetown U law student turned public activist for reproductive rights gave a fantastic speech for women’s health on Wednesday before Clinton spoke. Clinton’s speech was also – in my view- very good – policy-oriented and yet spoke from his life experience – he’s only gotten better as a public figure with time… I’d love to hear what people thought of the DNC, I was following the NPR live blog, but some of my posts didn’t make it through the screeners — that blog is good, but distracting at times with people’s bickering. I am thinking about a few things: (1) the DNC’s clear pitch to Latino voters by foregrounding the issue of the DREAMers [somewhat ironic given that outside, a busload of undocumented activists from around the country were protesting Obama’s deportation policies and pushing for comprehensive immigration reform at risk themselves of arrest and deportation] — e.g. the undocumented young woman who introduced Christina (btw, Christina herself gave a strong speech, peppered with Spanglish, “si se puede!”), and (2) the overall narratives that came through from across all the speeches, which to me had a few major themes in common: a) that the U.S. is an “opportunity society” and everyone should have (not necessarily equal) access to opportunity (not equality of outcomes, but of opportunities); b) inclusivity – “we’re all in this together” – “no one left behind”, etc.- [as an aside, just seeing the images of the delegates in the arena — of all colors, nationalities, sexual orientations, (dis)abilities, ages — for me these were images of the America I live in and want to see flourish];  c) capitalism is fine – we’re not going to impede people’s abilities to get rich or make profits – but government’s role is to take care of people who capitalism leaves behind (“we celebrate success but don’t want the game to be rigged” – and then Elizabeth Warren said, “the system IS rigged” — her presence was interesting to me, btw, because I thought Obama caved in when he passed her over for the Consumer Protection post but then again, maybe she wanted out for her Senate run??). Also, what about Obama’s “citizenship” line last night? The social anthropologists would take that to task, probably, because it is a superficial view (not well-articulated, at least) of “citizenship” (or, what is he saying about citizenship, exactly? could it be related to his comments about “YOU were the change, YOU made that happen” e.g. by voting in change, citizens participate in democracy???) Lots, in my view, to think about and discuss in the coming months before the election…


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