It wasn’t easy, getting there in time, but I managed to squeeze through traffic fast enough to be at Denver’s Invesco Field at the Mile High Stadium to see Barack Obama accept his nomination as presidential candidate for the Democrats. It was electric. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and neither would 84,000 other people apparently, since the entire stadium was sold out.
The atmosphere was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in relation to politics and the only thing that gets close would be being at some sporting event where your team isn’t just winning, but breaking world records ever other minute or so. An incredible sense of hope and optimism was in the air and everybody was peaceful and cheerful.
Another remarkable thing I noticed was the sudden change in the air between whites and any colored people in the area. Normally, I would have said that people of all colors already act normally whenever in mixed company. But it wasn’t until yesterday night that I realized that that’s not the case. For the first time, I had the feeling that most – if not all – people looked at eachother without prejudice, even if it was only for the time being. Everyone was getting smiles from everyone and even if Barack Obama never makes it to the White House, that was worth it all by itself.
It’s going to be interesting to see the reaction from the Republicans though. Even though I’m generally positive about the tone and atmosphere of the whole thing here in Denver, I think there’s some hard questions that will be asked about it. What is going to pay for all these promises? How is Obama going to improve everything in sight and still manage to lower taxes for 95% of the families, without pushing America even deeper into its sinkhole of debt?
Another thing that made me frown is the whole show and backdrop of the grand finale of this Democratic Convention. It was all I remember seeing in the past in this type of event and more, but somehow that just doesn’t fit the image Obama has been setting up for himself. Personally, I would have preferred something a little closer to the people, with less spectacle and overpowering imagery. Obama doesn’t need the stadium, the fireworks and the Roman columns. He just needs to open his mouth and tell the people how he sees it to get their support and all this fluff can only serve to raise suspicion.
All the same, my vote would be on Obama, even if it were only the vote for the lesser of two evils. If Obama manages to convince the people that they can somehow pay for his new dream for America, that would be even better. At any rate it was great to be there and to be part of a crowd that was so much together. I won’t make it to the Republican convention in Minnesota, but I am looking forward to seeing McCain speak in St. Louis on Sunday, if I manage to get there in time.
I have to admit there was some speeding involved in getting to Denver in time, but apparently I wasn’t the only one heading over there in a hurry. A small group of cars was zipping through the Rockies at break-neck speeds and I figured that as long as I wasn’t the first or the last of them, I’d be relatively safe even if we did run into some patrol cars…
The Colorado landscape reminded me strongly of Austria, but more about that and the rest of the ride later on. I need to leave right now or be kicked out of my room!