I'm not sure why, but I have a habit of crying during speeches at the Democratic National Convention. I remember crying during the 1992 DNC because I thought, "Holy shit, we actually have a chance this year!" That year, listening to Aretha Franklin sing the National Anthem also brought me to tears, which I kind of think should happen to everyone when she sings the National Anthem - but it's possible that I've shed tears every four years since then as well.
I don't recall crying at the 1996 or 2000 conventions specifically (although I distinctly remember crying when the stupid effing Supreme Court handed a victory to our current lame-ass excuse for a president), but I do remember in 2004 watching a skinny black guy who I'd never heard of before in my life give what I thought was one of the best speeches I'd ever heard - a speech I still remember parts of to this day. It was a speech that made me cry. And as I cried, I thought, "If I live to see a black president, it's gonna be this guy. Now what was his name again?"
His name, of course, was Barack Obama. And I cried my eyes out this week watching the convention in Denver. And while I may not have a "valid excuse" for crying in the past (not that I feel I need one, mind you), I know at least one of the reasons I was so emotional this week - I'm watching history.
I've always been proud to be a Democrat, and a Liberal Democrat at that. My parents raised me to care about other people, particularly those with less than I have, and to think that our government has a responsibility to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives. If you squander your opportunities, that's your business - but if you have no opportunities, that shouldn't be your fault. Even when that's not a popular opinion, I've always been proud to carry that worldview in my heart.
But I've never been prouder to be a Democrat than this year.
This year, my party had as its two finalists in the primaries not one but two historic candidates. And this year, my party nominated the first African-American on a major party ticket. The Rs may crow about their VP nomination this year, but let's not forget Geraldine Ferraro in 1984. The bottom line is this - you can't tell me the Democrats aren't the party of change.
So, as Obama implied last night during his amazing acceptance speech, I say bring it on, November. There's a change-making army coming your way, whether you like it or not.