After the Republican national convention, I was stuffed to the gills with cynicism and despair. It was a week-long orgy of America-hating yahoos ranting about the people who aren’t white American men destroying the world, and as one of them, it made me feel awful for my species.
Then I watched bits and pieces of the Democratic national convention. It started badly, with more people chanting “No! No! No!” and generally being irrational, but it got better, starting with Sarah Silverman.
To the Bernie or Bust people…you’re being ridiculous.
Yes. It is possible to favor Sanders’ ideas without being an ass about it, and to recognize reality. You know, even if Sanders had the nomination, it wouldn’t be as if you flicked a light switch and the world got better, right? That whether it’s Sanders or Clinton, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us?
Bernie Sanders also demonstrated principled graciousness.
In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Yes. We become stronger when black and white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American – all of us – stand together. Yes. We become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native born and immigrant fight to create the kind of country we all know we can become.
It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That’s what this campaign has been about. That’s what democracy is about. But I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Among many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street and the passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.
I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care. I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children.
Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here tonight.
Now it’s time for all of us who voted for Sanders in the primary to follow his lead.
And Michelle Obama set the right tone.
It’s looking like we won’t be wallowing in a week of hate, and I’ll be coming out of this with a lot more optimism.