Honestly, the last 24 hours have consisted of so many exciting events, it is hard to decipher what moments I will look back on and think to myself, “Wow, I cannot believe I was there.” I am taking as many photos as possible in order to avoid the very tragic “It’s all just a blur” effect. This being my first real experience in politics, I am shamelessly soaking in as much as I can, whether it is meeting delegates or just sitting back and watching. In the days leading up to the convention, I was unsure of what to anticipate, so as expected, a lot has surprised me. Here are some of my observations:
1. The delegates: I am so impressed with the level of diversity among the delegates, both in Georgia and in other states. Every time I meet a delegate who is around my age (or even younger…I met a delegate who is only 19!), I am instantly intrigued as to what motivated them to run in the first place. Running for a spot in the delegation is not something a lot of young people have the initiative to take on, so seeing people my age act as delegates is really encouraging. Generally speaking, it is refreshing to talk to them and hear the stories about what issues they are involved in and passionate about within their home state.
2. The atmosphere: From watching conventions on TV in the past (more recently, the RNC), I knew that this would definitely be a time focused on celebrating and motivating. However, the energy here is at a level even higher than what I ever could have anticipated. It is easy to lose sight of the excitement behind politics when you are stuck watching it from the sidelines. Being here is a much needed reminder of how much fun being active in politics actually is.
3. Activism: Maybe I am just blind to it, but there are not nearly as many social activists as I anticipated. Further, the groups or individuals I have seen have been relatively calm and content. I think the media tends to play up the role of the angry and intrusive activist groups, so I suppose my expectations were a bit skewed. Overall, I think the activists have really added to the convention atmosphere as a whole, serving as a reminder that politics is a place where all voices, no matter how “extreme,” can be heard.