After watching a couple speakers during the RNC last week in Cleveland, and then Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in Philadelphia last night, I was moved to look back through my own images taken from the 2008 DNC in Denver. I remembered the electricity that night in 2008.
Now, mind you, this is no political rant, nor a blog post with efforts to sway you to vote one way or another. In fact in full disclosure, since 1988, my first presidential election, I have voted all parties and I don’t vote straight tickets. I consider myself a moderate, or as many like to classify an Independent. This applies no matter local city or county elections, state elections or national elections. Period. I vote for the person that I think best suits the job and aligns with my personal feelings on specific issues that are important to me. Period. I tend to be a big picture thinker…and look past just one person. Period.
As Rhett Butler might say, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn…” who you vote for. It’s your business.
Back to the national conventions…I was lucky enough to get a press pass with a friend of mine and we ventured up on that last day of the DNC, August 28th, to see what we could photograph. I remember being amazed by the energy and buzz in the air. The organizers moved the last day – Obama’s nomination acceptance speech – to Invesco Field from the Pepsi Center. Of course, it sat more than 75,000 people whereas the Pepsi Center just 20,000. Good move on their part
It was a beautiful late summer evening. No chance of rain and the sky was just amazing. I do remember that. And, it wasn’t too hot, or too cold. In fact, it was just right that evening. He got very lucky. I did get a spooky feeling when I noticed the snipers hanging out on the upper perimeters of the stadium throughout the whole evening. I snapped a few photos of them, nothing to write home about, just a document of my experiences.
So what did I notice, and why am I talking about this today? The excitement and the unity are what I noticed then, and that is what seems to be missing today from the conventions. I watched different parts of the RNC last week – for one, Donald Trump’s nomination acceptance – and what I felt was lacking was energy in the crowds. That same energy and buzz I felt in Denver. And, watching the DNC last night, same thing…Michelle Obama did her part to rev up the crowd, but it still seemed to lack the energy. Maybe television just doesn’t do it justice. Maybe you have to be there to feel the energy. But, for me, maybe it reveals something more…voter fatigue? Is that a thing?
What are the buzzwords this year? We all remember Hope and Change, but how about this year, Republican or Democrat? I’d say Unity is a good buzzword. Seems this has been a struggle for both camps what with the Cruz missile in the Trump camp, and those passionate “Feel the Bern” supporters in the Clinton/Kaine camp. Here’s an assignment for you all, look for signs of unity in your own neighborhoods and take note. If you have a camera in hand, create a great shot. When I look back through my images – overwhelmingly all Obama supporters – I see great swaths of people with the Red, White and Blue in unison. That is unity to me.
So, whether you are red or blue…or float in a state of purple…look for those signs of unity and see what you come up with. Maybe start with a combination of red, white and blue.