Don’t get me wrong—-Michelle Obama was great! And there were substantive and educational policy speeches by Ken Salazar on energy and Kathleen Sebelius on health care. (But see here for a critique of Salazar’s claims. And, while I’m at it, check out CNN’s Fact Check on the Democratic claim that 4.5 million new jobs have been created over the last few years.)
But my favorite speech at last night’s Democratic convention was that of Jared Polis, a gay Democratic Congressman from Colorado. See here to read his speech.
Polis was not exactly the best orator last night. He tended to rush through his remarks, and (unfortunately) the pundits did not comment on what he said as much as I hoped. But I greatly appreciated the following part of his speech:
“And that is why we must continue bringing America together. So tonight, I don’t just ask my fellow Americans to respect my relationship with my partner Marlon and my role as a father to our son. I also ask them to respect the Christian family concerned about decaying moral values and crass commercialism. I ask them to respect the difficult decision of a single mother to bring a child into this world, because of her heartfelt beliefs.
“And it is why we must help that courageous woman have the support she needs after her child is born. We celebrate Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs, even Republicans, because this is their future, too. Republicans mocked our desire to heal the planet, but we will heal it for Republicans too, and we will create jobs for Republicans too.”
Polis’ remarks were a helpful counterbalance to some of the themes of the convention last night: the tendency to demonize the other side, and also the heavy emphasis on reproductive freedom, which includes abortion. Polis pointed out that the aim of Democrats should be to craft policies that help all people, regardless of their party affiliation. And, while Polis is himself pro-choice (see here), he at least understands that there are reasons that people arrive at a different conclusion on reproductive issues, and he is for helping the women who choose to have children when the choice is difficult.
It was quite a powerful moment.
Yeah, I thought so, too, Sydney.