Thursday, May 15, 2008

Making History

Ok, so it wasn’t actually ME that was making history, but I felt like a part of history-in-the-making last night when I went to a rally for Barack Obama.  I’ve never been to a big political rally before, and it was so exciting!  Being from Iowa, the nation’s first caucus every election year, I’ve been to hear my fair share of politicians speak.  The biggest name I’ve seen before is probably Al Gore, and this past Christmas break I was able to see both Bill Richardson and Mike Huckabee.  Opposite ends of the political spectrum, I know, but at this point in my life I just want to be educated about where everyone stands and who they are.  I’m not so much a straight ticket voter as I am someone who tries to figure out just who best aligns with my views on the issues.

I don’t want to get into my political views, because this is not the place for that, an in reality, I’m still figuring most of them out anyway.  But the opportunity to see such a big name political figure was one I did not want to pass up.  Never mind that I had an exam first thing this morning (I’m done now!!  Woohoo!  Exams are over!!).  I just brought some notes with me when we went downtown at 5 to try to find a place to sit before the rally began at 6:30.  We did end up getting seats, although they were supposedly saved for other people, but they never showed up.  The VanAndel arena was packed out though…no more people were allowed in past about 6:00.  The atmosphere was created to make you feel like anything was possible; they played peppy music targeted at every possible demographic but enjoyable enough not to offend any, and it seemed to me that everyone had a feeling of camaraderie. 
When Obama came out at 6:30, he apologized for missing Grand Rapids in his campaigning earlier this year, and said he had a surprise for us to make up for it.  And then out came John Edwards!  Incredibly enough, my first political rally ever happened to be the one where John Edwards officially and publically endorsed Barack Obama.  Both men were excellent orators, really stirring the emotions of the crowd and getting people involved.  I was impressed too by the way they spoke about other Democrats and how they encouraged everyone there to support the party, not a specific candidate (although, naturally, Obama is hoping everyone votes for him…otherwise he would not still be running for President).  Of course, I realize that pretty much everyone was there because they already supported Obama and the Democratic party, so the overwhelming feeling of kinship people expressed with them was not necessarily the political leaning of the entire country, but it was an exciting place to be anyway. 
And my test this morning didn’t go too bad for my lack of studying.  Child language development is a pretty static area of study right now compared with the political temperature in this country.  I didn’t want to miss what could be a night that is written about in history books someday, and I hadn’t even known it could be until I was there.  Pretty neat.

Posted by Emily MacLeod on 05/15 at 10:15 AM

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