Thursday, July 29, 2004

Send me

Spent all evening watching streaming video of the Dem Convention.

Yes. The speech was good. Not perfect, good. Solid, strong, clear, and nailed every point that had to be made. Go read Bellatrys's journal for some excellent analysis of the particulars.

For the first time ever, I have a sense of the Democrats as *a party* rather than as a bunch of people who more or less use the same fundraising channels and like to argue politics. It has become the party of America - of what we always already should be.

Let America be America again.

We won. It is very odd to think about that, but it is true. We *have* changed our country and for the better. The culture wars *are* over and the liberals have won. The reins of power, ah, those shall always be a location for battle, but the face of America - our perpetual and approachable America, to misquote Emerson - that was shown tonight at the convention. The veterans, the civil rights protestors, the hippies, the lawyers, the earnest, the celebrities, the devout.

Ah, yes, the devout.

What binds this party is faith. Not blind faith, or dogma, or doctrine, or ideology, or a creed to knock our heads on the floor to this god instead of that. Lived faith.

"Send me."

What is this but the word of someone with true faith, a conviction in the strength of his mission, and the desire to live it fully?

"Send me."

What binds the religious and the philosophical, those devoted to good works and those devoted to public works? A faith in the power to do what is right, and a desire to see it done.

"Send me."

In the face of those who hate our governance of, by and for the common, there stands the conviction that we live in the Kingdom of Heaven - for what part of what is is not that? There is but one creation and it *is* - and our task is to answer the call to make it real. Not perfection, but something better - sacrifice, submission, and the holiest of acts, creation. Those who despise America, even as they suck its life's blood and leave behind their poison, are shown to have failed in a test of faith.

"You go."

They refuse the claim of natality - unto us a child is born - and the obligation (and thus, the promise) that exists in that irreplaceable miracle. The terrifying moment of throwing onself into the act of creation - bring forth a new nation, declare that we are free, found the substance of equality out of a hint that it could be - that is the act of faith we witnessed, and that is finally, firmly, the core of this party, as it has always been the improbable and irascible soul of the nation. Those who refuse this call, they have not faith.

"You go."

We are called to have faith in this ancient, ever-new act - to bring into being what could never have been imagined before. The awesome, terrible power of action, bounded by the humility of those who know they are, in the end, mortal. Who know that what they love shall perish, and love it all the more. Who eschew the nihilistic fury of those who would destroy with certainty rather than live in hope of what could be.

"You go."

That is what the faithless say. You go in my place. You go do the dirty work. You go die for my fears. You go to hell. You go fuck yourself. You go away and quit reminding me of my finitude and my failure.

We have been called. Who will answer?

Here am I. Send me.

America 2004