More than 30,000 members of the Democratic Party spent this week in Charlotte, N.C., basking in the limelight of the 2012 Democratic National Convention that ended today [Thursday] with the nomination of President Barack Obama to his second term in office. Support for the nation's first African-American president is at a feverish high and supporters are conducting themselves more like star-struck fans than political constituents. It's the much needed excitement the Obama campaign has been missing all year, and it's igniting the kind of enthusiasm seen regularly during Sen. Obama's first bid for the presidency in 2008.
But even in Charlotte, as state delegates met in caucuses to outline key issues they hope the Democratic National Committee will adopt, the haunting reality still looms that millions of Americans are still jobless, millions continue to lose or have lost their homes, and the quality of life for millions of Americans has significantly declined over the past four years.
Delegates from the District of Columbia refused to be seen as second-class citizens, too, in spite of the fact that the two issues they came to champion – Statehood and a chance for D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes to speak to the national convention – were denied by the Democratic National Committee. And President Obama's silence on full voting rights since he has been in the White House has only proven to embolden District delegates to work harder for their cause. They used their time in Charlotte to regroup and develop strategies to expand their efforts for national support.
Yet, in spite of the Democratic Party's ills, the alternative of either supporting Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, or not voting at all, are unthinkable. So now it is up to President Obama, himself, and the key members of the Democratic Party who spoke to the nation this week in an effort to galvanize the party's base to show up in big numbers in November. Much must be said to light the fire of voters who haven't felt the warmth of President Obama over the past four years.
The Republicans have proclaimed they want to "Take Our Country Back" [from who or what is unclear] while President Obama and the Democrats are focusing on "Americans Coming Together" to support democracy, prosperity and security for everyone. This week is the chance the Democrats must use to begin to ignite the fire of the American voters.