The 1st Debate
ALL OF THEM,
ALL OF US
Those first 10 Democrats to hit the debate stage in the crusade to rid America from the shame and stink of Donald J. Trump.
The morning after the debate, this is how Cat and I woke up.
We liked everyone one of them. Every single one. They were so smart. So nice. So impassioned.
And it was so good to be hearing from someone besides Donald Trump.
Compassionate. Problem-solving. Decent.
Talking about doing good, instead of bad.
It was like stepping out of the dark and into the sun.
They agreed on so much.
The moderators – Chuck Todd – kept looking for “daylight” between them.
They made all Democrats look GREAT.
An early AP headline was: “Candidates clash.”
But what we found encouraging was that they agreed on so much. They were a team. The All Stars, some of America’s best, out to restore the country to its values and rescue its promise.
We had a favorite going in and he didn’t disappoint. Our man, Jay Inslee, was terrific.
His closing – of course it was rehearsed, practiced, polished – but why shouldn’t it be?
The governor of Washington has made the “climate crisis” his major issue. For Inslee, protecting the environment is Job One. His was the most eloquent closing statement of the evening. We are the generation that is the first to confront climate disaster, and the last to have a chance to do something about it.
Hooray for Jay.
But he was in good company. We were very pleased with the penetrating, determined and eloquent presence of our Number 2 pick, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. And we were excited by the way Julian Castro, former San Antonio mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, jumped out of the pack.
So good to hear immigrants spoken of with respect and kindness. To hear ideas about how to deal with Iran – carefully. To be assured that one way or another, every American will get proper health care. That balance and fairness will be restored to the economy.
What thrilled us the most was the promise, over and over, of what all of the Democrats promised to do on their first days, their first 100 days, as president. This was not because of what they choose specifically, but because each and every one of them could see themselves moving into the White House, sitting down to work in the Oval Office.
And because they could imagine themselves as president, so could we.
Frankly, so dark and complete is the shadow and the cloud Trump has cast over Washington and the country that we have to confess – Cat and I – that we’d begun to give up hope that the sun and summer would ever return.
Trump’s desecration of the presidency has cast a pall over the White House, the Capitol and the country for so long, that we’ve almost given up dreaming, imagining that someone good would sweep into office, and with the proverbial political broom, sweep the hatred, cruelty, corruption, cynicism, sacrilege out of our shared national lives.
Really, we had forgotten – almost – to hope.
Last night, hope returned to America.
Any one of these 10 women and men can do the job.
President Inslee. President Warren. President Castro. President Klobuchar. President Delany. President Booker. President Gabbard. President Ryan. President O’Rourke. President De Blasio.
“I, Jay Inslee, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office….”
Any one of them can undo the destruction Donald Trump has wrought, and address the problems and the promise of the future.
We would be pleased, Cat and I, honored even, to have any one of them walk into the Oval Office, and invite the rest to be members of her or his cabinet.
Until last night, the huge cast of candidates had seemed laughable, ungainly and silly.
Instead, now we can rejoice that there are so many capable, credible, competent people.
Donald Trump has made the country seem small and shriveled,
Now, we see that description for what it really is: another of his lies.
The Democrats surely are in the game. And there are a whole lot of them.
We are so glad.