"A Mile High," Patricia Calhoun, August 30
Hope and Changed
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading "A Mile High." I have become bored with most of the issues we read about — and that was not the case with this article. I was in prison for a weapons charge when all of that went down in 2008. It, too, rocked my world...even in there. It sparked brand-new feelings and thoughts.
Again, thank you for producing great work.
The "high" was palpable — we all breathed it that 2008 August night during the DNC experience. The courage of John Hickenlooper to keep the city's people in the loop was the right decision. It allowed the world, literally, to see Denver as a world-class city.
Thank you for bringing back that week, along with the sense of hope and change to the readers, and history. For those not fortunate enough to have been here, you gave them a great sense of the players and the importance of the event on many levels. It was truly magical, and it was "visceral" — the excitement of progress and the hope of change and the possibility of unity.
"Listen now...," we were exhorted by our now-president that magical August night of his nomination speech. The suspended breath of that Denver night — Invesco Field bursting with pride, the 16th Street Mall deserted for the 42-minute speech, the hearts and minds held captive by the then-senator's intelligence, good intentions and absolute confidence — didn't lift until after the inauguration.
Reality is a miserable cold shower with no towel. And so these four years we have listened — the believers and the non-believers. We have listened to the frustration of a blocked Congress, to the exposure of smarmy financial institutions/gurus, to a suffocating storm of racism.
Listen now, Mr. President: Conciliation and reasonable men adapting are wonderful concepts, but you are in jeopardy and are required to respond to sword edge with sword edge. You have proven you can make courageous decisions and stand behind them: What if the Bin Laden raid had gone horribly awry? In the past four years, this country has become dangerously divisive, and it is nasty. Stakes are high and they've been driven deep. Not everyone is still in your corner — not those unemployed four years ago, and still unemployed; not those with homes four years ago and now no roof to call their own.
The country needs to hear our seasoned president present a national construct that can work and be able to make us believe it can work, reposition and sustain the American people. He did that last Thursday, invoking Lincoln's humility — "I have been driven many times to my knees" — and tempering it with strength: "I am the president." This is hope, and a recharge for our collective breath. As the president said, it's all about choice...the people's choice.
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Remember? Jon Stewart called Denver residents "frighteningly friendly."
Posted at westword.com