It was in NYC. I was 12 years old. I begged my dad if I could go. I called up the Democratic party national offices and said I “represented kids”.
My dad simply dropped me off at Madison Square Garden. I had to find the guy who gave me a special pass.
I wandered around the floor. At the time I was collecting political buttons. For instance, I had an “Eisenhower/Nixon” button.
I had “Carter/Mondale” in various forms and would trade delegates for their buttons if they were unique.
I was thrown in with a room of volunteers. They were all bigger kids than me. Like any group of kids there was the cool kid that everyone followed. He asked me what I was doing there.
I said I wanted to be President. He laughed. Everyone laughed. I decided to leave the room and go back on the convention floor.
Ted Kennedy, just a few hours earlier that day gave up on his close run against Jimmy Carter in the primaries. He said in his speech, “The dream will live on”. He’s dead now.
I wanted to run into Jimmy Carter but I ran into his son Chip Carter instead. He shook my hand. I remember thinking, I’m shaking hands with the son of the President.
Before I went to the convention I read the book, “Convention” by Richard Reeves about the 1976 convention.
The only thing I remember from that book is that he mentioned how many school teachers had come up to the convention to make extra money being prostitutes for the weekend.
I kept expecting to run into my school teachers.
A few months later, Ronald Reagan won the Presidency. On the school bus, Steve made fun of me. “You’re a loser! I told you Carter would lose.”
Most of the delegates were older people. Older than 60. This was 36 years ago. Which means most of the delegates are now dead.
Reagan is dead. Carter is old and sick.
Nobody cares now.
Everyone today cares about Trump “building a wall”. Or Hillary “hiding emails”.
200 years ago Thomas Jefferson brutally raped slaves. 80 years ago, FDR turned away Jews who were trying to escape Germany and sent them back. We had a President with Alzheimers. We had a President who stuck a cigar in a young girl’s ****.
I was a lonely kid with no friends and bullies who would beat me. So I went to the Democratic National Convention. I felt important there.
None of it matters.
Today I signed up for DJ classes. They start on Saturday and run until September. By then I will be a DJ!
I’m going to change my life. I’m going to be a winner.
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