(From the diaries -- kos
I always knew it would be big. How could it not be? The writing was on the wall when we started this adventure a year and a half ago. The Republicans were still in charge, America's path was not going to change.
But the progressive blogosphere was going to continue to grow. And as dark as the days would become, before us would still be a fabulous opportunity.
I knew it would be big, but I honestly had no idea what big would look like.
Big looks like over 120 of our experts coming together to share their knowledge. Big looks like over 150 traditional media reporters trying to understand who we are. Big looks like over 1000 attendees from all over the country coming together, a good percentage of whom were volunteers doing the work to make the YearlyKos Convention successful.
Big looks like, or rather feels like, the hopeful determination that defined YearlyKos. It was incredible and overwhelming, and I haven't wrapped my mind around it yet.
Heh...wrapping my mind around...big...while writing the last sentence Gov. Warner called personally to thank us for all we did and to express his appreciation for our "allowing" him to be a part. What a nice guy. I asked him if we would get to see him next year and he said, definitely. So, on a personal level, I'm trying to wrap my mind around things like, "a possible future president just called my cell phone to say thanks," and on a larger scale, I'm wrapping my mind around the idea that finally we in the blogosphere are being taken as seriously as we should be.
But that whole story is for a different diary. Today, I just need to talk with my friends about what happened and share my wonderment.
Probably the most amazing moment was Wednesday afternoon, before the conference. I was in my room wrangling with a gazillion loose ends when Nolan called and said, "Gina, you have to come down here right now." "Great," I thought. "Another problem to deal with." But no, no problem. There were dozens and dozens of people, from all over the country, who just showed up and started working. They were stuffing bags, organizing name tags, arranging registration materials...I literally got weak in the knees when I saw everyone. I was overwhelmed and humbled. All these people generously and cheerfully doing what needed to be done. How could I ever thank them?
Right then I knew that what we had all built together was a success and something more powerful than we had imagined in the first place.
I said in my closing remarks Saturday evening that this convention was built on a foundation of trust. Markos set it out when he first created the structure of our community where we riff raff are trusted to create our own content and manage our own community. In return, the community trusted us by investing and showing up. And speaking of trust...now that Hyperbolic Pants Explosion's camera has been returned nothing at this convention was stolen. I mean, of course, we're not like that. But can you imagine any other event with over a thousand random people from anywhere and everywhere coming together and nothing being stolen? I mean, yes, that's how it should be, but we all know that how things "should" be and how they "are" are two totally different things. So a minor detail, yes. But once again an example of who we are and what we can expect even on the smallest of levels.
As a teacher, I have always believed that people will live up or down to your expectations. This convention proves that such ideas are in no way Pollyanna-ish, but that it is the truth. If you expect great things and follow through, great things will happen.
And now we need to take that to the streets. We need to expect our leaders to lead. We need to expect ordinary people to do the extraordinary work of bettering America. We need to expect that OUR AMERICA is something more than what the cynical right has defined and created. They have led us astray. We will change that.
We really are making a difference.
I am humbled, overwhelmed, and inspired by what we have achieved together. And I'm so hopeful about where we will take this and what will happen next.
More thoughts later. But for now, just, thank you. Thank you to everyone. I have found my hope.