The first night of the Democratic convention featured a full endorsement from Hillary Clinton's primary opponent, Bernie Sanders. It also brought to stage rising Democratic stars like Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren. It saw the stories of devastation told by substance abuse victims, clips of Donald Trump's insanity, cheers and even some jeers by Sanders "holdouts."
But it was First Lady Michelle Obama who stole the show. Her speech wasn't the longest, but it electrified the audience. It didn't just raise the roof but raised the spirits of everyone in the hall. And if reactions trickling in this morning are any indication, Michelle Obama's speech didn't just make people from all political corners fall in love with her, it made them fall in love with America, all over again.
"Don't let anyone tell you that American needs to be made great again", she said as the crowd went wild. "This, right now, is the greatest country in the world", she went on. As the First Lady spoke about raising their daughters in the White House, she spoke of the kind of America she wanted her daughters to believe in. Even through the deep personal attacks of those who questioned the president's citizenship and his faith, the Obamas taught their daughters that America is better than that. "When they go low, we go high".
She reminded some discontented hearts that Americans are strong, that we do not pick up our marbles and go home. She reminded us that Hillary Clinton, after she lost a hard fought primary in 2008, dusted herself off, advocated for Barack Obama, and served as his Secretary of State. Because, Michelle Obama said, patriots know that our country's future is much, much bigger than our personal disappointments.
She recounted an America where she and her daughters - direct descendants of American slaves - wake up every day in a house build by slaves. The majesty of that moment - the ever reinvigorating American story of progress through the long arc of the path of history - could make anyone, regardless of political leanings, fall in love with the country where this is not just possible, but reality.
Michelle Obama and Barack Obama represent and live a patriotism that is deep, abiding, and faithful. They have proven that America through its darkest hours can persevere.
This is patriotism. This is the love of country that made a skinny black kid with a funny name shatter all the barriers and lead us through a downturn caused by policy but darkness caused by the pettiness of man. This is the love of country that made a young black woman serve her community and dedicate her time as First Lady to veterans and the health of children.
Michelle Obama proved her love for America last night. And in the process, she made all of us fall in love with this country too.