Women Took Center Stage at the DNC -- & Proved That Moms Run the World

Mothers of the Movement

It's been the theme we've been waiting for in politics, as moms, their issues, and their hopes for America were brought to the forefront of the Democratic National Convention. By putting the focus on American mothers, the DNC has channeled the single largest source of optimism for the future of our country. And it's appropriate for the party nominating the first mother for president.

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Moms, for the most part, have to be hopeful about the future we're creating for our kids. We spend our days trying to keep these little people alive and prepare them for their future. It makes sense that it's mothers who so often take the keenest interest in the decisions being made about how it will be shaped.

They called us "Soccer Moms" in the '90s, Sarah Palin made "Hockey Moms" a thing, and this year's race (especially on the Republican side) is trying to grab the suburban "Security Mom" voter (see below). But none of those abstract boxes actually represent American mothers in any meaningful way. Because we're all our own woman with our own story and our own sets of issues.

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We're working moms worried about paid leave; we're moms who want to make sure our children will be safe in their schools from guns. We want a healthy economy so we can take care of our babies today and so that when they grow up our kids can go out and earn their own living. We care about our reproductive rights. We care about our armed forces. We care about the environment.

And so, this year's DNC, building up to Hillary Clinton's nomination, has offered room for all of those voices in a way that the Republican National Convention did not. It didn't just focus on security. It included security as only one of the myriad issues we think about when we tuck our kids in at night.

First there was Michelle Obama's speech in which she talked about her hopes for her own daughters' future, about opportunity for all of our kids, and the importance of setting an example worthy of our children.

There was the powerful message from the Mothers of the Movement, a group of mothers who have lost children as a result of police shootings and violence. Mothers who believe we can respect law enforcement and also protect black lives at the same time.

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There was Sharon Belkofer, who became a Gold Star mother after her son died in combat, and had the honor of introducing Barack Obama to the convention stage. She talked about weeping on Obama's suit after losing her child and about her run for the local school board in her seventies because she was inspired by the president's commitment to service.

Obama included a mention in his speech for the mother who lost her child in the Sandy Hook shooting and gave him the picture that her 7-year-old baby colored of an owl to remind him not to forget. To him, he said, it's "a reminder of all the parents who have turned their grief into action."

All of this, of course, is building to the final night's big moment when Chelsea Clinton, herself a mother of two young babies, will introduce her mother to finally make history as the first woman to accept a major political party's nomination to become president of the United States.

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Hillary's opposition might say giving so many mothers center stage is little more than a cheap ploy to attract more voters. But I just can't see it that way.

Tonight, Hillary Clinton -- mother, grandmother, lawyer, former senator and secretary of state, two-time First Lady, wife, homegirl, boss, and bestie -- will stand up at that podium and shatter that glass ceiling once and for all. To this mom, who cares about equality for my daughter, it's a huge deal. And I can't help but feel like she's taking every mom right along with her to the White House. Because she, more than any presidential candidate before her, knows firsthand the longing every mother has in her heart, no matter her background or stance on the issues, to create a better future for our kids.

And Chelsea Clinton told the Today show on the morning of her big introduction of her mother that having babies has completely shaped the way she views this election.

"This election is so important to me, because I'm now a mom. And as proud as I am of my mom, this election to me is fundamentally about my children, about Charlotte and Aidan," Clinton said.

It seems that the one thing we all seem to be able to agree on in this radical, polarized political climate is our love for our kids.

 

Image via Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

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