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CLTure Obama Clinton

My first Presidential Campaign Rally

By Kelli Raulerson 

July 6, 2016

As a writer for CLTure, I’ve had the privilege of covering some pretty cool events over the last three years. However, today was especially unique because it marked my first presidential rally. And not just any rally – a Hillary Clinton rally.

It’s no secret that I’m a Democrat. I’ve been both an Obama and Clinton supporter for longer than I have legally been able to vote. I bleed blue and if you ask me I’ll tell you why, issue by issue. But today as I sat listening to our President, I was struck more by what he said about what unifies us as Americans than I was by what I identify with as a Democrat.

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During an election year it’s important that we don’t lose ourselves in the fight. There shouldn’t be winners and losers in a competition that impacts the progress of our country. We must work to find common ground and continue to build from there, regardless of the outcome in November.

So with that in mind here are a few things I was reminded today that I implore us all to consider.

America is already great

“The story of America is one of hard fought and hard won progress.” – Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton July 5, 2016 CLTure
Photo by Alex Cason for CLTure

It was a catchy slogan but misleading and irresponsible. We don’t need to “make America great again.” America is great now. As I listened to an African American talk about his eight years as President of the United States and heard from a woman talk about the prospect of becoming the President, it struck me how much has changed in such a short amount of time. These two individuals have pushed past every barrier imaginable to be on the highest ranking stage in the world. Regardless of the party you affiliate with, you can’t deny the progress that these two individuals represent– a progress that millions of Americans have fought and died for both on our soil and abroad. Don’t take that too lightly and definitely don’t disrespect it.

Our nation is great today because it’s finally the land of opportunity for everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic background. As a woman I couldn’t be prouder of where we are today. There’s still a lot of work to do to ensure equality for all but it will happen just as it did for women. We’re present in boardrooms, C-suites, the Supreme Court and possibly the Oval Office, and we’re not just serving the coffee or taking a memo. Don’t tell me America isn’t great. As a woman or a minority, the possibilities for us have never looked greater.

We’re stronger together

“Unless you’re a Native American – someone else brought you here. Don’t forget that.” – President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama July 5, 2016 in Charlotte, NC CLTure
Photo by Alex Cason for CLTure

The United States is anything but united right now. Our country was founded by people attempting to escape persecution yet we’re the first to persecute those who we deem “not one of us,” whether because of ethnicity, religion, political beliefs or favorite television show. We just can’t seem to help ourselves.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama July 5, 2016 CLTure
Photo by Alex Cason for CLTure

Hillary’s campaign slogan is Stronger Together, and it couldn’t be more accurate. When we unite around a cause we’re unstoppable. But, similarly, when we’re divided, nothing gets done. So whether Hillary wins or loses we all have a responsibility to stay in the fight. Volunteer locally or find a larger cause to support; if we’re all working together we’ll stay on the right track. Let’s work to find common ground regardless of who’s in office.

Stop bickering and do your homework

“Don’t boo. VOTE.” – President Obama

Barack Obama July 5, 2016 CLTure Charlotte, NC
Photo by Alex Cason for CLTure

Obama didn’t say a ton about the opposition but, when he did, the crowd immediately launched into full scale “boos.” Obama smartly replied with “Don’t boo. VOTE.” He’s spot on. Quit wasting time arguing on social media and making ridiculous claims about the opposition. Quit trying to out another person’s point of view by attacking their candidate.

Do your homework. Research the candidates that you’ll be choosing between. Know what’s important to you and make your selection based on fact instead of fiction. You’ll feel more confident in your choices when you head into the voting booth come November. Knowledge is power. And, from what I’ve read on Facebook (from both sides of the political aisle), we could all use a little more knowledge.

Bonus photos and videos:

The crowd filling in at the Charlotte Convention Center at 1:12 pm

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Barack Obama July 5, 2016 CLTure Charlotte, NC
Photo by Alex Cason for CLTure
Barack Obama July 5, 2016 CLTure Charlotte, NC
Photo by Alex Cason for CLTure
Barack Obama July 5, 2016 CLTure Charlotte, NC
Photo by Alex Cason for CLTure
Hillary Clinton July 5, 2016 CLTure Charlotte, NC
Photo by Alex Cason for CLTure
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton July 5, 2016 CLTure Charlotte, NC
Photo by Alex Cason for CLTure
© Alex Cason Photography CC-ND-BY
Photo by Alex Cason for CLTure

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