We are driving across Western Wyoming, huge and dry, like an immense extension of Southern Idaho without the Snake River. It is spectacular in how much of it there is. It does make me appreciate our fortune in Idaho. That big, slow river flowing through our dry parts.
That this year’s convention is in the West means more than shorter drives and non-stop flights for Western Delegates. For many of us I’m sure it is a bit more of an acknowledgement that we count. We certainly did push Senator Obama across that delegate finish line. In the general our states are more in play than in year’s past and to convene here feels good. The familiarity of the food and the clothes and the air and light and big expanses is like home. Funny it is a little like the odd experience I had at the LDS temple in Salt Lake where I found myself for the first time in my life standing in a religious monument filled with symbols of the intermountain West. The seagull next to the sage brush, the smells so formative rather than foreign. I’ve been to temples and spiritual sites from Thailand to Alaska, Samoa to Prague, Nepal to the Ucatan. With all their majesty or simple beauty and deep history, none struck cords of home like that little courtyard at the carefully lit hub of Salt Lake’s city streets.
So to choose our Democratic nominee for president in a place with granite mountains and air that is dry and western, feels comfortable and somewhat profound. We are included, these Western States, crimson to blue, purple to chameleon.