National conventions are great fun, and I envy Mike Sylvester and the rest of the Indiana delegation, who are now heading to Portland, OR for the Libertarian Party's national convention.
This will be the first one I've missed in a while, having most recently attended the 2004 convention in Atlanta, and the 2002 convention in Indianapolis. Being a candidate for Secretary of State, and there being a few parades around July 4th, it was just impossible for me to justify going to the West Coast, no matter how alluring the sentiment of a Libertarian gathering around Independence Day may be.
This cycle is the one where the LP's platform really is the centerpiece for much of the business. As a moderate, incremental Libertarian, it disappoints me greatly that I will not be able to cast a vote against some of the platform planks. Again, I envy Mike S. I have hope that Indiana's delegation will be continue to be a leader in moving away from rigid litmus tests and towards greater inclusiveness and incremental solutions.
The big fun is circulating with like-minded people from across the country. It gives a great sense that you aren't alone on an island. This is true for party faithful from any party that isn't in the majority in their state, I've been told. So, it's energizing and refreshing.
It's also fun being on the floor during a big vote, or rushing to a microphone to raise a question or a challenge. It's everything you see on TV for the Republican and Democratic conventions.
The 2004 Libertarian was televised on C-SPAN, so this one likely will be, too. To my surprise, I learned after the last convention from friends in Ohio that they saw me on C-SPAN's coverage, standing on a chair, pleading to delegates from the states in our region to nominate Gary Nolan as our Presidential candidate. Mike Sylvester is a passionate guy. I'm betting that he'll show up on the coverage making an empassioned statement at some point. I'll be looking for him!