Without any sense of hyperbole, the 29th convention of the Communist Party was a "home run."
Most of the delegates came expecting that the convention would be impressive. None, including myself, were disappointed,
On the convention's first day I remarked to an older comrade that the enthusiasm among the delegates was infectious. But to my surprise she immediately disagreed.
"No, it isn't enthusiasm," she exclaimed, "it's a fighting spirit."
She was right. Enthusiasm didn't quite capture the mood of the delegates. It was, more accurately, combative and confident.
There was no cynicism, no going-through-the-motions attitude.
Instead the feeling was, "Si Se Puede - Yes We Can!"
This sentiment was not something the convention organizers concocted, bottled, and passed out as the 200 delegates and friends entered Winston Unity Center where the convention was held.
In an immediate sense, the fighting spirit comes from the rising tide of struggle, evident in the passage of the health care bill and the mass actions for jobs and against Wall Street.
In a longer term sense, it springs from our confidence in our strategic and tactical policies, the fighting capacity of the multi-racial, multi-national working class, and the increasing willingness of the American people to take a fresh look at more radical solutions, including socialism, to the multiple crises shaking the country - from the financial and economic meltdown to the BP oil spill disaster.
As we finished the final refrain of The Internationale (our traditional song) at the convention's end, I noticed the fighting spirit still on every face, along with smiles (and a few tears) as delegates of all races and nationalities embraced before heading back home.
A better ending could not have been planned!
More CPUSA convention stories and videos: