It seems like weeks ago that the RNC in Cleveland was glowing and pulsating like a blob of radioactive toxic waste. Most of the time was spent pillorying Hillary with very little being said about Trump's qualifications or plans. They trotted out soldiers and war widows to immerse the audience in pathos and war porn, to stir up anger, hatred, and fear. Nothing motivates the under-informed right-wing voter like telling them their problems are because of some "other". Trump says "I will make America great again, believe me". No... no I don't believe you.
This week it's the Democrats' turn, and the DNC is like a breath of fresh air. It got off to a rough start with the Sanders supporters being loud and rude, talking over Ben Jealous and other speakers, such as shouting "we trusted you" to Elizabeth Warren. They even booed Sanders himself when he said Clinton should be the nominee. Once the roll call vote was done, Sanders asked that Clinton be declared the winner "by acclamation", and that was that. Supposedly the Sanders supporters walked out of the hall in protest, but at this point no one cares. Being a sore loser doesn't look good on anyone. It would be like the end of a hockey game, and having half of one of the teams skate back to the locker room without shaking hands with the winning team. It doesn't matter if you think the refs weren't fair with the calls.
Monday night, the stars of the speeches were Michelle Obama and Cory Booker (D-NJ). Both gave rousing positive speeches that were meant to uplift and inspire. In particular, the First Lady disagreed with Trump's assessment that only he can "make America great again", saying that America IS great already. Booker implored us to work together to do great things. The "unity" and "working together" themes were a little overdone, but perhaps considered necessary with the Sanders supporters still processing the various stages of grief.
The music has been very good, with a live band playing the fillers and intros for the speakers. There have also been high-profile musicians giving performances, such as Paul Simon and Demi Levato. Interesting - and absolutely unsurprising - that artists are more interested in supporting the Democratic platform than the Republican hate-fest.
Tuesday night saw the Mothers of the Movement, who are the mothers of those young black people killed by the police. They are heart and soul of the BLM movement. Their presence and message, and revelation that Clinton provided help in getting them organized and publicized showed that we are the ones who care about all citizens - not just the white ones.
Cecile Richards spoke for women's issues, and endorsed Tim Kaine as well. That was a big moment, because there are some on the left who have been unhappy with some of the abortion laws passed in VA under his purview. Those who know Kaine's story, though, know he helped push VA from a red state to a purple one, and he was likely a stop-gap for much more draconian abortion laws.
Howard Dean came out and reenacted his infamous Dean Scream. He seemed to be enjoying himself.
Jimmy Carter - the best ex-president in our lifetime - provided a taped message of support for Clinton.
Finally, the Big Dawg himself - Bill Clinton - gave a 45 minute speech
detailing his life with Hillary as metaphor for her as politician and future president. He spoke to a lifetime of service to others, and juxtaposed that against the non-stop barrage of fictional propaganda that has dogged her since Bill Clinton first became a contender for office. Here it is 20 years later, and all that negative PR has calcified into a plague that hides the real person behind a layer of filth. Bill Clinton tried to chip away and ultimately shatter that shell to show a loving, caring, smart, strong person, ready to step into the Oval Office and run the country with seriousness, intelligence, and understanding.
That is what I expect from a party convention. And tonight we hear probably the last big speech from the best president of my lifetime.
Color me happy.