Normal? What’s normal?
In the good old days, say eight years ago, national nominating conventions were glitzy infomercials. Both parties tried to out-nice the other party. That horse has escaped the barn, possibly never to return.
This year, the conventions are barn burners — perhaps arson — in front of cameras, with no audience and no wildly screaming partisans. That is, except Kimberly Guilfoyle (who?), who, as one commentator suggested, was “on the verge of spontaneous combustion.”
In the good old days, conventions were held in huge arenas with loud music, blaring microphones, wild cheering, buffoon hats, big signs, balloons and confetti. Now they are held on Zoom or in an empty auditorium. And at the White House and in Jerusalem.
In the good old days, nominees showed up only for the grand finale. Now they participate every day.
In the good old days, conventions debated platforms heavily influenced by their presidential nominees. This year, the Democrats agreed to what my uncle used to call “Elliott Stew.” He’d grab everything in the refrigerator and toss it in a pot. It was never the same, but usually pretty good, and intended to please everyone.
The Republicans took an Orwellian approach to the party platform. They just said, “Whatever ‘The Donald’ wants on any particular day, even if different from the day before or the day after, that’s what we believe.”
If Joe Biden wins the presidency, the Republicans will surely rediscover fiscal piety, debt ceilings, free trade and, most important, the constipation of filibusters. Heck, if the Republicans retain control of the Senate, they may even circle back to Benghazi and hold hearings for another four years.
Conventions often offer a glimpse of the future. Democrats paraded all of this year’s presidential hopefuls, and more, one after the other, all loving each other — including one Republican who lost in 2008 and another who is likely to run in 2024.
Republican contenders from 2016 — and those lining up for 2024 — are mostly absent from the bright lights this week, but all pledge fealty to The Donald. This is essential to preserve their political viability for the election four years from now. Meanwhile, The Donald heard a crowd yelling “Four More Years!” and asked, “Why not 12?” Not one voice even whimpered, “Hey, what about the Constitution?”
Neither party promoted any big ideas or “change,” the normal gauntlet of any convention. Even Bernie muzzled himself and pretended to enjoy Elliott Stew. Except for abortion — a litmus test for some, regardless of any other critical national issues — this year’s voters don’t care too much about particular policies or philosophies. All want peace, safety, health care, a clean environment, immigration reform, Social Security, the postal service.
Very few voters will vote FOR Joe Biden. Only one issue is on the ballot: The Donald — Yes or No. Wild horses couldn’t drag a Yes to vote No or a No to vote Yes.
Sadly, and ironically, both conventions painted horrific pictures of what our country, now the Divided States of America, will look like tomorrow if the other side wins.