As an admitted political junkie, I’ve always watched both nominating conventions. The platforms that are finalized there highlight the priorities of the party. Those who are awarded prime time spots indicate the future trajectory of the party as well. My observations about the opening night of the Democratic National Convention deal with the following topics: Star Power, Social Issues, Security, Symbols, and Scare Tactics.
- Star Power-If convention or electoral success were based on star power alone, the Dem’s would win the election hands down.
The first night of the RNC featured Willie Robertson, Antonio Sabato Jr., Scott Baio, and some country bands no one had ever heard of giving performances.
The first night of the DNC featured Eva Longoria, Sarah Silverman, Paul Simon, Demi Lovato, Boys to Men, and many other celebrity guests.
- Social Issues-Although the media constantly opines that the GOP would be more palatable if it moved away from social issues and values voters, the Democrats are staking their political future on so-called “reproductive rights”, arbitrarily defined LGBT equality, and illegal immigration (blanket amnesty).
At the RNC, Donald Trump became the first Republican nominee in decades that didn’t mention his commitment to pro-life causes in his acceptance speech which I think was a misstep on his part.
Last night at the DNC, it seemed as if each speaker characterized abortion (“right to control one’s own body”) as a fundamental right and Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards sat in the VIP box one spot away from former President Bill Clinton. Planned Parenthood, which received intense media scrutiny after undercover videos revealed that they sold baby parts for cash, is the nation’s largest abortion provider and has weathered repeated attempts by Republicans to end millions in taxpayer funding. By placing Richards in a prominent spot, the DNC demonstrated their commitment to publicly and financially supporting the group.
Most of the keynote speeches referred to “love trumping hate”, being represented “regardless of who you love”, and “equality for all”. Three speeches were devoted to the topic including one by former NBA player Jason Collins (the first openly gay player in the league) and his twin brother. I don’t know if I recall the Stonewall Riots (1970’s clash between gays and the police in NYC) being mentioned repeatedly at a political convention or the incident being elevated to the Battle of Bunker Hill status a la Senator Corey Booker’s (NJ) speech.
While Donald Trump cast himself as the “law and order” candidate at the RNC, the Democrats embraced illegal immigration and later in the week plan to trot out the mothers of those involved in officer involved shootings or alleged incidents of police brutality. The RNC highlighted the tragic murders of Katie Stienle and Jamiel Shaw by illegal immigrants who had previous brushes with the law but were released back into the community. Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence commended police officers and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump personally called to thank the Cleveland police force for their services during the convention.
The DNC chose to showcase Anastasia Somoza who talked about the fear of deportation her parents, who are illegal immigrants, live with every day. As a result of the Obama Administration’s (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) DAPA order they are now able to stay in the country but a recent legal ruling may halt that program. (If she is appearing on national television in primetime to talk about it, they must not be too scared of being deported by ICE but I digress.) A DREAMER, an illegal immigrant brought to America as a young child, was also invited to share his experience and portray amnesty as a way to keep families together.
- Security: Democrats who have vociferously fought voter identification laws around the country and mocked Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border are conducting their convention behind a 4 mile wide, eight foot tall security fence perimeter and requiring photo identification to enter the arena.
Somehow neither of these actions are seen as hypocritical by the liberal media which tells you everything you need to know about them.
- Symbols: Two things that have been noticeably absent from the DNC that were front and center at the RNC are American flags and the phrase “God bless America” at the end of most speeches.
Even CNN commented on the absence of American flags but former Obama czar turned political pundit Van Jones posited that the Democrats have a “deeper patriotism” than the “cheap patriotism” on display at the RNC.
- Scare Tactics-Both Senator Cory Booker (NJ) and First Lady Michelle Obama delivered primarily positive speeches to enthusiastic applause from the audience but heavy hitters like progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) and former SNL alum turned Senator Al Franken (MN) gave speeches that were similar in tone to some of the fear mongering speeches given at the RNC. (P.S. The Bernie Booing Brigade is there in full force and shouting down speakers although Donna Brazile said that type of behavior doesn’t occur at Democratic conventions.)