The Democrats make nice with America, and miss the entire point
With respect to my esteemed Pulse colleague Terry Stulce, who wrote rather vehemently about the GOP convention in last week’s issue, I am not going to engage in a tit-fir-tat war of words while sharing my take on the Democratic Convention recently concluded in Philadelphia.
Instead, as a life-long Republican, I will start by pointing something that is both obvious and all-too depressing: this was one of the most relentlessy upbeat and inclusive conventions in years.
While the Republican Party has been taken over by the insurgency that is Donald Trump—a cult of personality candidate who shares few (if any) of the traditional values of the GOP—the Democrats made extreme efforts to reach out to all Americans.
It was also, in many ways, quite reminiscent of the Reagan-era conventions: speaker after speaker extolling how great this country is, how we can all come together to solve our many problems, and how our greatest strength as a nation is our people.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of things Hillary Clinton and company are pushing that are simply red-meat to the Bernie Sanders-inspired far left—forcing corporate profit-sharing, hiking the minimum wage, making college “free” (without any mention of how to pay for it), and embracing an isolationist trade policy that would negatively affect American workers—that I disagree with. But that’s been the Democratic mindset for decades: to “solve” problems by adding barriers, raising taxes, and spending even more money on unproven theories.
That said, the biggest contrast between the two conventions was tone. The GOP was all about fear; the Democrats were all about (baseless) hope.
And let’s be honest: the number one obsession of both conventions was Donald Trump. To say that Trump has completely up-ended the political tables is an understatement. He is a force that has utterly reshaped American politics—for good or ill—and whose influence will reverberate throughout the political ranks for years to come.
But setting aside the speeches—and to give credit where credit is due, Michelle Obama had the best speech of either convention—what it really comes down to is a governmental mindset.
Do you believe in a top-down system of government that seeks ever greater control of your life, that wants to enforce through the courts how you can and cannot express your core beliefs and feelings, and that sees any opposition as “wrongthink” that needs to be solved through re-education?
Or do you believe in a system of government that follows the philosophy of a country that “governs best when it governs least”, that wants to eliminate the endless regulations that stifle small businesses, that wants to leave more money in your pocket each paycheck, and that trusts you to decide what is best for you and your family?
For all the kumbaya moments the Democrats had on stage, the fact remains that all the wishful thinking and sunny rhetoric don’t offer any solutions—or even acknowledgement—that this country has real problems that need to be faced honestly and forthrightly.
But when all is said and done, I have to tip my hat to the Democratic Party. It was a job well done. If for all the wrong reasons.