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Quarantine Diary - The Democratic National Convention Edition

This week was the Democratic Party's National Convention. Now that everyone who matters has said their piece about it, I'm going to weigh in on it. Just so you know, my opinions are the final and infallible word throughout all space and time in this and any other possible universes. All that is to say that I'm right. You are perfectly welcome to comment, with the understanding that I'm right. (And, of course, I'm kidding. Argue away in the comments, just be polite.)

First of all, let's just say that Satan and his minions did NOT show up at the convention. As a lifelong Republican, I had heard that that was always a possibility at the Democratic conventions. Didn't happen this year.

I liked the online format of the convention. I really liked that it supported the whole social distancing/wear your masks messaging put out by the epidemiologists. The Democratic party has been encouraging people to follow the lead of the scientists who have been discouraging live and this convention format fit the bill.

I also liked the format because it was a lot less chaotic. Sure, the chaos is some of the fun for the people actually at the convention, but for those of us at home, the chaos is really distracting. The digital convention was able to bring us unique pageantry like the montage of the preamble to the US Constitution on the first night or the different versions of the singing of the National Anthem. The format also brought in people from around the country and even the US territories.

I watched all of the first night and the last half of the second two nights, so I didn't watch all of the speeches and I didn't see all the moderators. I particularly liked the speech by Michelle Obama on night one. She was intense and articulate and intelligent. She was also positive. While she argued eloquently that Trump needs to be removed from office, that was only one part of her speech. She spoke positively about the Biden/Harris agenda and how to get them elected.

I've always been a fan of John Kasich. Even though I was already starting to lean left in 2016, I would have voted for him for president if he had gotten the nomination. I thought it was brave for a lifelong Republican to come out and make a speech at the Democratic National Convention. Granted, he's not the only one, but he was one of the first. He spoke eloquently on basic themes of unity and moving on together.

I appreciated that the party had a former Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, to talk about the Covid-19 epidemic and how he's advising the Biden/Harris team to move forward.

The section with the young man with the stutter that Biden helped was really effective. It showed a part of Biden that we want to see. In fact, the whole Harris montage and then Biden montage were really good to help us "bond" with the candidates as people. It was a good use of technology to bring us closer to the candidates and their families. And it's nice to know that Biden takes a little extra time to reach out to people he knows just as acquaintances when he hears that a loved one has passed. Those little things can go so far.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders showed up for the progressive wing of the party. They both had strong speeches and were highly supportive of the party and the candidate. They both have large constituencies that they will bring along for the ride.

I was glad to see that the whole convention was not just Trump-busting. Yes, some of that was there, but the speakers pushed on his record and didn't just call him names. Except for Bloomberg. He could have been nicer.

I wish, though, that I had seen a more organized presentation of policy. I realize that policy isn't as popular or as easy to set up in such a format, but it would have been helpful. Biden talked about healthcare, but didn't specify much. If he didn't want to talk specifics, he should have at least referred us to the website. What is Biden's foreign policy going to be? Yes, anything but Trump's cozying up to dictators will be good, but we needed more detail.

I know the detail is on the website for nerds like me, but they should have given more than just lip service to policy. I suppose if I had gotten online and gone to some of the meetings during the day, I could have gotten all of that information there, so I can't complain too badly. The nighttime programs were intended to hit the high points and get people excited about voting for Biden and Harris.

Patrick commented after the whole four nights that he was actually excited about voting for Joe Biden. He felt like he now knows who he is and why he'll do a good job as president. I agree. I don't regret that I bought a yard sign for Biden/Harris!!

Next week: The Republican National Convention!! And theirs is live and in person! We should have a mask contest to see who has the coolest mask!!


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