Republican vs Democratic Conventions

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Monday, August 8, 2016

If the Republican Convention in Cleveland was typified by delegates who were white, older, angry and genuinely afraid for their country, the democratic convention was where the rest of America turned up.  It was everything the republican convention wasn’t, chaotic, diverse, reflecting the many other shades of America coming together to celebrate the first woman presidential nominee from a major party.  From breastfeeding Mums to black civil rights leaders, to transgender speakers, to parents of the fallen who happened to be Muslim, to retired generals arguing Trump shouldn’t be anywhere near the nuclear codes. 

The only similarity to the republican convention was high levels of internal division (in their case it was the large Bernie Sanders contingent) and palpable dislike of the opposition candidate.  Yes the democrats hate Trump as much as the republicans hate Clinton.  I used that word advisably, however unusual it might sound to a NZ ear, but hatred it is, and points to a highly divided country come November whoever wins.

The highlight of the convention was listening to the Michelle and Barack Obama speeches.  She was astoundingly good and her comments about living in the White House that slaves help build was beautifully poignant.  Barack in my view delivered one of the best speeches I have ever heard.  He spoke to his vision of an inclusive collaborative America and you could not get a greater contrast to Trumps bellicose mean spirited and ego fuelled alternative. 

It was a once of lifetime experience.  I would love to share some of my private behind the scenes videos and photos from both conventions so I am hosting a public meeting this Monday 15th August from 7 pm at the Papamoa Community Centre at the Library.  If you are interested in US politics I would love to see you there.