I have to admit that I loved the Covid 19 altered political conventions. Just having to deal with all of the brouhaha for two hours a night was grand. I would love to continue with this precedent forever only I would ask that it be shortened even more to a single two hours on a single evening. I don’t need to see adoring crowds, balloons, confetti, fireworks, banks of American flags or dozens of speeches from everyone and his aunt. It’s somewhat nice when a family member or two makes some comments but I really have no desire to hear from every spouse, child, and girlfriend to get the gist that they actually like the candidate. I only need to hear the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance once. I love it when someone becomes a naturalized citizen of our country but a convention is not the time or place for such a thing nor are presidential pardons.
I have grown weary of theatrics that have become ever more ridiculous over the years. We spend way too much money on pomp and circumstance that might better be used in schools or to help those being evicted from their homes. Greek columns and expensive designer clothing do nothing to help me understand the stances of the candidates and the party. I suppose that if I had my wish the whole spectacle would become a speech of nomination by someone other than a family member, a few words from the vice presidential candidate and an outline of policy from the presidential candidate. I thrive on the idea of keeping things simple.
I have never ever liked those events that showcase smiling supporters in the background. If they are intended to impress us I have to say that they don’t. Frankly I think that most of us are attuned to detecting BS when we see it and even the shortened conventions are full of it. The post game quarterbacking is made even worse with so many opportunities to parse every sentence, word, wardrobe selection and choice of music. My attitude is that there is no way that I am going to be influenced by a single event. The candidates are a totality of their lives and their platforms, not carefully crafted shows.
I have not watched the State of the Union addresses for several years now for the same reason that I dislike the political conventions. They have become a lesson in smoke and mirrors, a kind of Wizard of Oz orchestration that not only bores me but makes me angry. I don’t want to see guests meant to pull at my heart strings and suddenly convince me that our president whomever he or she may be is deserving of sainthood. I just want the facts on the state of our country, not a bloviated litany of all of the most wonderful things that the leader has done. It would be rather refreshing to hear someone admit to some mistakes or mention pressing problems that have yet to be addressed. It would be quite nice if the two parties would just listen without clapping every time they hear something they like. Whose idea was it to turn such events into a rally?
I suppose while I am critiquing I will also mention the debates which have become a total farce. Mostly there is a great deal of hot air blowing into our living rooms. I really don’t need to hear questions answered with insults, exaggerations and lies. I think we need to have one and only one debate and it needs to be short and sweet with strict rules that do not allow degradation and disrespect. There should be a series of questions regarding the major issues and it should not be the job of the moderator to inject any commentary whatsoever other than to keep the proceedings moving as they should. The entire program should be over in an hour or less and then the news media should move on without editorial commentary. Reports of the proceedings should simply state the questions and answers of the candidates in full, word for word.
I know that my ideas represent a big pipe dream but I suspect that there are many who would agree with me. What we need is an honest discussion of major issues. So here are some questions that I would ask:
- What is your plan for continuing the fight against Covid-19? How will you get it under control?
- What plans and directives will you implement in future pandemics?
- What are your ideas for working with the peaceful protestors of the Black Lives Movement while finding ways to reduce the violence that sometimes creeps into their demonstrations?
- What are your ideas for making our police forces better trained, equitable, just, and supported?
- Do you have any plans for fair and just immigration reform that allows law abiding people a road to eventual citizenship?
- How will you deal with problems at our borders?
- Are you and your party willing to reach across the aisle for the good of the country?
- How will you maintain the cooperation and respect of the United States with the rest of the world?
- What do you plan to do to heal our planet from the destructive effects of pollution and other human induced problems?
- What are your ideas for bringing us together as a nation?
Of course my hopes are just pie in the sky meanderings of my mind, but sometimes it’s fun to just imagine a world that might be. I suspect that many will agree with me.