There are no political conventions on television this week. As a result, I’ll be back to watching the things television was invented for: baseball, football, tennis and old movies.
Yes, I watched some of the convention speeches. And I tried to watch some of the commentary and analysis. But the former were predictable and the latter, for the most part, rather inane.
I was thinking it would be interesting to have someone explain the platforms of the two parties. (I’m not talking about the stages the speakers stood on – I mean the description of things they want to promote.) You can look these things up and discover there is a rather wide gap between the stated goals of the two…one wants to keep government small, reduce taxes and eliminate abortion; the other wants to make government bigger, increase taxes and make abortion cheap, available and guiltless.
I don’t think I need to point out which party is which. But it would have been nice to see a bit more discussion about the impact on families of tax policy, the historic evidence for what various government policies achieve and a debate over what the two parties believe.
Instead, there was a great deal of discussion about whether a mom could take care of a family and hold an important job (yes, depending on her abilities and the attitude of her husband and family). There was lots of talk about “change,” with the assumption being that change means things will be better. And there was much conversation about how excited the members of each party were when listening to the speakers at their own conventions.
NEWS FLASH: It would have been real news had the delegates fallen asleep listening to their own candidates at their own conventions.
In spite of what is seen by everyone as a rigorous campaign, the news coverage was dismal, with virtually no analysis of policy and the issues that will have an effect on real people with real problems living in real families in real communities. In fact, the analysis was more like something from American Idol.
And although the parties may have very different “world views,” if you ignored the names on the campaign posters, the convention delegates were pretty interchangeable. Lots of really silly hats. Lots of yelling, clapping and jumping up and down. Lots of pride.
Frankly, if I wanted to watch that sort of thing, I’d be voting to bring back the Gong Show.
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