The following is an email I sent to a close friend who was bothered by a perceived slight to progressives in the virtual Democratic convention. Please read, my progressive friends:
I have been uplifted by the Dem convention. I understand t your concerns, but I frame the conversation a bit differently, not as one within the large circle of the democratic party but within the larger circle of all Americans. Within that frame, I was frankly surprised and at moments alarmed by how far out on the limb the dems were willing to go. I’ll skip over the issue of who got how much time (which is an odd social inequality issue — like who got highest on the ladder). In the overall frame, the dems were willing to unapologetically embrace diversity, BLM, social and economic inequality, police discrimination, universal healthcare, environmental preservation. The overall presentation landed squarely within social justice projects.
This orientation was not only in the presentations but also in the structure of the convention, beginning with the elevator operator who nominated Biden and bookended with that brave young man with a stutter. I also appreciated that many speakers, especially the last moderator on Thursday, didn’t hold back on what they thought about Trump and the dangerous situation we’re in. There were certainly moments when I had to say to myself, well, not everyone thinks like you, but overall, I was thrilled. I generally disliked the Raggedy Dick narrative (even my favorite, Warren, got into that one) politicians almost unequivocally embrace [in OUR country, you can start from the bottom and rise to the top], but I think that generally obnoxious narrative was eclipsed by the theme of community: that we should work together for the benefit of our community (not for our personal glory).
Biden, as you probably know, has not been my favorite politician, but I think he is someone who has been working for the country. He somewhat overdid his family theme, tugging at the heartstrings with the Beau Biden story, but still: there is a man who thinks about others, who is not out for personal distinction. When I consider the difference between Donald/Melania Trump and Joe/Jill Biden . . . Lord, what a difference in the first couple who might represent our nation! I’m all in for Biden and will work my heart out for this next election (as soon as I can walk :)).
Here’s another caution that I wish news commentators would consider. We have to beat Trump. If those of us who want to fight for a return to decency in our political dialogue expect to win, we should not fall into internecine warfare. We should be brothers and sisters in this game. It’s time to move forward and overwrite disabling differences. Pundits, even though they know as a nation we need to defeat Trump, are overly eager to create news predicated on squabbles. They fucked us in 2016 by stupidly fixating on the Clinton email controversy. They wanted a story and sacrificed our nation’s well-being just for the story. That might be a bit harsh, but it’s how I see it.
Worse, I suspect that (oh, oh, I’m becoming a conspiracy freak) some Republican strategists and very likely Russian disinformation projects are exploiting this fissure in the anti-Trump party (within which lies the pro-Joe party). This is a dangerous time for our country. I shudder to think of four more years under the malicious, narcissistic leadership of Trump. We can’t let this happen. Now is the time to get on the anti-Trump train and pull together. We can explore our differences after we pull into the next station.