After a brutal primary season that left both parties more or less on the brink of collapse, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have emerged victorious from underneath the corpses of the various competitors who once stood in the way of their path to the presidency of the United States of America. During their respective national conventions this month, the Republican and Democratic Parties officially nominated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as their party’s presidential candidates. Though bruised and battered, Trump and Clinton will now battle in perhaps the most vile and bitter presidential campaign in our nation’s history, which will see one winner but arguably no survivors. With three months still separating the American people from choosing to die a slow and painful death or a quick and equally painful death, today we will focus on the depravity that went down at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
Republican National Convention
The Republican National Convention took place in Cleveland, Ohio from July 18 to the 21 and was filled with laughs the whole way through– not laughs of enjoyment but laughs of pity. Before the convention even started, there were already signs of trouble. In a last-ditch attempt to save their party and potentially the country, “Never Trump” delegates from nine different states rebelled and nearly forced a floor vote on the convention rules. The floor vote would have challenged the convention rules drafted by the 112-member Rules Committee earlier that week and was an attempt to allow delegates to “vote with their conscience” rather than be forced to vote for the candidate which their state voted for, thus paving the way for a saner candidate. Though these delegates created quite the disturbance, their efforts fell short and “party unity” trumped the day.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) made the first inflammatory comments of the night when he went on MSNBC to defended his party after Esquire’s Charlie Pierce denounced the RNC as nothing more than an auditorium brimming with “loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people”. King challenged Pierce “to go back through history and figure out… where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization” than white people.
Soon after this friendly reminder of the Republican party’s inclusivity, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani took the stage and succeeded in getting a crowd of “loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people” fired up by shouting at the audience to be afraid– very afraid– of a Hillary Clinton presidency. Throughout his fiery speech, Giuliani made it seem as if Clinton would finally usher in President Obama’s long-held ambition to take our guns away and shove us in FEMA concentration camps. As Giuliani was wrapping up his speech, he gave the audience a final dire warning that “There is no next election” and that “This is it”.
As if the Republican National Convention couldn’t stoup lower than rock bottom, the man of the hour walked onto the fog-covered stage like a rockstar, with Queen’s We Are the Champions blaring through the speakers as the crowd went nuts upon seeing their orange messiah in the flesh. Though Trump was not there to speak himself– he merely came to introduce his wife, world-renown super model and architect Melania Trump. Melania delivered the keynote speech of the night which detailed why her husband Donald is the
human cheeto puff our country needs to lead it to prosperity. In this moving speech, Melania reasserted her husband’s campaign rhetoric that immigrants are stealing American jobs by repeating an entire passage from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech verbatim. Of course, she knowingly plagiarized Mrs. Obama’s speech to subliminally condition the American people to associate presidentialness with the Trump name– it is, after all, already synonymous with integrity and success. Instead of revealing their plot to subliminally convince Americans to vote Trump in November, the Trump campaign at first completely denied the allegations that parts of Melania’s speech were not her own and eventually threw the writer of the speech, Meredith McIver, under the bus.
The Republican National Convention somehow survived imploding in on itself from the weight of Donald Trump’s pompous ego and trudged on to another day of shenanigans and tomfoolery. After over year of flabbergasting the American public and the world by somehow not crashing and burning as expected, Donald Trump finally clinched the Republican presidential nomination after securing over 1,700 delegatesof the 1,237 needed. Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence also secured his position as second-in-command. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan officially announced the Trump-Pence Republican ticket before a roaring crowd of rabid supporters, officially sealing our country’s fate.
Upon Trump’s coronation as the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse, the convention quickly shifted their attention to their opponent Hillary Clinton with speaker after speaker slamming her as unethical, immoral, and corrupt. RNC co-chair Sharon Day launched this offensive shortly after Trump’s official nomination and harped at Clinton for her inability to prevent the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks which took the lives of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, US Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty, claiming that Clinton had purposefully lied to the faces of their relatives. Following the fear-mongering tactics used by nearly all speakers at the convention, Day warned that if Clinton becomes president, the values that our country holds so near and dear would be “history”.
New Jersey governor and provider of comic relief Chris Christie, who is embroiled in a massive corruption scandal himself, knows a thing or two about integrity and criminality. As such, he used his speaking time to hold a mock witch trial on stage for Hillary Clinton and listed a litany of criminal offences she allegedly committed. The crowd shouted “Guilty!” following each one of these accusations.
Adding to the list of presidential would-bes that were steamrolled by Trump and subsequently boarded the Trump Train, retired neurosurgeon and conspiracy theorist Ben Carson wrapped up the second night with an uncharacteristically fervid speech. Carson struck a chord with the audience’s deep-seeded adoration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by connecting Hillary Clinton to Satan himself. According to Carson, Clinton drew a lot of inspiration from political activist and author Saul Alinsky, who dubbed Lucifer as “the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment” in his seminal work Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals. Carson asked the crowd if they are “willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer”, which drew loud jeers and boos from the crowd.
Though the “Never Trump” movement was more or less extinguished on the first night of the convention, Texas Senator and suspected Zodiac Killer Ted Cruz went on the convention stage during prime-time to make it very clear that he was still bitter about losing to a swarm of rats in an orange leather suit by which I mean Donald Trump. In a final grasp for relevancy, Cruz went off the rails and refuse to endorse Trump, urging the crowd to “vote their conscience” rather than vote for Trump. Though the crowd initially greeted Cruz with a warm reception and cheers, he soon over stayed his welcome and was met with loud jeers and boos.
The third night of the Republican National Convention also featured the likes of many successful business people, such as Phil Ruffin, Harold Hamm, and self-made businesswoman Michelle Van Etten. Van Etten provides jobs to “over 100,000 people” through
a pyramid scheme the multilevel marketing system of Youngevity, a company which gives hard-working Americans the ability to become their own bosses by selling cancer-curing health supplements.
Though the third night of the 2016 RNC was star-studded with Republican politicians, conservative talking heads, and B-list celebrities who more or less espoused the same rhetoric of “TRUMP GOOD, HILLARY BAD”, the person who really wowed the crowd that night was Vice Presidential nominee and Indiana Governor Mike Pence. In his speech, Pence shied away from talking about Trump’s plans to Make America Great Again by building a monstrous wall on our southern border or by tracking all Muslims in America through a database and instead focused on reaching out to holdouts like Ted Cruz and bringing the party together behind Trump’s leadership while also better acquainting himself with voters who are relatively unfamiliar with the one-term governor.
Oh God, the horror just doesn’t end now does it?
The 2016 Republican National Convention finally came to a close after four long days on July 21. PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel delivered an impassioned speech on the final night of the convention, becoming only the second openly gay man to speak at a Republican National Convention in doing so. Thiel slammed the GOP for its anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and for enciting “fake culture wars”, but praised Trump as the only candidate to be “honest” about it. Despite the fact that this year’s GOP party platform is “the most anti-LGBT Platform in the Party’s 162-year history” according to the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation’s largest group of oxymoronic gay Republicans, Thiel concluded his speech by telling the crowd that “I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American.”
It was only fitting that the man whom the entire convention revolved around gave the final speech of the convention. Donald J. Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, becoming the second self-absorbed celebrity to do so in the party’s history. In his rant, Trump simultaneously alleviated and stroked the fears of the “loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people” not just in the convention arena, but also across the country by letting them know that “the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon, come to an end”. Trump, however, offers absolutely no details on how he will do this as that would be revealing his game plan to the criminals and thugs who seek to harm our country, and that would be “not good”.
Trump promises that he will be straightforward and honest, bringing integrity back to the White House after nearly a decade of shame. Trump fights for every American regardless of their skin color but with total regards to their legal status. As such, he will fight to reduce unemployment rates in the African-American and Latino communities by building more Trump hotels, casinos, and golf courses that they can maintain and clean. Some would argue that Trump should focus instead on reducing his unfavorability rating among these people… don’t look at me that way, you know what I meant by these people.
Trump belittled the president and former Secretary of State for their failure to bring any type of peace to the Middle East, pinning the rise of ISIS precisely on them and them only. Trump will single-handedly defeat “the barbarians of ISIS” and “defeat them fast” though, again, offers no detail of his presumably intelligent plan. But don’t mistake this as the United States “nation building” in these regions because Trump will ensure that the United States doesn’t get bogged down with the complexities of rebuilding a war-torn country. Trump will demand that countries that host our military presence, willingly or unwillingly, pay their protection fee or else. Trump will ensure that our veterans will be taken care of like never before because, well… they haven’t.
According to Trump, the pathetic failures of the Obama administration “has made America a more dangerous environment that frankly that I have ever seen of anybody in this room has ever watched or seen” because apparently, Trump was too wasted to remember what was going on in the United States during his time at Wharton. Regardless, Trump will fix these gaping issues with America and ask himself “does this make better for young Americans in Baltimore, in Chicago, in Detroit, in Ferguson” while creating policy because after all, only a multi-billion dollar man born with a platinum spoon in his mouth would have their best interests in mind.
Trump also has African American and Latino communities in mind when he is creating his immigration policy. He recognizes that stagnant wages and massive unemployment is not due to corporate greed, but rather because of illegal immigrants. Once he takes office, the United States will once more be a country of law and order. Trump will eliminate the practice of “catch and release” at the border, thereby “end[ing] the cycle of human smuggling and violence” as well as drastically reducing illegal border crossings overnight.
Not only will Trump make sure to round up and deport all these illegals, but he will also take their jobs by moving manufacturing to the United State starting with his own brand of men’s attire… oh wait he didn’t mention that did he? He must have accidentally left it out. Anyway, Trump will force companies to do so by imposing a hefty tariff on goods coming in from our two largest trading partners China and Mexico, thus stopping the “rape of our country” by global trade deals.
In addition to this, Trump will also help the middle class by cutting taxes and reducing government intervention that stifles innovation. The United States will renegotiate free trade deals which damage our nation’s economy or completely leave them altogether. Trump will assign the “best and brightest” judges, prosecutors, and Supreme Court Justices that will restore law and order, enforce the constitution as our founding fathers had envisioned it, and most importantly, uphold the second amendment.
Trump ensured the crowd that his presidency would show the world that “America is Back– bigger, and better and stronger than ever before”. Trump then concluded his speech by pledging himself to the American people and pledging himself to making America strong, proud, safe, and above all, great again.
Democratic National Convention
Though the Clinton campaign and the DNC expected it to go off without a hitch, the Democrats fared only marginally better with their own convention held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Just days before the convention, a massive cache of 20,000 confidential emails and voicemail recordings between DNC officials and some members of the Clinton campaign was leaked by the infamous whistle-blower site WikiLeaks. These emails show that the DNC tried to undermine the campaign of insurgent candidate Bernie Sanders despite their stance as an impartial organization and also further enraged the already-ornery Sanders supporters after what they saw as an unfair primary election.
Following the bombshell revelations, DNC chairwoman and Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned her position as chair. Don’t feel too bad for her though, she immediately found a job on Hillary’s campaign as “honorary chair“, though some would argue this is mere a symbolic gesture and not an actual position of power. Apparently, Debbie knows a lot about chairs. But will that knowledge help her in her home state of Florida, where Wasserman Schultz faces a tough reelection campaign against the challenger, Sanders-endorsed law professor Timothy A. Canova. Canova has coopted Sanders’ economic and social justice message and fundraising strategy, having raised more than $2 million through small donations.
The DNC would later issue an official apology to Bernie Sanders and his supporters “for the inexcusable remarks made over email,” on behalf of DNC staff. Many Sanders supporters, however, felt that the apology and resignation of Wasserman Schultz was simply not enough to win their votes over and staged a massive protest outside of the Wells Fargo Center on the convention’s first day. After over a year of being undermined or dismissed entirely by the Democratic party, these supporters were fed up and rightfully so.
Many top Democrats quickly diverted attention from the actual content of the emails to the alleged Russian hackers who gained access to them in the first place, expressing outrage that Russia would dare tamper the elections of a country; as a beacon for democracy and liberty, the United States would never do that. But still, by shifting the blame to the scary evil Russians, the DNC became the cheating spouse who gets caught and makes the conversation about why you violated their privacy by checking their phone rather than their infidelity itself.
Though most Bernie supporters have (reluctantly) fallen in line behind Empress Clinton, there still remains the band of rogue, uncompromising “Bernie Bros” who refuse to comply. Not even pleas from the man himself or other firebrand progressives like Elizabeth Warren have convinced them to say “I’m with her!” It is a bit difficult to gauge where Bernie’s supporters will go in the general election, but it seems to be an even split between those who cannot morally bring themselves to vote for Clinton despite Trump and those who will vote for Clinton specifically to spite Trump. The former have legit grievances and gripes with the Hillary and believe she feels wrongfully entitled to their vote simply out of the virtue of being the “lesser of the two evils”. These supporters also believe that Clinton is simply paying lip service to the progressive movement but won’t actually carry out a progressive agenda as indicated by her previous actions and political ties as well as her less-than-stellar choice of Vice President, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine. Rather than appealing to these last holdouts and listening to their concerns, Clinton surrogates continuously brow-beat these “Bernie Bros” for not supporting Clinton, with former Sanders supporter and comedian Sarah Silverman going as far as calling them “ridiculous” during her speech at the DNC.
The leaked emails and voicemails left an ugly stain on the Democratic National Convention but as they say, the show must go on. First Lady Michelle Obama gave a tremendous speech in which she made the case for Hillary Clinton while simultaneously ripping into the Republican nominee Donald Trump without even mentioning his name a single time. She reminded the crowd of the success of her husband’s accomplishments in his eight years in office and expressed optimism and confidence in our country’s future, but also stressed the importance of electing Hillary if we want these accomplishments to last.
Bernie Sanders took the stage following Michelle Obama and gave a full-throated endorsement of his former rival, hammering home the progressive causes they have both championed. Sanders made it explicitly clear to his supporters that “Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States,” saying that “The choice [between Clinton and Trump] is not even close”. This didn’t sit well with some of his supporters which felt that Sanders was selling-out his progressive values by endorsing Clinton, the same candidate who embodies everything the Sanders campaign has fought against.
At the end of the DNC’s first night, there was some sense of unity– not necessarily behind Clinton but seemingly against Trump– yet most Sanders supporters were not fully convinced. They made their discontent crystal-clear and even booed Sanders himself as he gave his endorsement of Clinton.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Maryland Representative Elijah E. Cummings, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker also took the stage on the convention’s first night to tout Hillary Clinton’s progressive liberal agenda while also bashing the fear-mongering and hatred espoused by Donald Trump in an attempt to band the party together, but the convention floor often turned into a shouting match between Hillary and Bernie supporters, with chants of “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” drowning out any chants of Hillary’s name.
Day two of the 2016 Democratic National Convention saw Hillary Clinton officially nominated as the first woman from a major US political party to be selected as a presidential nominee. In a cordial show of party unity, Bernie Sanders made a request “that the convention suspend the procedural rules” and that “Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States,” effectively placing an end to his own hopes of becoming president.
Soon after, former President Bill Clinton took center stage and advocated for his wife, especially her continuous concern with human, women’s, and gay rights. In fact, Hillary was so concerned with gay rights during her time as First Lady that she fully supported her husband’s passage of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy. Hillary’s concern for human rights can also be seen in her support for the military coup that deposed democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, which saw Honduran military forces bring about peace and stability to the country. President Clinton made it clear that his wife is the only person qualified enough to bring about the change and progress our country needs.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder then went in front of the convention to list the problems that our country’s criminal justice faces and also bash Donald Trump’s inaccurate portrayal of crime and violence in contemporary American society. Holder asked for a middle ground between police officers and those who have been subjected to mistreatment by law enforcement officers, telling the audience that “We must also come to realize that keeping our officers safe is not inconsistent with ensuring that those in law enforcement treat the people they are sworn to serve with dignity, respect, and fairness.” Holder then endorsed Clinton, claiming that our country needs a president which will “end this policy of over-incarceration” and reform our criminal justice system to no longer disproportionately affect African American and Latino men. After all, if it’s one person that knows how our criminal justice system unfairly affects “superpredators”, it’s Hillary Clinton.
The first female Secretary of State Madeleine Albright used her speech to express her excitement over Hillary Clinton being the first woman nominated by a major political party and also question Donald Trump’s allegiance after his seeming praise for dictators like Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Un, and wannabe-dictator Vladimir Putin. Albright highlighted the similarities between herself and Hillary– both are alumni of Wellesley College, both served as pioneers for women in US public service, and both are willing to pay a heavy price such as the deaths of thousands of innocent women and children to reign in dictators abroad.
The convention moved forward to its third day and California Governor Jerry Brown used his time on stage to bash the Republican party’s denial of science, criticizing Donald Trump for not mentioning the words “climate change” or “global warming” once during the “76 long and painful minutes” which Trump spoke for.
Vice President Joe Biden entered the convention stage to thunderous cheers and applause from the crowd waving signs with his name or hometown on them. Biden denounced Trump as nothing more than “a man who seeks to sow division in America for his own gain, and disorder around the world,” going on to say that “We simply cannot let that happen as Americans. Period.” Biden also reaffirmed the previous speaker’s endorsements of Hillary, claiming that “Hillary gets it,” and is the only candidate to be able to relate to middle-class Americans who are struggling due to our sluggish economy. Biden also focused on the significance that a Clinton presidency would have on our country.
In a metaphoric passing-of-the-torch, Tim Kaine went on stage shortly after Vice President Biden and accepted the Democratic Party’s Vice Presidential nomination. Kaine used his speech to introduce himself to an electorate who isn’t too familiar with the Virginia Senator. Kaine reflected on his time spent as a Jesuit missionary in Honduras as a young adult and the values and life lessons he learned while there. He then scored some brownie points with Latinos throughout the country by speaking fluent Spanish and saying “Aprendí los valores del pueblo— fe, familia, y trabajo. Los mismos valores de la comunidad Latina aquí en nuestro país. Somo Americanos todos”. This translates to “I learned the values of the people– faith, family, and work. The same values of the Latino community in our country. We’re all American”. In his speech, Kaine not only proved that he would make an excellent attack dog against Trump by rebuking some of his rhetoric, but also tried to morally justify a Clinton presidency to a somewhat unsure electorate.
Twelve years ago to the day, then-Senator Barrack Obama gave the keynote speech of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, in which he vouched for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and propelled himself as a future star of the Democratic party. Four years later, Obama attended the DNC once again but this time as the party’s presidential nominee. Fast forward to 2016, President Obama took the DNC stage one more time to look back at the accomplishments he has championed and the tragedies he has faced in his eight years in office. The President assured everyone that while “A lot’s happened over the years,” he is “more optimistic about the future of America than ever before.” Though the mention of Donald Trump was met with loud boos, President Obama tells them “Don’t boo. Vote.” The President acknowledged that while he and Hillary were once bitter rivals during the 2008 presidential primary, they set their differences aside and worked together, knowing “what was at stake was bigger than either of us.” The President masterfully tore apart Donald Trump’s hateful, divisive rhetoric while also bolstering Hillary Clinton as the right person to lead this country where he left off, using his speech to truly cement the Democratic Party after a few days of division. At the end of his speech, Hillary herself walked out on stage and shared a lengthy victory hug with Obama.
After four long days star-studded with politicians and common folk of all levels, four hectic days filled with equal parts angst and hope, the 2016 Democratic National Convention finally wrapped up on July 28. The final night of the 2016 DNC featured a host of working-class Americans, including Henrietta Ivey, the Michigan home care worker spearheading the Fight for $15 movement, Beth Mathias, who works two jobs in Ohio to maintain her family, and Jensen Walcott, who was fired from her job for asking her boss why she was being payed 50 cents less than her male co-worker and friend. In bringing these working-class people to talk to a national audience, the Democratic party humanizes its campaign and shows what this election means to common Americans.
The final night also featured one of the most poignant speeches given in the convention’s four-day span delivered by lawyer Khizr Khan. Khan was the father of University of Virginia graduate and US Army Captain Humayun S. M. Khan, who tragically died in June 8, 2004 after saving his fellow soldiers from a suicide bomber in Baquba, Iraq. Captain Khan is one of eleven Muslim soldiers who have died . Mr. Khan completely and entirely demolished Trump’s reckless and irresponsible anti-Muslim rhetoric, outright telling him that “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.” Khan also questioned whether Trump had “even read the United States Constitution” and offered to lend Trump his copy. Had Trump’s ban on Muslims taken place three decades ago, Mr. Khan, his wife, and his two boys– among them, Humayun– would have never came to the United States and would have never contributed as much to American society as they have; their oldest son Shaharyar is the co-founder of biotechnology company which also employs the youngest son, Omer.
Later in the evening, Chelsea Clinton went on stage to introduce the crowd to her mom Hillary, who would make history and “crack the largest glass ceiling” by becoming the first woman ever to be nominated for President by a major US party. Chelsea praised Hillary’s maternal instinct and motherly love, letting her known that her late grandmother Dorothy Rodham “would be so, so proud of you tonight”. Chelsea made her mother much more relatable by providing anecdotal stories which show her compassion, her trustworthiness, and her humanity.
Hillary Clinton finally went on stage .In her speech, Clinton thanked former rival Bernie Sanders for inspiring “millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary”. Clinton acknowledged these supporters, letting them know the progressive movement that Sanders championed is in good hands.
And to all of your supporters here and around the country, I want you to know that I’ve heard you. Your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy and passion. That is the only way we can turn our Progressive platform into real change for America. We wrote it together, now let’s go out and make it happen together.
Thoughts on the Conventions
All in all, the Republican National Convention felt like nothing more than a dark Sith ritual in which Lord Emperor Trump rallied his Imperial troops behind him to prepare for war with the forces of Clinton. The RNC made it explicitly clear that we are living in the end times and that eight years of Obama have left our country crippled and on the brink of death. Rather than the being the America with the apple pie, the baseball, and the fear of God we once had, our country has become one without a competent government that faces both internal and external threats. Hillary Clinton will be the same failed Obama policies and our country’s Judeo-Christian values will be irredeemably tarnished after this. Feminists, minorities, immigrants, gays, and social justice warriors will reign supreme and emasculate our great nation, surely doing away with whatever is left of our European Christian culture. We will be stripped of our freedoms of speech, but more importantly, our guns. We cannot allow this to occur to our once great nation.
The theme of the RNC’s last day was “Making America One Again”, but the entire convention and the entire primary process in fact seemed to be focused on doing quite the opposite. The Republican presidential nominee has trash-talked just about anyone and everyone who even slightly disagrees with him; he would undoubtedly belittle his mom and bestow her with a childish epithet such as “Moronic Mom” had she picked one of Donald’s siblings as her favorite instead of himself. Though he has branded Obama as the single most divisive president in the history of our country, Trump’s vitriol has arguably brought out the worst underlying hatred and racism that a good portion of Americans have been bottling up for God knows how long. Trump is an instigator who loves starting problems where there are none, mainly due to the fact that he can’t keep the anus he has beneath his nose shut for more than a few seconds before having to blurt out something incoherent and/or hateful.
Though it was supposed to be a Republican convention, the focus seemed to be very much on Hillary Clinton throughout the four days. The common theme between the convention’s speakers appeared to be fear of a dystopian future under Hillary’s rule, with the chant of “lock her up” being the convention’s rallying call. The Democratic Convention made sure to bash Donald Trump but denied him the spotlight and instead brandished him to the background. Instead, the Democratic National Convention seemed to be focused on the theme of unity and progress, exolting the leaps and bounds our country has undergone under President Obama while also making it clear that we still have a long way to go.
It would appear as if the Democratic and Republican parties have switched sides in a way. Rather than praising the United States as still being the greatest country in the entire world, the Republican Convention hammered home the fact that our country was no longer the shinning starlet of the world. The Democratic Convention, on the other hand, took a completely different tone in which they praised the success of America while also recognizing we still have work to do. As Clinton alluded to in her acceptance speech, Donald Trump has “taken the Republican party a long way from morning in America to midnight in America”. Trump casts a bleak picture of America– a lawless, decrepit place where there is no morality or Christianity. This is despite the fact that the US as a whole is seeing the lowest crime rate in decades. Our country definitely has a plethora of issues that have long-been festering underneath the surface like an infected wound under a dirty bandage, but the fear of Muslims, immigrants, African Americans, gays, and science that the Republican party and Donald Trump want to instill in Americans is simply irrational fear appealing to the lowest primal fear inside us.
Don’t be fooled into believing that I am shilling for the Democratic Party or Clinton, however. I have been suspicious of the Democratic Party due to their seemingly unjust treatment of Bernie during the primary season. The shocking revelations made possible by WikiLeaks have definitely discredited the Democratic party’s appeal that they are the party of progress and righteousness. We have yet to see whether the DNC will fully embrace and implement the reforms being pushed by Sanders supporters, such as abolishing the superdelegate system and renouncing corporate donations, or if they are simply paying lip-service to the new progressive left sect of the party to get them to vote for Hillary Clinton. Despite the fact the Hillary Clinton herself promised to introduce a constitutional amendment to repeal Citizens United in her first 100 days in office, Clinton has greatly benefited from campaign donations by Wall Street firms, banks, and multi-national corporations throughout her life as a public servant. The fact that the Democratic party quietly did away with a ban on direct political contributions from lobbyists and political action committees back in February of this year also makes me question the seriousness the party’s financial and economic reform post-Bernie Sanders. Many Democratic lawmakers seemed unphased by this and refused to question the potential implications that corporate money would have on American democracy.
In short it would appear that our good ol’ two party system has failed us, beckoning Americans to demand drastic reform from their political and economic systems. Donald Trump has hijacked the Republican Party for his own personal gain under the guise of helping working-class Americans back on their feet and working steady, mediocre-paying jobs. I want to make it very clear that this man does not care about middle-class Americans; this is evident in his proposed economic policies that would benefit the rich at the expense of the poor and the middle class.
Though the long-awaited collapse of the United States of America would be a far more likely of a scenario under Donald Trump than under Hillary Clinton, many Americans have legitimate fears about the country regardless of who ends up in the Oval Office– and rightfully so. It is somewhat shameful that these are the two best candidates our system can pump out: two privileged, out-of-touch populists who will say and do anything to get elected, who are morally and ethically questionable, and who simply epitomize everything that is wrong with our current political, economic, and social systems. Both candidates promise that they will lead our country’s citizens to prosperity by regurgitating the same drivel they wish to hear; both candidates fear monger that our country will collapse if the other be elected.
With this in mind, remember that presidents need a Senate and a House of representatives in order to pass any legislation or appoint any judges. Donald Trump can’t finance his wall without them, he cannot impose a nearly 50 percent tariff on Mexican and Chinese goods without them, and he cannot ban incoming Muslims and track the one who are already here without them. As he is greatly loathed by both Republicans and Democrats in our Congress, it is unlike that Trump would be able to carry out his insane policies without their assistance. But even then, we have witnessed our elected representatives’ failure to get anything done. As such, true change occurs at the state and local level. Not only must we demand more from the government, but we must also demand more from ourselves. Bernie Sanders inspired and empowered people throughout the country to get involved with local politics by showing them what we can do together. Bernie Sanders launched his campaign with the hope of a political revolution. Though he fell a tad bit short of this– mainly due to the powers-that-be conspiring against him– he has undoubtedly energized at least some voters to get involved. However, I am unsure what I have more faith in: a gamma ray burst from some distant star that obliterates us before election day OR the American people getting their collective you-know-what together and work on fixing the glaring issues with our country.
In all seriousness, I am very afraid of a Donald Trump presidency as an undocumented student and at least know that, despite how much I might dislike her, my family and I and millions like us would fare significantly better under Hillary Clinton. But regardless of who wins, America will become a nation extremely divided and afraid, more so than some would argue it already is. To me, it is neither midnight nor morning in America. It is a stark and dreary dawn in America, with the potential for a bright and sunny day but with a worrying likelihood of hell fire. Until then, In Loco Politico will be with you every step of the way to report on the world as it happens and try to make sense of it all. Until then, fellow readers!