The Republican convention has ended. Winter has come. Truth will not again be broadcast in primetime on CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, MSNBC, and CNN for the next four years, except when air time is purchased from them. But what a splendid eight hours of prime time it was!
1. The Quality of Production
The Democrats and leftists control Hollywood and “The Movies.” Just read the next day’s coverage of the Oscars. (It now has become much too awful to watch.) They control television “entertainment.” Just read the next day’s coverage of the Emmys. (It also has become much too awful to watch.) They control Broadway and “The Theatre.” Just read the next day’s coverage of the Tonys. (It now has become irksome to watch, except for the segments where they have the live nominated musical numbers.) The Republicans are portrayed in the media as the “Rubes”: coal miners, farmers, assembly-line workers, truckers, welders, steelworkers, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, Beverly Hillbillies, the “uneducated.” Even though it is the Democrats who now are led by Old Uncle Joe, who’s movin’ kinda slow.
Either the Democrats ran their convention as well as could be conceived in a coronavirus/Zoom era — and the Republicans then broke the mold and went into the stratosphere. Or the Republicans ran their convention as well as could be conceived in a coronavirus/Zoom era, while the progressives put on a high school play.
All politics aside (but not for long), the difference in the production qualities of the Democrat convention and the Republican convention was night and day. The Republican convention was so well done. A great stage and setting for speakers, with a great walk-in to stirring music. After each speech, a cut-away to a ready-made short and gripping film, and then back to the stage as the next speaker was arriving at the podium. The camera angles during the speeches moved very deftly from face-forward to side angles and back to face-front, conveying the impression they were addressing a larger audience. Except for Kimberly Guilfoyle’s SHOUTED-SO-VERY-LOUD speech — the text of it was great, but many viewers possibly considered that they had not been shouted at for that long since their previous marriages — the speeches were delivered fabulously, sometimes with spirit, sometimes with emotion, sometimes with exuberance, sometimes with pathos. Almost every speech connected.
By contrast, the Democrats seemed so certain of their superiority that the arrogance came across on screen. Just put a pretty TV face on screen the first night as your hostess, and let it flow. I dunno, but it did not work for me. I care more about the emotional words spoken by the wife of a retired police captain whose execution by Leftists and anarchists was live-streamed on social media and seen by his grandson, and by the husband of a woman who randomly was shot dead in her garage by criminals, than I care about someone who played a “Desperate Housewife.” I care more about a stream of many incredibly impressive next-generation and last-generation Black American leaders ranging from Sen. Tim Scott, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and Democrat Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones … to former NFL stars Herschel Walker, Jack Brewer, and Burgess Owens … to a guy, Clarence Henderson, who risked his all at the Greensboro sit-ins of 1960, than I care about what Julia Louis-Dreyfus thinks.
The Republicans figured out how to deal with the transition from the massive auditoria of conventions past; the Democrats were fixated on Zoom. Thus, major Democrat speakers were followed by a pathetic wall of Zoom boxes reminiscent of “The Hollywood Squares,” where some of the Paul Lynde–Dom DeLuise–George Gobel–Rose Marie stand-ins clapped while others were caught napping. It really was a bit pathetic, like when a whole couch of four were closed-eyed and contemplating their navels while the cameras shifted to them, waiting for them to clap. By contrast, the Republicans threw caution to the wind by staging major outdoor speeches in places like Ft. McHenry, where the “Star-Spangled Banner” was composed, and the White House, with very jam-packed live audiences in attendance. Those in attendance cheered enthusiastically, often with standing ovations. The contrast in dynamism was profound.
Although the left media talking heads gushed over Michelle Obama’s taped speech — taped so much in advance that she did not even mention the vice presidential candidate because none yet had been named — Melania Trump was notably live. We saw her walk a distance to the podium and address a live audience. That was a big thing: As an overriding general feeling, the Republicans were so much more live and alive, while the Democrats seemed so much more taped and tapped out. While the Republicans had that live-audience impact and dynamic feedback during their major speeches, the Democrats seemed like they needed desperately at least to pump in an old 1960s-type laugh track. No one needed a laugh track more than did Julia Louis-Dreyfus, about whom we discovered, for the first time, that she has a very wanting sense of humor. She tried so hard but could not tell a single joke well, and those she tried to tell fell painfully flat. She was dying out there and, if not a Desperate Housewife, nevertheless desperately needed Larry David to save her by writing her some lines on a Dummy Card. No Soap Radio for you.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in his “personal capacity,” was in Jerusalem, overlooking the Temple Mount. Vice President Mike Pence at Ft. McHenry. Trump at the White House. By contrast, Biden was on a stage that was OK, but kind of seemed set up more for the final round of a regional high school debating championship. Maybe that is the most they could offer a guy who has been based in his basement for so long that he seems like Garth Algar, the sidekick in the old recurring Wayne’s World skit. By contrast, there was Trump on the jam-packed South Lawn in strength with a live response to his comments. When he finished, he was followed by a rousing mix of patriotic American songs followed by tenor Christopher Macchio singing everything from Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” to Giacomo Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” aria from Turandot.
By contrast, Biden’s speech ended with this weird thing. Y’know how politicians, when they finish their speeches or even when they step on stage to begin, then point to people in the audience and smile at them as though to say, “Hi, Sven, I see you, and you are my best friend in the world!”? Four years ago Hillary Clinton did that with annoying falseness, but they all do it. Well, at the Democrat convention, after Biden’s speech, he and Jill walk towards the Zoom/Hollywood Squares wall and start waving at the squares and then even start pointing to some of the squares. It really was pathetic. And weird.
Even the grand finale, the fireworks. A week ago I wrote that I actually felt bad for Biden. He has been running for president for 32 years, and now when he finally gets his moment, he has to go to a backyard parking lot and watch a middling-quality fireworks display evocative of a Memorial Day tribute at a Sonic drive-in lot where the carhops roller-skate the burgers and shakes to your car. It really was lame. By contrast, Trump’s speech was followed by an A-1 top-of-the-line fireworks display that lit up the sky, even with kitschy stuff, like fireworks that spelled out “TRUMP” and then “2020.” It was the kind of stuff that put the icing on four days of exceptional production quality.
Either the Democrats ran their convention as well as could be conceived in a coronavirus/Zoom era — and the Republicans then broke the mold and went into the stratosphere. Or the Republicans ran their convention as well as could be conceived in a coronavirus/Zoom era, while the progressives put on a high school play. Either way, if I were a Democrat Party official, I would look for the people who put their convention together — and for the people who selected them for that task — and I would banish them all to spend a month among Portland’s peaceful protesters or, perhaps out of mercy, to the Gulag.
2. Closing Thoughts
I listened to and watched Ann Dorn, wife of that murdered hero, the retired Black St. Louis police captain, 77-year-old David Dorn, who answered the call to stop a looting at a pawn shop during the George Floyd “peaceful protests.” Later there were Marsha and Carl Mueller, parents of Kayla who was grabbed by ISIS, raped repeatedly through her 18-month ordeal by Abu Bakhr al-Baghdadi, and ultimately was killed. Alice Johnson, the Black woman whom President Trump gave a second chance to live her life. We heard from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and from Patrick Lynch, president of that city’s Police Benevolent Association, about how New York City had been a crime haven under Democrats, then was cleaned up under Republicans and became America’s safest major city, and now has reverted to crime and mayhem under Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio. There were other excellent speakers — the guy who heads the UFC, the Utah Attorney General, a female Wisconsin small business owner whose foundry manufactures cast bronze architectural hardware, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Sen. Tom Cotton, Ivanka Trump, and the president.
In any authentic democracy, where people are offered a binary choice, at least 35 to 40 percent will go each way. We sneer and snicker at dictatorships where a Stalin or Mao, a Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez, win 98 or 99 percent of the “free election.” So in any truly free election, the fight is over the 20 to 30 percent who are “independent” or “undecided.” After watching these two weeks of conventions, listening to the speeches, the arguments, the substance, it just seems very hard to understand how the middle 20 to 30 percent conceivably would align mostly with the Democrats over Trump. If nothing else, the takeaway from the two alternate universes would seem to be that Trump is handling COVID at least as well as Biden could, if not profoundly better, and certainly no worse. When we come out of COVID, we are going to need a great business leader to rebuild the economy. Even those Independents and Undecideds who hate Trump or his tweeting or his whatever acknowledge that he rebuilt and then forged the strongest economy in American history, stopped only by a once-in-a-century pandemic. For people who eat food from time to time, that economic focus and strength will matter more in their lives than almost anything else. Biden has proven over 47 years that he is not up to that once-in-a-century task. He simply is not. And even if he suddenly has gained economic wisdom at age 77 — which he surely has not — he has not proven it and has offered only the same promises that politicians like him always make. Meanwhile, he is under a death grip by the radical left of his party, and he has promised to roll back tax cuts and work to replace fossil fuels, a combo that has “RECESSION” written all over it. Are Independents really ready to risk losing everything just as Trump’s economy is starting to gain new momentum?
And then there is public safety. With riots in the streets, Democrats want to defund police or substantially reduce their funding. They will not call in the necessary complement of National Guard troops when rioting is amok. That prompts local owners of private property, into which they have sunk their entire life savings, to stand outside and protect their homes and stores with firearms. Next thing you know, people who are torching cars are being shot by a 17-year-old who perhaps lacks the maturity and public-safety training that cops get, and then a mob chases the kid, and he falls onto the street, and they try to grab his rifle, so he shoots one to death and another in the arm — and none of this anarchy would be happening with a Republican mayor and governor sending in sufficient National Guard support to obviate the need for citizen guards.
With cities being torched by left-wing anarchists while Democrat leaders on the national and local levels coddle them, drop charges when they are arrested, or do charge and convict but then promptly release them from prison to rejoin the fray, it would seem very hard to imagine that middle-of-the-roaders in the electoral bell curve would risk all on a 47-year smiling but corrupt machine politician, with an even less competent or qualified pretender, chosen solely based on Identity Politics, as his running mate and impending successor, when they have a proven and capable leader available to lead them back to prosperity and to preserve public safety.
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