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Republican Zanies and the Democratic Convention

that either have survived is amazing

This is Dark Cloud on Sunday, July 21, 1996.

The Republicans have managed to become even more ridiculous. The party of Lincoln now is the party of inherited and married money, zany Christian fanatics, racist twits, and Colin Powell, who doesn’t seem to understand his views are those of the Democrats.

Far worse, the Republicans have put on the most ridiculous convention yet, one where the keynote speaker announced her address would not be memorable - which, to put it kindly, proved accurate. The candidate, Robert Dole, is such a bore - and an old bore - that the addition of a former athlete in his early sixties is seriously viewed as rejuvenation to the ticket, since Dole is the eldest candidate ever. Jack Kemp is only sixty-one, and that means the Republicans are only fifteen years older on average than the Clinton/Gore ticket. Further, after all the sturm and drang about the party platform, the candidate says public ally that it doesn’t matter - which is correct. But then why spend time trying to introduce language that sounds civil?

David Brinkley is correct when he says these are the last American conventions as we have known them. They serve no actual function, since all decisions are made now in smoke-filled rooms elsewhere, and the decisions on the floor are not for whom to vote for but stage directions that make all emotional displays as sincere and convincing as fourth grade Thanksgiving pageants. Plus, hardly anyone deliberately watches the conventions anymore. We’ve already been told what to expect. Not knowing was the attraction. Plus, the conventions highlight all that people profess to hate about politics - the phoniness, the hypocrisy.

That they have survived so long into the age of television is amazing.