Kish and I are watching the Republican Convention tonight, on C-SPAN. It’s great TV, largely because it’s completely unfiltered — just the convention feed itself, with no talking heads to interpret or spin things for us.
What do you learn if you watch a political convention in real time? For one thing, the United States is still a regional country. Every speaker we’ve seen tonight has displayed their own unique accent, from the tongues of New England, to those of the Midwest, to the those of the rolling Plains states. And, even with the continuing growth of the federal government, we’re still a country of individual states. Every political speaker so far tonight has boasted of the accomplishments of their state and cited the stories of individuals and businesses from their states to illustrate their criticisms of the Obama Administration.
We’ve heard a number of speeches so far, and we also can attest to one other thing: there aren’t that many great political orators out there — or for that matter, many great speechwriters. Still, it’s an interesting exercise. If you want to learn about what Republicans and Democrats really think is important, what better way to do so than watch the conventions those parties have scripted so carefully, seeing those conventions as the delegates themselves do?