The drama and smoke of the political conventions has disappeared like the black and white televisions that brought their images to American families a generation ago. It was another time then without cable or internet, a time with rabbit ears and snow but we tuned in and we watched. We were not political but all three available networks were broadcasting live from the convention and there was no alternative.
Today the conventions are more scripted and interspersed with entertainment. Today we have alternative viewing options and millions of Americans choose not to watch. Millions of Americans form their views on politics from chosen sound bites fed to them by a media, often with an agenda of their own.
A generation ago, may have been a more innocent time, a time when our lives were not so divided by alternatives of activity. Politics and parties may not have been a staple of dinner conversation in your home all the time but for two weeks every four years it was in the spotlight and the center of attention.
You watched and you learned. You learned about the character of candidates and the makings of your government. You learned about back room deals and bargains, you learned who were the power brokers behind the scenes and you; saw how the candidates earned their endorsement. You didn’t wait for filtered sound bites you heard the whole story and saw it unfold before your eyes.
Today our conventions are more about political marketing. Today conventions are more akin to an extended infomercial designed to sell a candidate. Gone are the smoke filled rooms and ushered in are the smoke and mirrors of marketing mavens. Stages are filled with the elaborate sets and the faces you expect to see in movies and on television.
As the conventions drone on you begin to wonder as you watch if they are a relic from another time or have they just changed function from candidate selection to candidate coronation. You wonder how many undecided voters are actually tuned in.
Then like the morning sun on the horizon there appears some memorable moment when you wish all of America could see and hear what you are seeing and feeling. Your faith in politics may be shaken but your faith in America and the American dream is just as strong today as it ever was.
For me that moment came last night while listening to the words of Marco Rubio. He spoke about the American dream and how special it is to be an American. He spoke about the promise of America and the importance of freedom and liberty. He told the story of American immigrants, of their dreams, of their sacrifices and their love of family.
Unlike our Governor Dan Malloy telling me about how we must all share in the sacrifice to contribute more taxes for bigger government. Marco Rubio spoke about his mother, father, and grandfather and how their sacrifice was for opportunity and freedom as an American. Much of their sacrifice was to escape the role government in their lives not to enlarge it.
Mr. Rubio spoke from the heart and as I listened I reflected on my parents, and grandparents and thought how much alike the sacrifice had been. I thought about the positive message of opportunity and freedom and the contrast of what I have been hearing about political attacks on wealth and success.
This Republican convention will have been time well spent if Americans are refocused on the ideals of America with freedom and opportunity. The doors of opportunity are opened not by punishing or plundering the success of others but by protecting and promoting the opportunities for all Americans.
If you missed the words of Marco Rubio here is a link: http://tiny.cc/v9uwjw