Organizers for the Republican National Convention are doing a disservice to the party. On the cusp of the one of the most dynamic political conventions ever held last week in Denver where the lights seemed brighter, the stage more spectacular, the music more rockin’, and the delegates more excited, the RNC has decided to go even more low key than usual. The venue is substantially smaller. The set up is more simple as the stage is a low-lying, ordinary black surface, backed by a 50 foot HD video wall. The music is nearly non-existent. And the delegates, well . . . let’s just say the floor whips have an ample supply of prune juice on hand in case of an emergency.
Therein lies my problem. As dynamic a party as the GOP is, it just doesn’t look like it at this year’s convention. If one were to make a judgement about who Republicans are based on those present in St. Paul, they would think we are a party of old cowboys, old bankers, old oilmen, and others that are just plain old. You would think that since we are nominating one of the oldest politicians in Washington as our choice for President, RNC organizers would have wanted to inject a little youth into the audience as a counterbalance. Nope.
The democratic party is the party of extremes. Their membership was either just wished Happy Birthday by Al Roker on Today or just had a birthday to give them the right to buy lottery tickets. Their membership either lives in a $2 million estate or cleans it for a living. Their membership either possesses a Ph.D from Harvard or a GED from Sylvan Learning Center.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party is much more diverse. We have members from all walks of life. We have the old and the young, but most of us are people in their prime. We have some rich and some poor, but mostly we are working Americans saving to send our children to college. We have some highly educated and some not so much, but mostly we are people who either have some college or a trade school and are working our way up to middle management. We are the party of temperance. Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right.
However, you wouldn’t know it looking at the RNC audience last night. Where were the young fire-breathing collegiate Republicans? Where were the pickup driving hard-hats and the flag waving good ole boys? Where were the former military personnel from THIS War on Terror? Where was 95% of the Republican Party?
I’ll tell you: We were at home cheering nearly non-stop and sometimes on our feet for a rousing speech from Fred Thompson, while watching those old farts in attendance sit on their hands and listen to one really annoying dude, who was lucky enough to be near a broadcast mic in the back of the hall yell, “YES” every two seconds.
I understand that the GOP values paying ones dues. Those who were selected as delegates paid theirs a long time ago. They waited for their turn, now we will have to wait for ours. I get it, but it doesn’t make it right. Sending the same old, unexcitable delegates year after year, while leaving those who canvass the neighborhoods, work phone banks, raise money, hang signs, and organize rallies, at home to watch on TV does NOTHING to help energize the base and grow the party . . . . which I thought was the whole point of a national convention.