Party conventions are always full of rabid excitement for the election, enthusiasm for their candidates, and a whole lot of red, white, and blue everything. From bunting to balloon drops, usually, technical malfunctions and wardrobe choices are the most bizarre occurrences at conventions.
But, it’s 2020 and everything about this year is unconventional.
Instead of watching in-person gatherings of thousands, we have two virtual conferences with speeches either live or pre-recorded in the speakers’ homes and offices.
With two days of the Democratic National Convention down and two more to go, we have already seen some head-scratching moments.
Take a look at these four bizarre things from the Democratic National Convention so far:
- Elizabeth Warren is a speaker on a Native American panel.
Tuesday’s Native American Caucus meeting had a surprising headliner: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The honor of a powerful seated senator should be welcomed. Except, this was a controversial speaker choice. Warren’s Native American claim is negligible based on a DNA ancestry test she took and released to the public. This was after she claimed minority status to gain access to programs and opportunities throughout her career. Some Native American community members condemned her and she had to apologize to the Native American community for the harm she caused. Given this backstory, the caucus was mercilessly trolled yesterday for putting her up to speak and eventually disabled online commenting, but not before one user tweeted: “Stay tuned for the DNC Black Caucus meeting featuring Rachel Dolezal.”
- AOC nominated Bernie Sanders for president but shaded Joe Biden.
After an impassioned plea for a far-left, union-driven agenda, AOC ended her 60-second speech with “I hereby second the nomination for Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont for President of the United States of America.” She claimed it was just a procedural exercise, but she never once even mentioned Joe Biden in her speech. AOC’s shade eclipsed Joe Biden’s sun.
- Calamari Man
During the roll call vote, when a delegate from each state announced the state’s votes, Rhode Island’s Democratic Party Chairman Joseph McNamara dubbed his home “the calamari comeback state.” Standing beside him to illustrate the analogy was the executive chef a local boardwalk seafood restaurant decked out in black. He held out a massive plate of tasty-looking calamari and was quickly dubbed Calamari Man as the image went viral on social media.
- Zoom clapping
Move over applause buttons, there’s a new sound effect tool in town. After Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke, a full screen of people clapping popped up. As CNN’s Chris Cillizza observed, “I get the desire to have some sort of reaction to great music or political speeches. And how weird it is when a politician gives a rousing speech and dead silence follows. But you know what’s worse? Weird post-performance clapping via Zoom like we saw on Monday night.”
Jokes aside, the convention so far has showcased an orchestra of voices from the far left to the right all singing the song that President Trump is unfit to be president.
However, they never put forward a positive agenda for America under the leadership of Joe Biden. How would he get the economy going again following the coronavirus shutdowns? What policies do they propose to get workers back to work and expand jobs? Will they raise taxes? Would they eliminate private insurance for every American?
We do have some clues. The left, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, support the PRO Act which would destroy employment opportunities for tens of millions of independent contractors nationwide (as AB 5 has done in California). Biden plans to repeal some of the 2017 tax cuts and raise individual and corporate tax rates which would reduce GDP over the log-run. Vice presidential candidate Harris would support the elimination of private healthcare in favor of Medicare-for-All. They both want to limit or end fracking and impose the Green New Deal which would eliminate jobs and saddle future generations with a $90+ trillion price tag.
Over the next two days, we will likely hear more criticism of Trump with no substantive policy proposals that Americans can consider and compare with what the Trump Administration has accomplished.
We will continue to watch the convention and listen for policy but we’ll look out for the weird things too.