The Powerful Message Of The Democratic Convention

Aug 23, 2020


  Commentary: The Democratic “Convention” talked policy, but stressed character, competence, openness, and grace. And highlighted real people with real feelings for the candidate, from the New York elevator operator who’d spontaneously said, “I love you!” to the New Hamshire boy who stutters as Joe did, whom Biden encouraged.

Capped by a Joe Biden speech even Karl Rove praised on Fox, the well-produced event taught us who Biden and his wife are. Character counts, and whatever Republicans do next week, they can’t copy this with Trump’s life and character.

Biden’s father was a workingman, a loving father with character and principles. Dad losing his job was a defining moment in Joe’s childhood.

Trump’s father was a very successful and unscrupulous businessman, and a demanding father. You can call Mary Trump disgruntled, believing Donald and his siblings ripped off her father’s share of her grandfather’s wealth; but all accounts portray a cutthroat family dominated by a cutthroat Father.

Biden quit a high-paying law job to be a public defender. When he ran for the U.S. Senate, Republican Caleb Boggs was so entrenched that no top Democrats sought the nomination. Joe took it and won, narrowly. Before he was sworn in, his wife and daughter died in a car crash. His sons survived. Friends talked him out of resigning from the Senate to care for the boys; but he was home for supper every night, in Wilmington, working on the commuter trains to D.C. and back.

Trump ran a half-dozen businesses into bankruptcy. His life is littered with lawsuits by suppliers, contractors, and investors. He was saved by a crafty ghostwriter whose book in Trump’s name attracted a TV producer.

Widower Joe met a lovely, smart, and strong-willed young woman, Jill, who married him and made them a family again. Dr. Jill Biden, who taught school through eight years as Second Lady – and who reacted to a rough spot in life by running marathons.

Trump’s three marriages and other sexual arrangements resemble a bad soap opera. His first wife alleged rape. He got his second wife pregnant while still married to the first. I defy anyone to claim s/he’s seen Trump and Melania share a moment of spontaneous love or humor.

I think it matters who you are inside.

It’s no sin to make money; but competence, good judgment, and caring for your workers are consistent with making a fortune. Having the self-confidence to listen openly to others is not weakness. Had Trump listened, our nation might not have suffered the world’s most unnecessary COVID-19 infections and deaths. He tries to cover inadequacy with boasts and bullying. He asserts that he knows best, and when facts show otherwise, he denies the facts and calls people names.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan Senate Select Committee (Republican-controlled) has finally reported that Trump’s campaign manager was sharing confidential information with the Russians; and his former top advisor Steve Bannon has been indicted for bilking investors in a (purported) non-profit “build a border-wall” scheme from which Bannon and others were secretly profiting. Trump didn’t deny their initial statements that it had his blessing, but now he says he didn’t know about it – and was against it.

Trump also encourages Q-Anon, people who actually believe that Democratic leaders like Biden and Harris are devil-worshiping pederasts (and cannibals) from whom Trump will save us. And after the 2017 Charlottesville white-supremacist rally and attack, Trump spoke of “very fine people on both sides.”