If Republicans gambled their souls that they’d be able to control Donald Trump and lost, forfeiting everything they once valued, Democrats seem committed to beating them by doubling down on who we are and what we represent.
That’s a bet I’ll take.
Because if we’re gonna lose, let’s lose wagering on our best selves.
If the United States of America is really going to deal itself four more years of tinpot demagoguery, conspiracy craziness and whoops-somebody-broke-it incompetence — don’t kid yourself, Donald Trump is still president and presidents usually get re-elected — Democrats can comfort ourselves that, at least on the first night of their 2020 national convention, we bet on who we are.
In a display of messy inclusiveness, the typically marginal and dispossessed were shoved front and center. Those who still, despite everything done to them, insist on believing that America becomes great, not because of a slogan sewn on a hat in China, but by doing great things.
Yes, being Democrats, we stumbled out of the blocks Monday night.
“Eva Longoria?” I thought, settling before the TV. “Why am I seeing a ‘Desperate Housewife’?” For a terrible moment, I thought we had stolen a page from the Republican playbook, and she would Vanna White us through two hours of politics as reality television.
But Longoria radiated dignified conviction, or at least a good imitation, and soon the screen was broken into a Brady Brunch grid of pledging, singing faces, then cut to a prayer to Jesus — which I suppose we can let pass. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
This festival of inclusion seems a pre-emptive counterbalance to next week’s Republican “It’s a Small, Small (White) World.” It’ll be interesting to see, as the convention unfolds, if this is indeed a tone-setter, or a one-off, something gotten out of the way. Whether the message continues, or is the convention version of the old schedule-the-public-policy-program-at-5-a.m. Sunday gambit.
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