This next week we will see the Grand Old Party, Republican Party begin the Convention season in Cleveland, Ohio. The Republican National Convention (RNC) has descended on Cleveland, and it will be a rocking, raucous performance of patriotism and most important a celebration of the party’s political platform and presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. This last year’s presidential election and primary and caucus season was like no other. Sure, there was the usual suspects and at one time almost two dozen candidates; however, when Trump threw his name into the ring many wondered if this was real and others nodded in support of his campaign. We witnessed the political dynasties rise and fall. The so-called Republican establishment did not perform well. Recall, Jeb Bush at an event asking the attendees, “Please clap.” This was not a shining moment for the Bush dynasty.
Tea Party darlings did not make as much progress as some suspected. If anything, this election was about forecasting and humility. I know that I have said repeatedly that I need a hat made into chocolate so that I could eat it. I suspected that Bush, Rubio or Kasich would make it further, and they did not. It’s clear that this was the anti-political establishment election. And, couple this with the #summerofviolence, #blacklivesmatter, and countless other hashtags on social media channels. It is clear that there is lots of political and social unrest in the United States.
What will we see at the RNC? We will see lots of red, white, and blue. Multiple references and endorsements to the party’s platform, references to the sanctity of the nuclear family, endorsement of Trump, references to the Judeo-Christian God, and the repeated taking down of the Democrats and their presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton. The speakers will go out of their way to explain how they are different than the other party.
The RNC is a moment of promises, wishful thinking, and a look back at the way things used to be and how we can return to this time with a Republican president in the White House. Make no mistake, both conventions will be political performances rife with platitudes, and condemnations of the other party. Make sure that you look at the websites for each conventions, as it’s interesting to see how the conventions are laid out and the array of services for the attendees. Grab a bag of popcorn, a notepad and pencil or your smart phone. There will be lots of sound bites and media ready quotes from the array of speakers.
Here we are a few days post BC Election and I am suffering from an election hangover. This is pretty normal for a political junkie or in my case, a political scientist, who enjoys following elections. Now, I have no issue sharing that the election results were not surprising. I suspected that we’d see the economy and business as usual providing the impetus for votes. I anticipated strategic, economic voting and suspected we’d see another BC Liberals majority government. This is not endorsing the results.
Let me be clear: I am not happy with the results. Nope. And, for the love of my friend’s dog, please don’t make that giant leap of logic that this is hate speech. (Oh, yes, my person under the bridge loves to give me so much attention–er–get a life). What can we do during these next four years? Wake up. Wake the hell up. This is also making me think about that I might actually need to work on the GOTV campaign, too. I talk about the importance of voting and I do vote federally in the US, but maybe I need to seriously entertain doing more on the island.
It took more than a few days for the Occupy Wall Street or #OWS #OccupyWallStreet movement to make the mainstream press, but it looks like they are finally covering it. However, this coverage varies from making the protesters look like a bunch of middle class saps who have nothing better to do than take over a bridge or sit and complain. But, this would offer a very shallow assessment of what is really taking place.
My favorite laments about the movement is that it’s disorganized and unfocused. To this I think, where do we begin? There is so much to fix and therefore lots to protest about in this latest iteration of social movement protest. Who said that the people involved must have one message or one focal point? Isn’t it enough to say: wake up. We are not happy. We need to fix things! This fix is definitely going to be more thank taking Wall street, it will need to touch every street, circle, drive, crescent and more.
The mainstream or more conservative leaning mainstream press is painting the protest as a bunch of lazy, malcontents who are complaining, but this always happens. We can think of other protests and the ways in which those in power would attempt to discredit the people walking, boycotting, or involved in the movement. It wasn’t too long ago that the news covered the Battle in Seattle and merely focused on the so-called Anarchists. Remember that?
So, when the #OWS movement hits your town, what will you do? I applaud that people are reacting and thinking. And, I also hope that these same people and more will cast their vote in the next election. That’s right–I’m bringing the unconventional political action back to the conventional political action. Don’t forget to vote. Primaries and caucuses are around the corner in the US and then the general election in November 2012.