I dag afholdt demokraterne deres onlinekonvent med prominente talere som Bernie Sanders og Michelle Obama. Men det var en ganske almindelig ung kvindes oplevelse, der gjorde størst indtryk på mig.
Elections in the United States. Democratic Convention – We the People
Today, Democrats held their online convention with prominent speakers such as Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama. But it was a quite ordinary young woman’s experience that made the biggest impression on me.
On his run this afternoon, my husband met 2 of our neighbors. She is a Democrat, he voted in the last election for Trump. We have visited each other privately several times and the talk always falls on politics at some point. The neighbor mentioned that the election in New Zealand has been postponed and suggested that we should do the same in the United States. His wife rolled her eyes and protested loudly. When my husband told me about the conversation, I suggested we invite her to watch the opening of the Democrats’ covenant together later in the afternoon.
In the best American goodfeel good ´ style, Hollywood actors and technicians had been invited to give the convention, which is being held online, some celebrity and a professional expression. Our all together America’s House Wife , Eva Longoria , was the host. Children of every conceivable color sang the national anthem and small screenshots showed them reciting the Americans ´ pledge of allegiance .´ I got chills and a lump in my throat. However, it quickly disappeared, as there was to be a common prayer afterwards. That is where my Danish-American heart stands anyway.
There was gentle music, sweeping images of Americans reaching out and embracing each other with warmth and love – or giving elbow bumps with bandages on. Again and again it was emphasized that the situation the country is in is about saving American democracy and about standing together as one nation – despite the differences of opinion that may separate the country. As a former presidential candidate, the state senator from the state of Minnesota , Amy Klobuchar said first in Latin and then in English, when she described the unity she and the other speakers of the evening advocated: “out of many we are one.”
There were a number of prominent speakers on the first day of the convention, including the Governor of New York, Democrat Andrew Quomo , who is popular in the United States for his handling of the Corona crisis. Quomo spoke about Trump’s handling of the pandemic and said, among other things. “The division of us as a people,” Trump said. And he only made it worse. ” On the whole , the theme of the evening was that Americans are vulnerable when they are a divided people, and that it matters who one chooses to lead a country. According to Quomo, leadership determines whether we “grow as a nation or whether we die.”
Nero sat rolling his thumbs while Rome burned – Trump plays golf
Other prominent speakers include the independent governor of the state of Vermont, Bernie Sanders. He gave his usual socialist-inspired speech with the intonation we know so well. But he said a phrase that would resonate: “Nero sat and rolled his thumbs while Rome burned, Trump plays golf” with a completely hidden allusion to the situation the US economy is in, Trump’s handling of the Corona crisis, where more than 170,000 Americans have lost their lives and 5 million. has been found infected and the environmental crisis that the country currently has no power to talk about or do anything about.
And then something special happened. An entire panel of prominent Republicans, from senior businessmen to a former presidential candidate, former Ohio State Gov. John Kasich , told the Americans, while his speech was very pedagogically recorded at a crossroads in the countryside, that they figuratively stood at a crossroads. That he himself is proud to be a Republican, proud to have belonged to Lincoln’s party for a lifetime. But that “this election is bigger than political parties.”
Last speaker on tonight’s program was Michelle Obama. Her speech was threefold. She appealed to American history, pointing out that we want a better world going forward than the one we took over. To advance her point, she mentioned the children of America, saying that they are currently asking themselves the question of whether the adults have lied to them. Because when the adults tell them to learn to show empathy, they also see that people in powerful positions do not themselves show the empathy they so want to teach the children.
Michelle Obama is known for the quote “when they go low, we go high.” The quote comes from the Democrats’ congress before the last presidential election in 2016 4 years ago. In tonight’s speech, she asked the question: “Is it still a strategy that works?” And he replied, “It’s the only thing that works.” She then spent the rest of her speaking time emphasizing the importance of voting.
But it is not Michelle Obama’s speech that made the biggest impression on me. Nor was George Floyd’s family talking about equality for all. And it was rather to hear how the whole corps of people who represented different functions in the health care system daily fight for people’s lives in the country’s hospitals – even though they were all powerful elements.
No, what made the biggest impression was the young woman who told on screen about her 65-year-old father. The family is from Arizona and when the restrictions imposed by the Corona pandemic were lifted and the family was no longer to be quarantined, the father relied on Trump’s words that the virus was under control. Therefore, he went to a bar where he could sing karaoke. Two weeks later he was in a coma in a hospital and shortly after he died alone in a hospital bed. His daughter had to say goodbye to her father via her cell phone. The daughter was clearly affected. And very angry. According to her, his father’s only existing immune weakening was that he trusted Trump.
The message of standing together as a people was repeated again and again. The importance of getting your postal vote off as quickly as possible was also in focus. Several speakers made it clear that democracy is threatened in general and that the postal service is specifically part of the strategy of not letting people’s postal votes count in elections.
It will be exciting to see how Republicans approach their online congress. Which topics they may choose to focus on, and which mood they would like to evoke. The Republican convention runs off the stack next Monday. And who knows, maybe I’m inviting my Trump – voting neighbor home to my living room so we can watch the show together.