• arohi bhattacharya

The 2020 Democratic vs Republican National Conventions

The political campaigns for current president Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden are both inevitably controversial. Between aggressive comments towards both campaigns to the fluctuating American economy, the United States presidential election cannot come any sooner. However, after the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, American voters can see the race getting closer and the gap between the candidates getting smaller -- why?

Let’s start with the basic elements of the presidential campaigns that we have now; according to a New York Times article, the attendance for the week of the DNC was approximately 20 million viewers, about 15% down from last year’s. Yet, the RNC viewers’ presence only hit about 17 million viewers. However, neither of these things is truly concerning -- the general trend with this discussion is on a decreasing slope. While many say this is because of the incoming ‘Generation Z’ appearance in politics these days, I disagree. The confidence and persistence of Gen Z are widely influential and historical, something that truly hasn’t been seen before. The introduction of social media platforms to spread activism awareness, express opinions on controversial topics and share helpful information through posts/stories.

Moving onwards, the first night for both campaigns could not have been more different from each other. The Democratic National Convention began on August 17th this year with an organized schedule of subjects and speakers, ending with former first lady Michelle Obama. Each delegated speaker made riveting speeches, no matter whether it was a shot at Trump or a push for Biden. However, the Republican National Convention’s first night was more chaotic. After the Trump administration told reports that “there will be no schedule, we will simply back up President Trump’s views”, they began and ended the night with misinformation and propaganda with praises to Trump’s handling of the economy, coronavirus pandemic, and racial divisions in the country.

The second night of conventions helped gain traction for the parties. The Republican campaign announced that they will proceed with a plan of speakers and debate topics. While some of the speakers for that Tuesday included secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Trump’s third son Eric Trump, first lady Melania Trump delivered a slightly unexpected speech with a lighter approach to the political wellbeing of the country, as an attempt to widen her husband’s appeal to women and minorities. The Democrats, however, elaborated on the racial injustice epidemic along with the lack of coronavirus vaccine efforts from the government with speakers such as Biden’s wife Jill Biden and former president Bill Clinton vouching for Biden’s campaign, saying “I know that if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours -- bring us together and make us whole. Carry us forward in our time of need. Keep the promise of America for all of us.”

The third night began with both parties’ vice-presidential nomination acceptance speeches. Kamala Harris’, a now historical figure as the first Black and South Asian (Indian) woman to be nominated in a major political party, directed her speech at other black and minority communities through her childhood, as well as her overlap with Biden’s. Current vice president Mike Pence, attacked a probable future with Biden, threatening “you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.” Other speakers for both campaigns included former secretary of state and Democrat Hillary Clinton, and current White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

The last and ending night of the Democratic National Convention reiterated the points the Biden campaign made throughout the week, with Biden formally accepting the Presidential nomination. Biden declared the election a “battle for the soul of the nation” in his final statement(s). The closing show of fireworks outside the Chase Center while Biden and Harris celebrated their journey ahead was compared to Trump’s 75-minute acceptance speech before a whirlwind of more fireworks and a large band, playing to the many supporters on the White House lawn watching without social distancing or wearing masks.

So what effect does this have on us? Why should we care that a bunch of famous people spoke at a conference, prompting us to vote for their respective candidates? The Republican and Democratic National Conventions allow our moral judgment to determining the best-fit candidate to lead us in our wars, our fights, our victories, and our relationships. Politics is an inevitable factor in our daily decision making and the role we play in our communities, and because it’s becoming increasingly applicable to our scenarios in our lives, we must provide a community in our government that not only benefits us but benefits the United States.