Election 2020: Reality Check

As we watched the first evening of the virtual Democratic Convention we were treated to a reality check(s) of sorts: the reality that we are in “this” together.

The inferred question is troubling: are we really in this together?

A valid question given that the better part of the virtual Dem Party fest was given over to convincing us that WE ARE in “this” together. “This” being the pandemic, small business survival, racial ‘reckoning’ and Trump, Trump, Trump.

Past Democratic Conventions have reserved the first night for solidarity building, launching the message that we are not divided, that the Democratic Party is the “big tent.” And the yawns are palpable. A virtual convention didn’t make the first night convention fare any more compelling, which is inopportune but plausible: how do you virtual package a three hour balloon spiked TV gab fest?

Former First Lady Michelle Obama held the “virtual cat bird seat,” scheduled to appear last following Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sanders retreated from past rhetoric to plead that if we even want to discuss a progressive agenda, we must first rout the Republicans at the polls and this means voting for Biden-Harris. Sanders whose legacy could be summed up as “America is not ready for progressives yet,” sounded less like the chiding college professor and more like the Senate champion of thinking out of the box, which also could be his legacy. Reality check 1.

Lady Michelle who has admitted she does not like “politics” all that much did not retreat from her 2016 mantra “when they go low, we go high.” Indeed, in a “let’s show them” moment, the First Lady stated “there is no (other way) but to go high.” Reality check 2.

Lady Obama who may not “like politics” gave the best political advice of the night: lack of drive, underachieving and underperforming — the stuff of quitting and quitters — won’t win the 2020 election and the “soul of America.”

Graciously with penetrating eyes, Lady Michelle firmly summed up Trump’s first four years and following her husband’s formula, didn’t mention Trump by name. Her message is America has survived 4 years without a President. America doesn’t need 4 more years of “non-existent” leadership. Truancy. Corruption. Criminality.

For a “high bar,” it’s a pretty low one, if your gaze stops at voting. Reality check 3.

Lady Michelle deftly put her 2016 mantra to death with a nice dose of common sense: when one gazes on, “seizes the high bar, “ the high bar doesn’t go away. We own the goal of clearing it.

That’s Lady Michelle’s virtual convention takeaway. Reality check 4.

August 18, 2020

Writer, essayist, dreamer.