To the editor:
After two weeks listening to a wide range of impassioned convention speakers, I am struck with the similarities between a national political convention and a religious revival service.
Throughout the course of the convention, a parade of speakers, familiar and unfamiliar, offer testimony, preaching to the faithful, and reciting litanies, exaggerating the positive with misleading and often untrue claims of accomplishments of their political party.
The speakers also deride and exaggerate the faults and shortcomings of their chief political opponent.
Throughout the litanies recited at successive sessions of the convention, the cadence and volume of speakers’ remarks increase progressively. As the pitch and fervor reach higher levels, the faithful participants repeatedly erupt with cheers, screams and applause.
As an emotional speech comes to an explosive conclusion, particularly near the end of the convention, the TV cameras pan the massive audience of believers and capture tears welling up in the eyes of many overwhelmed faithful participants who desperately want to believe the positive and negative claims made by the charismatic speakers at the podium.
On the final day of the convention, ending with expressions of lavish adulation and worship of their faultless leader appearing on a raised platform, the convention comes to a flamboyant end.
As a final salute and blessing for the participants and their misleading speakers, a respected religious leader appears at the podium to offer a final benediction, calling upon God to bless the participants as they go forth to perform their mission, defeat their enemies, and achieve all the questionable claims of the past three days.
When the exhausted crowd disperses, reality slowly surfaces and a profound realization begins to dawn: A leading country of the world, having incurred a record-breaking 16 trillion dollar debt and suffering from a staggering 23 million people unemployed, needs to exchange the circus atmosphere of the convention for a far more serious, less exaggerated, realistic problem-solving process.
J. Ronald Fox