Rethinking Political Conventions + RNC Observations

August reflections on political conventions and the start of the RNC.

Tom Brokaw asked a good question this week: Why are we holding these conventions if we already know the outcome?

Here is his op-ed

Could we use interactive technology so that citizens in small towns and large cities throughout the U.S. and Americans abroad, including members of the military, could learn about current challenges and discuss important issues simultaneously. Then everyone could come together to watch the Presidential acceptance speeches. I will get back to this subject next week in two weeks - after I return from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.   

I have started watching the RNC. I now watch the conventions on C-SPAN because I find it to be more authentic - with less bias. I also enjoy seeing what is happening without the interruption of talking heads. But I also confess that I like to watch congressional hearings on C-SPAN.  

Additionally, I also listen to NPR programs from the convention. Larry Mantle's program on KPCC has been particularly good.

Favorite moments from the RNC so far:

Mia Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, UT, gave a great speech. She is a candidate for Congress from Utah. Good delivery.

Ann Romney spoke quite passionately from the heart. She is so supportive of her husband. She was gracious and reached out to women. Her sons watched with great pride as she spoke.

It was really interesting to see Condoleezza Rice in a new role - making a political speech rather than a policy statement. It was refreshing that she used her own notes - rather than the teleprompter. She's probably a great professor - amazing intellect and so articulate. As an educator, it was a bit disconcerting to hear her discuss a new subject for her: K-12 education. I totally agree with her that the civil rights issue of our day is the education of poor children. As a career educator, spending the past 15 years successfully turning around the lowest performing schools in CA, I would suggest a different set of solutions.

Finally, I found it a bid odd and awkward that Paul Ryan's wife introduced him via video - rather than in person. Interesting to listen to Congressman Ryan. Pretty sure that I might need to check some of his facts.     

I am ever hopeful that there will be issues discussed on which the Republicans and Democrats will have common understanding. So far - I am pleased that Republicans have women and people of color in the party leadership - including Mia Love, whose family was from Haiti and the bilingual Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico, who grew up in a border town in New Mexico. The delegates do not appear to be as diverse. I have concerns about the new Republican party platform on women's health issues. And I agree that the American public education system must be a priority and the quality of education for all students must be addressed.

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