I believe Kenton Ngo, who served as a page at the DNC, is all of 17. But his writeup of the convention contains the perceptions and wisdom of someone much older.
It was choreographed down to the line, which signs went up when. On the first three nights, a succession of signs followed a succession of speakers, all pieces of the pomp and circumstance that had taken over the modern political convention. “Securing America’s Future” and other slogans were plastered over thousands of signs, all the same Democratic blue, set in the ubiquitous Obama sans-serif font (Gotham, if you’re curious). To say message discipline was tight would be an understatement–message discipline was handled with as iron a fist as one could have in the Democratic Party. Clad in yellow, floor whips snaked through the aisles handing out messages which were to be broadcast en masse in tonight’s television and tomorrow’s photos.
Obviously it had been long since party convention served prominent business. Motions and roll calls, the parliamentary grease that keeps a convention moving, were merely pro forma, and even then, the presidential roll call vote became a show as Hillary Clinton moved that Obama be nominated by acclamation.
For anyone that’s been to Disneyland, the parallel between the modern political convention and Walt Disney’s land of enchantment become clear–except that everyone inside the Pepsi Center or Invesco Field served as a cast member, and you the voter served as the enchanted visitor.
Kenton captured it exactly, calling it a “four day infomercial.” Like Kenton, my view, too, of politics has changed, although he seems to have reconciled the happenings of Denver differently than I.
More and more I am convinced in the veracity of the subtitle of this blog. More and more I am convinced that what passes for politics on the national level is far from being what should be happening.