The Democratic National Convention: What It Said About Republicans   While the Republicans in Cleveland looked like a high school production of the Salem witch trials, the Democrats gathering in Philadelphia a week later looked like a star-studded Broadway production. Oh, there was an off note or two. Vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine resembled a bubbly understudy that got onto the stage because one of the leads broke their leg. He overacted and underwhelmed, but showed all the signs of being a perfectly good boring vice president who can disappear for months on end and be dusted off for a funeral or ribbon cutting when needed. There might have been a lot of chaos behind the scenes, but the Democrats had an extremely well organized convention, amazingly well organized.   For the democratic faithful across the nation, it was going to a rock concert with all your favorite bands. They might be a little older, a little grayer, and an artificial hip here and there, but they could still hit the high notes. Even the lesser-known acts rose to the occasion. The only thing missing was a thousand Bic lighters being waved in the air, some kid yelling, “Play Free Bird,” and a couple hippy chicks on their boyfriends’ shoulders flashing the stage.  The latter is probably a good thing as nobody wants Bill Clinton having another heart attack.   About half the military brass was there. The crowd repeatedly chanted “USA, USA, USA.” There were speeches that mentioned God and Jesus. They had Gold Star mothers, real celebrities, and the speeches were amazing.  They brought on stage the first openly transsexual speaker, (sorry, Ann Coulter) to speak at a major political party’s convention (Sarah McBride) and no one even noticed, not even the police in North Carolina restrooms checking gender identification. Bill, Barack, Joe Biden, Chelsea, and too many speakers to mention did the impossible; they made Hillary look human and likeable. It was watching that moment in Frankenstein  where the doctor screams, “It’s alive. It’s alive,”.  Hillary Clinton sounded less like a mom reminding her children the importance of wearing clean underwear and more like someone having a good time.  Even the balloon drop went well.   Things went so well that conservative commentators were left grasping at straws to complain about.  There was some outrage expressed about gender neutral bathrooms at the convention, actor Bradley Cooper’s presence there, and Bill O’Reilly’s need to mention that the slaves that built the White House in Michelle Obama’s speech were “were well fed and had decent lodgings.”   Fox News’s Tucker Carlson got bent out shape about the presence of gender- neutral bathrooms, finding them “disgusting.” As troubling as it would be to sit in a stall next to Donna Brazile and ask her for a few squares of toilet paper, there was only one gender-neutral bathroom in the entire convention hall. It was right next to the media booth on talk radio row, so Mark Levine could feel at home.  Let me repeat, uno, less than two, one. Do you know what most women’s main concern about it was? I am not making this up: that it remain clean. In other words, men are pigs.  The only thing disgusting in that bathroom was Tucker Carlson dribbling on the floor. The dinosaurs did not die out because of gender-neutral bathrooms and neither will we.   Some conservatives had meltdowns over actor Bradley Cooper, who played Chris Kyle in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper.  They thought he was one of theirs! Sit down. How do I say this? Actors aren’t really the roles they play.  Seth Rogan is not an out of control pothead like in Pineapple Express. Okay, bad example. Mel Gibson is not a half-crazed Aussie road warrior. Another bad example. Acting is just pretending, like what Melania Trump has to do every time she sees “The Donald” in his boxers. Daniel Craig is not a martini-swigging secret agent with a license to kill. Daniel Radcliffe is not a boy wizard. Tom Hanks doesn’t sit on park benches eating boxes of chocolates.  Similarly, Bradley Cooper does not fly around the galaxy with a talking tree, nor does he run around Las Vegas trying to figure out where his friend is because he blacked out the previous evening or tote around a sniper rifle.  He is from Philadelphia, has given money to Hillary Clinton, and been invited to the Obama White House for a state dinner. Republicans, you got Scott Baio. What more could you want?   Finally, some conservatives took umbrage over Michelle Obama’s remark that slave labor helped build the capital and the White House. It was an uplifting comment about how far we have come as a society. In the house once built by slaves, her children now play on the lawn. In case you did not know it, the Obamas are black. A group of people that were not considered fully human because of the color of their skin are now able to have the same dreams that any other American can have. It is a red, white and blue antidote.  Who could possibly find fault with that? Bill O’Reilly, who has “written” several heavily haunted books on American history, wanted his viewers to know that the slaves, among others, who built the capital and White House were “well fed and had decent lodging.” If O”Reilly wants to be an apologist for slavery, he could at least get his history right. First Lady Abigail Adams, who was there, noted that the slaves “were half-fed, and destitute of cloathing.” There was no upside in being owned by someone else. Gone With The Wind was just a movie, there were no happy slaves who loved picking cotton and knew nothing about giving birth to no babies, and O’Reilly is an idiot.   There it would have ended. The Democratic Convention would have come and gone, forgotten in a few months, except for the gift of stupidity that keeps on giving named Donald J. Trump.  Donald doesn’t need the “liberal media” to misrepresent what he says and tweets. He does a great job all on his own. He was so angry that he wanted to “hit” a few of the speakers at the DNC for what they said about him. He is a 70-year-old who doesn’t exercise, attended an elite prep school, lives in a Manhattan penthouse that looks like a French prostitute threw up, and has tiny, little fists.  This is not a recipe for a tough guy. In a fight between a six-year-old little girl and The Donald, I would double down on the six-year-old. Donald Trump is a guy who eats his fried chicken with a knife and fork (not making this up) and sits on golden chairs. The only thing tough about Trump are his steaks.   One of the people Trump wanted to punch was Khizr Khan, the father of Humayun Khan who was killed in Iraq in 2004, a soldier who heroically died for his country. You don’t verbally attack grieving parents of a war hero. It is getting in a fistfight with a kid in a wheelchair. He might be a tough kid, but even if you win, you lose. Khan, a little unpolished in the ways of public speaking, with his wife beside him, delivered the most powerful speech of the convention as he spoke of the last ten steps his son took as he advanced on a suicide bomber. He said, “Maybe that’s the point where all the values, all the service to country, all the things he learned in this country kicked in. It was those values that made him take those 10 steps. Those 10 steps told us we did not make [a] mistake in moving to this country. These were the values we wanted to adopt. Not religious values, human values.” Mr. Kahn went on to say that Donald Trump has “sacrificed nothing, and no one”, needed to read the constitution, and visit Arlington National Cemetery. Even I, who have no emotions or feelings, (being Norwegian and all), got a tear in my eye.   Instead Donald Trump asked where are the gasoline and matches. He implied that Mrs. Kahn did not speak because “maybe she was not allowed to,” enter racist Muslim stereotype here, instead of bothering to learn that pictures of her dead son make her weep and she did not want to break down in front of the millions of people watching.  He went on to imply that Kahn, a lawyer, could not have possibly written his own speech, enter another Muslim stereotype here, and that he, the Donald, had made all kinds of sacrifices - like building a business, working hard, hiring people, and sleeping with women that rank a solid 9 in the looks category. Okay, I added the last one, but you know he was thinking it. Those aren’t sacrifices! Compare that to losing a child for your adopted nation.   This was not about radical Islam or political correctness. It was about being a jackass to grieving parents. I truly believed we would never have a presidential candidate who could conduct himself in such a manner. I also thought Republicans loved our military. I hope the voters remember Humayun Khan’s last ten steps as they walk into the voters’ booth this November.   
The Democratic National Convention: What It Said About Republicans   While the Republicans in Cleveland looked like a high school production of the Salem witch trials, the Democrats gathering in Philadelphia a week later looked like a star- studded Broadway production. Oh, there was an off note or two. Vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine resembled a bubbly understudy that got onto the stage because one of the leads broke their leg. He overacted and underwhelmed, but showed all the signs of being a perfectly good boring vice president who can disappear for months on end and be dusted off for a funeral or ribbon cutting when needed. There might have been a lot of chaos behind the scenes, but the Democrats had an extremely well organized convention, amazingly well organized.   For the democratic faithful across the nation, it was going to a rock concert with all your favorite bands. They might be a little older, a little grayer, and an artificial hip here and there, but they could still hit the high notes. Even the lesser-known acts rose to the occasion. The only thing missing was a thousand Bic lighters being waved in the air, some kid yelling, “Play Free Bird,” and a couple hippy chicks on their boyfriends’ shoulders flashing the stage.  The latter is probably a good thing as nobody wants Bill Clinton having another heart attack.   About half the military brass was there. The crowd repeatedly chanted “USA, USA, USA.” There were speeches that mentioned God and Jesus. They had Gold Star mothers, real celebrities, and the speeches were amazing.  They brought on stage the first openly transsexual speaker, (sorry, Ann Coulter) to speak at a major political party’s convention (Sarah McBride) and no one even noticed, not even the police in North Carolina restrooms checking gender identification. Bill, Barack, Joe Biden, Chelsea, and too many speakers to mention did the impossible; they made Hillary look human and likeable. It was watching that moment in Frankenstein where the doctor screams, “It’s alive. It’s alive,”.  Hillary Clinton sounded less like a mom reminding her children the importance of wearing clean underwear and more like someone having a good time.  Even the balloon drop went well.   Things went so well that conservative commentators were left grasping at straws to complain about.  There was some outrage expressed about gender neutral bathrooms at the convention, actor Bradley Cooper’s presence there, and Bill O’Reilly’s need to mention that the slaves that built the White House in Michelle Obama’s speech were “were well fed and had decent lodgings.”   Fox News’s Tucker Carlson got bent out shape about the presence of gender-neutral bathrooms, finding them “disgusting.” As troubling as it would be to sit in a stall next to Donna Brazile and ask her for a few squares of toilet paper, there was only one gender- neutral bathroom in the entire convention hall. It was right next to the media booth on talk radio row, so Mark Levine could feel at home.  Let me repeat, uno, less than two, one. Do you know what most women’s main concern about it was? I am not making this up: that it remain clean. In other words, men are pigs.  The only thing disgusting in that bathroom was Tucker Carlson dribbling on the floor. The dinosaurs did not die out because of gender-neutral bathrooms and neither will we.   Some conservatives had meltdowns over actor Bradley Cooper, who played Chris Kyle in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper.  They thought he was one of theirs! Sit down. How do I say this? Actors aren’t really the roles they play.  Seth Rogan is not an out of control pothead like in Pineapple Express. Okay, bad example. Mel Gibson is not a half-crazed Aussie road warrior. Another bad example. Acting is just pretending, like what Melania Trump has to do every time she sees “The Donald” in his boxers. Daniel Craig is not a martini-swigging secret agent with a license to kill. Daniel Radcliffe is not a boy wizard. Tom Hanks doesn’t sit on park benches eating boxes of chocolates.  Similarly, Bradley Cooper does not fly around the galaxy with a talking tree, nor does he run around Las Vegas trying to figure out where his friend is because he blacked out the previous evening or tote around a sniper rifle.  He is from Philadelphia, has given money to Hillary Clinton, and been invited to the Obama White House for a state dinner. Republicans, you got Scott Baio. What more could you want?   Finally, some conservatives took umbrage over Michelle Obama’s remark that slave labor helped build the capital and the White House. It was an uplifting comment about how far we have come as a society. In the house once built by slaves, her children now play on the lawn. In case you did not know it, the Obamas are black. A group of people that were not considered fully human because of the color of their skin are now able to have the same dreams that any other American can have. It is a red, white and blue antidote.  Who could possibly find fault with that? Bill O’Reilly, who has “written” several heavily haunted books on American history, wanted his viewers to know that the slaves, among others, who built the capital and White House were “well fed and had decent lodging.” If O”Reilly wants to be an apologist for slavery, he could at least get his history right. First Lady Abigail Adams, who was there, noted that the slaves “were half-fed, and destitute of cloathing.” There was no upside in being owned by someone else. Gone With The Wind was just a movie, there were no happy slaves who loved picking cotton and knew nothing about giving birth to no babies, and O’Reilly is an idiot.   There it would have ended. The Democratic Convention would have come and gone, forgotten in a few months, except for the gift of stupidity that keeps on giving named Donald J. Trump.  Donald doesn’t need the “liberal media” to misrepresent what he says and tweets. He does a great job all on his own. He was so angry that he wanted to “hit” a few of the speakers at the DNC for what they said about him. He is a 70-year-old who doesn’t exercise, attended an elite prep school, lives in a Manhattan penthouse that looks like a French prostitute threw up, and has tiny, little fists.  This is not a recipe for a tough guy. In a fight between a six-year-old little girl and The Donald, I would double down on the six-year- old. Donald Trump is a guy who eats his fried chicken with a knife and fork (not making this up) and sits on golden chairs. The only thing tough about Trump are his steaks.   One of the people Trump wanted to punch was Khizr Khan, the father of Humayun Khan who was killed in Iraq in 2004, a soldier who heroically died for his country. You don’t verbally attack grieving parents of a war hero. It is getting in a fistfight with a kid in a wheelchair. He might be a tough kid, but even if you win, you lose. Khan, a little unpolished in the ways of public speaking, with his wife beside him, delivered the most powerful speech of the convention as he spoke of the last ten steps his son took as he advanced on a suicide bomber. He said, “Maybe that’s the point where all the values, all the service to country, all the things he learned in this country kicked in. It was those values that made him take those 10 steps. Those 10 steps told us we did not make [a] mistake in moving to this country. These were the values we wanted to adopt. Not religious values, human values.” Mr. Kahn went on to say that Donald Trump has “sacrificed nothing, and no one”, needed to read the constitution, and visit Arlington National Cemetery. Even I, who have no emotions or feelings, (being Norwegian and all), got a tear in my eye.   Instead Donald Trump asked where are the gasoline and matches. He implied that Mrs. Kahn did not speak because “maybe she was not allowed to,” enter racist Muslim stereotype here, instead of bothering to learn that pictures of her dead son make her weep and she did not want to break down in front of the millions of people watching.  He went on to imply that Kahn, a lawyer, could not have possibly written his own speech, enter another Muslim stereotype here, and that he, the Donald, had made all kinds of sacrifices - like building a business, working hard, hiring people, and sleeping with women that rank a solid 9 in the looks category. Okay, I added the last one, but you know he was thinking it. Those aren’t sacrifices! Compare that to losing a child for your adopted nation.   This was not about radical Islam or political correctness. It was about being a jackass to grieving parents. I truly believed we would never have a presidential candidate who could conduct himself in such a manner. I also thought Republicans loved our military. I hope the voters remember Humayun Khan’s last ten steps as they walk into the voters’ booth this November.