When I was a teen-ager I someimes sat with my parents watching portions of the political conventions on our 10″ black and white RCA TV. Most of the time, I didn’t understand all of the issues nor some of the planks in the platforms of one party or the other; but I aways respected the speakers. Granted, in those days, the speakers were all white men who used correct grammar and dressed in suits and ties. Perhps I secretly longed for the day when one speaker would be a woman. Nevertheless, no matter which party each speaker represented, nor which side of an issue (depending on the convention) each took, sitting cross-legged on the living room rug, I respected what each had to say. My parents, too, who voted Democratic all of their lives, listened attentively to the words issuing from the screen.
Time passed. Persons of color and women and men stand before the delegates and in front of the whirring TV cameras for millions of people to watch and to listen. I now understand more about the issues; but, I am not enlightened by most of the speakers at the Conventions. Worse, the speakers do not try to appeal to my logic nor to the logic of any viewers, on the floor, or in the air-waves. The try to get the audience to like them by appealing to human emotions. It seems that the United States has reached the point at which emotional appeal wins more votes than reason. Politicians have “dumbed down” their words. They do not seem to respect the public. Are they right?