The Democratic Convention’s first night presented to the country an inspiring tone and unifying message. Diversity was on full display, including members of all ethnic communities, gender groups, and generations. The visuals were a reminder that America is a country of diverse cultures and ideologies, all to be accepted and celebrated. White Americans, Black Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and the LGTBQ communities shared their experiences of physical, emotional, and financial suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic and their loss of trust and respect in Trump’s over performance as President.
The participants all shared similar feelings of suffering, anger, fear, and sadness about the chaotic, divided, and economically damaged state of the America that Trump has created. Their anger targeted Trump’s hateful rhetoric against minorities, his lying, the mismanagement of the COVID pandemic, and the division he establishes between the Democrats and Republicans and White Americans vs. minorities and immigrants. Fears were expressed related to the uncertain economy, loss of reputation on the world stage, the out of control pandemic, racial tensions, and questions about Trump’s fitness for office.
Expressions of sadness pervaded the stories shared by people who had lost family members to COVID. Listening to Kristin Irzquiza’s talk about the untimely death of her dad to the virus was particularly impactful. Kristin’s dad was a Trump supporter who followed the false facts about COVID and went to a karaoke bar without a mask, caught the virus, and died within weeks. She places the blame for her dad’s death on Trump, calling her father’s belief in Trump ” his only pre-existing condition.” She said as her dad lay dying, he expressed sincere regret for trusting Trump’s messaging about the virus. Other Americans and politicians from both parties expressed sadness about the 170.000 deaths from the virus as well as the loss of morality and character in our government and the silent complicity of the Republican Senate.
Michelle Obama’s speech made a moral case against Donald Trump, and she urged Americans to vote country over party and elect Joe Biden for President. Speaking from the heart and for love of country, Michelle encouraged voters to choose right over wrong, and “know what’s going on in this country is just not right.” She spoke about the devastating effects of COVID-19, the battle for racial justice, and the inhumane separation of families at the border. She noted the lack of empathy shown by Trump for the suffering of these Americans. She concluded her speech by saying, “if you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me they can, and they will if we don’t make a change in this election.”
Despite the concerns and criticisms about Trump’s policies and his unAmerican vision of America, hope and optimism dominated the Democrat’s message. The contrast between Trump and Biden as men was at the forefront of the speaker’s comments. The portrait of Joe Biden as a decent, qualified, compassionate, humble lifelong public servant is echoed by his friends, colleagues, and family. Just the knowledge that on Nov. 3rd, America may vote for a man of character and competence to be our President was heartening and hopeful.
Most Americans are burning out on Trump’s yelling, cursing, threatening, blaming, anger, and in the case of COVID-19 victims, irreparable poor decisions. “Trumpism burnout” should have a diagnostic code in the DSM- V Manual. The Democratic Convention presents the opportunity to regain some of the greatness that America has lost during Trump’s Presidency by electing Joe Biden to be the next American President.
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