The Democratic National Committee hosted a spectacular convention this year. Held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Democratic National Convention occurred July 25-28, 2016. Similar to my experience with the Republican National Convention, although for different reasons, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the DNC proceedings. The entire program appealed to me, especially its captivating keynote speakers. There were so many aspects of the convention that stood out that I found it difficult shorten my highlights to ten takeaways. To rectify this dilemma, I decided to consolidate several points and add a few more. Below are my “Top 12 Takeaways from the Democratic National Convention 2016.”
Top 12 Takeaways from the Democratic National Convention 2016:
- Plagued with controversy, the convention blasts off to a rocky start with the forced resignation of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz from her position as Chair of the Democratic National Committee. This happened due to the fact that Wikileaks published emails of DNC staff implicating them for showing favoritism to Hillary Clinton. DNC rules obligate its personnel to remain neutral during the primaries. With the Bernie Sanders campaign having already accused the DNC of partiality, the revelation of the emails heightened tensions between the Clinton and Sanders camps, further threatening the tenuous unity within the Democratic Party. As a result, DNC operatives forced Schultz to resign for the sake of the Party. Hence, for the second time, political powerhouse Donna Brazile will lead the DNC as Interim Chair.
- Disaffected Bernie Sanders supporters persistently expressed their dissatisfaction with the DNC and Hillary Clinton throughout the convention by engaging in all forms of protests. Protests among Sanders supporters frequently interrupted the convention, despite the fact that the Clinton campaign and the DNC gave Sanders and his supporters many concessions prior to the start of the convention, all in an attempt to appease them. Clearly not understanding or supporting how the process of electoral politics works—compromises and concessions, Sanders’ supporters remained disruptive throughout the proceedings. The protestors continually interrupted a number of high-profile speakers including former Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Polisie (D-CA), Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ), former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and even Bernie Sanders himself! The Sanders’ protesters were such a nuisance throughout the convention that many considered them utterly disrespectful. Yet, despite the multiple disturbances, the Democrats worked diligently to display unity for the public eye.
- First Lady Michelle Obama is ALL OF THAT!!!…and some more! Through her charming presence, eloquent speech and captivating performance, Michelle Obama completely transformed the chaotic atmosphere of the convention caused by the Sanders protesters. Through her incredible poise as well as her powerful argument about American progress and exceptionalism, Mrs. Obama completely enthralled the audience, ultimately silencing the crowd and quelling all protests. Moreover, she further impacted the audience by explaining the historical significance of the moment. Incredibly, Mrs. Obama did what no other speaker prior to her was able to do: she calmed the dissension in the room. As a result, Mrs. Obama changed the entire atmosphere of the arena and set the stage for a productive convention.
- The Democratic Convention clearly reflected the diversity of America. Unlike the Republican convention, the diversity of our nation was on full display at the Democratic convention, demonstrating the Democratic Party’s wide appeal. Women and the physically challenged as well as those of different religious, racial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds participated on all levels of the convention. In its leadership, delegates, audience members and speakers, the Democratic Party revealed how it attracts all segments of the American society.
- The Democrats made a concerted effort to enhance Clinton’s image and make her more personable to the American public by highlighting the impact she has made on multiple individuals. Throughout the program many speakers shared their personal stories about how Clinton touched their lives. They highlighted the fact that Clinton performed many of these noteworthy deeds without the need or desire for publicity or credit. The Party definitely succeeded in letting the public know more about Clinton, particularly her personality, character and commitment to serving others.
- By featuring the mothers of individuals who had been killed by police violence, the Democratic Convention personalized the Black Lives Matter Movement. Throughout American history our nation has cast African Americans as inherently immoral, intrinsically criminal, and socially problematic. African Americans have been so dehumanized and their lives have been so devalued that the general public has become desensitized to their deaths. As a result, many individuals feel little remorse about the lethal fate of black individuals, believing that their brutal and untimely deaths are somehow merited and justified. In fact, black lives have become so insignificant that it appears as if their lives have no meaning and affect no one. Through their profound presence and their painful yet inspiring words, the mothers, however, challenged the prevailing ideas about black lives. The African American mothers humanized their daughters and their sons by eloquently expressing how they touched them and others and continue to do so even in their deaths. The mothers substantiated the unequivocal fact that black people are significant and that black lives do matter.
- One of the most memorable and touching scenes of the entire convention was watching Bernie Sanders and his brother Larry Sanders during the roll call. Appearing stone-faced and seemingly unattached throughout most of the convention, Bernie Sanders showed little emotion during the course of its proceedings. That all changed for a brief moment during roll call when Larry cast his vote for his brother Bernie as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. Both were quite emotional and overwhelmed with the occasion. It was truly a heartwarming scene.
- The speakers and their messages during the convention were outstanding! So many speakers stood out that it is difficult to highlight just one! Each speaker made powerful and convincing arguments in their support for Hillary Clinton and in their indictment of Donald Trump. In addition to Michelle Obama, below are the most striking speakers and a brief synopsis of their message.
- US Vice President Joe Biden gave a riveting speech, catering his address specifically to middle class America. Vice President Joe Biden argued that Donald Trump really has no sincere interest or concern with the middle class; Trump only has self-interest in mind. Biden also contended that throughout our nation’s history, America has always moved forward and that we as a nation must continue to do so by electing a President who is knowledgable, prepared and compassionate, and that person is Hillary Clinton. One of Biden’s best quotes was “We cannot elect a man who belittles our closest allies while embracing dictators like Vladimir Putin,…a man who seeks to sew division in America for his own gain and disorder around the world, a man who confuses bluster with strength, we simply cannot let that happen as Americans—period.”
- Billionaire and former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg called Clinton the “right choice” for this election and delivered a scathing attack against Donal Trump. Michael Bloomberg mercilessly deconstructed Trump, questioning his business acumen, success, competency and sanity. One of Bloomberg’s best quotes was “I am a New Yorker and I know a con when I see one.”
- US President Barack Obama delivered the most compelling argument for Hillary Clinton, and yet at the same time he effectively denounced Donald Trump and his un-Republican ideology. President Barack Obama detailed the strong attributes of Clinton, highlighting how her knowledge, experience and character qualified her to be an exceptional President, and simultaneously effectively criticized Trump in his ability, temperament and un-Republican ideas. One of Obama’s quotes was “I can say with confidence there has never been a man or woman—not me, not Bill, nobody—more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.”
- Community Activist and President of the North Carolina NAACP Rev. Dr. William Barber II argued for the “moral revolution” of American values. Rev. William Barber urged Americans to “revive the heart of our democracy” by embracing and striving to realize our moral values. In actuality, Rev. Barber preached! Considering everything that is going on in our national political discourse, right now America needs a preacher to speak to and inspire the heart and soul of our nation. One of Barber’s best quotes was “In this season, when some want to harden and stop the heart of our democracy, we are being called—like our foremothers and fathers—to be the moral defibrillators of our time.” Let the church say, “Amen!”
- Standing with his wife Ghazala Khan as a Gold Star Family whose son US Army Captain Humayun Khan sacrificed his life for his fellow soldiers in the Iraq War, Khizr Kahn spoke eloquently about how America is a country for all people. As “patriotic American Muslims with undecided loyalty to his country,” Khizr Khan argued that Muslims are indeed patriotic. He also contended that Donald Trump with his divisive rhetoric and destructive ideas would be catastrophic to the ideals of this country. Khan, therefore, urged everyone to vote for the candidate that would uphold American values—Hillary Clinton. One of Kahn’s best quotes was “Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.” Boom!
- Extraordinary, regal and incredibly disciplined, Barack and Michelle Obama were created by The All for this historical moment. Who else could fill the position of the first African American President and family in the White House with such poise, grace and eloquence? The Obamas are truly a blessing from God. Despite all of the challenges they have experienced and the cruelty that they have endured, the Obamas continue to serve and represent America with honor, dignity and respect.
- Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman in American history to be nominated by a major political party for President of the United States of America!!! Why not? She is ideal for the job. It is a well-established fact that a woman must be smarter, more qualified and exceedingly more experienced than her competition in order to be a contender for many of the top positions in our society. Clinton is definitely that! Her credentials, knowledge about national and global affairs and experience are superb: graduate of Wellesley and Yale Law School, lawyer, staffer for a national nonprofit, First Lady of the State of Kansas, First Lady of the United States, New York Senator, and Secretary of State. Who in the history of the United States has been more qualified, experienced and prepared to step into the Oval Office than Hillary Clinton?
- America learned all the reasons why we should NOT support Donald Trump for President. Trump is temperamental, ignorant about national and global affairs, self-absorbed, insensitive, divisive, volatile and utterly unprepared to serve as President. On top of all of that, Trump is a warmonger, con-artist and bully. Should I say more?
- America learned all the reasons why Hillary Clinton should be the next President of the United States of America. Clinton is intelligent, compassionate, focused, diligent, well-qualified, prepared, experienced and ready to serve!
Compared to the Republican National Convention, which lacked the participation and support of many Republicans, failed to reflect the diversity of America, reeked with controversy, and woefully misrepresented the ideas and ideals of the Republican Party, the Democrats produced an outstanding national convention. In fact, the entire production was impeccable from its programming, speakers and message to the image that it projected to the American public. On top of all of that, the Democrats made history by becoming the first major party in our nation to nominate a woman for President of the United States of America!