The Power Of Conventions

Diane Paige


I spent the last few weeks (as many of us did) watching the Democratic and Republican conventions. I call it “the Best Show in town.” It had wonderful speakers and actors. The more charismatic and dramatic the speakers were, the louder the cheering squad became. No matter what the speaker said, the crowd cheered. You had to remind yourself these cheer leaders were biased and that’s why they attended their party’s convention. This phenomenon was quite catching. The psychological affect was amazing.

Everyone wants to belong to something. It helps you forget your personal problems. It tickles your funny bone and makes you feel like part of a team.

I asked several people how they were affected and if the result of the conventions altered their way of thinking. I asked if any speech changed their view of their party. Everyone responded the same way. Their minds were made up before the conventions and there was nothing that would alter their vote.

If that is the case, why spend big money on conventions? Is it because all that hoopla will wake up the swing voters? Is it because we will gain back a few non-voters? Whatever it is, conventions continue to try. Democrats and Republicans continue to try to gain your vote anyway possible.

I found myself comparing the situation to a sports event. This made me realize that, like you will cheer your favorite team on for better or worse, you will cheer your political party the same way.

Each of the nominees is trying to convince us that he has the answers. Yet, there is no one that has given us a direct solution. We are going to help the economyhelp the middle classhelp the richhelp the poorhelp!

On the other hand, I couldn’t stop thinking about the people who are struggling to survive. They would be happy recipients of at least some of the convention money. So many people are victims of this recession. So many “Mom and Pop stores” are closing. They can’t pay the rent. They can’t afford to pay employees. They can’t compete with department stores.

I wonder if there is any one party capable of creating the miracle that our country needs to be healed. My dream is to have both parties unite, conservatives and liberals working together to heal the country. Don’t laugh. That’s why I call it my dream.

I am trying not to criticize or justify. As the saying goes, “it is what it is.” We have a difficult road ahead. Our shoulders cannot carry such weight. All the exercise classes will not make us strong enough.

It is time we lean on Hashem. It is time we use prayers for Hashem to guide us. This New Year may our dreams and prayers be answered. Shana Tova

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