Strange World

On the surface, this Democratic National Convention keeps reminding me of the Republican National Convention in Miami in 1972. “Four more years! Four more years!” they chanted. Silly hats, buttons for their nominees, good mood all around.

Democrats aren’t like that. Patrick Murfin has just finished remembering the debacle in Chicago in 1968. Four years later, I was crossing the country with a rag-tag group of lefties, and stopped in a national park lodge (I think Grand Canyon) to play pool and see how the Democrats were doing. It was about 2 a.m., and we watched in amazement as George McGovern delivered his acceptance speech into an hour when many tv stations had already gone off the air.

And it went downhill from there. Jimmy Carter eked out his victory, which Ted Kennedy –with the help of progressives like myself — helped Gerald Ford take away four years later. Denver, only four years ago, looked much the same.

Amazingly, though, the GOP that frolicked in the Miami Beach Coliseum, is the one whose nominating speech fell victim to a televised mishap. The Dems are the ones in the silly hats, chanting “Four More Years” and applauding a beloved First Lady. We are even keeping our Vice President, something I never expected to see either party do in my lifetime.

So it’s kind of weird, really, to be in the Four More Years situation. I don’t expect anything like Watergate from Obama, but Gitmo is still open and Wall Street has too much influence with him still. Nevertheless, we could have done a lot worse, and in many ways, we’ve done quite well.

It’s a whole new thing, being a Democrat in this kind of political party. It’s gonna take time to get used to it.


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