Day 4 of Democratic National Convention, where U.S.A. made history by Hillary Clinton accepting the nomination of the first woman as ‘Presidential Nominee’ of any major political party (Democratic Party), had two distinct sections : the First by a sequence of speeches on “faith, morality, and patriotism” from a broad spectrum of people as Governors of States; Republican man and woman for Hillary Clinton; the only female hispanic sheriff in U.S.A.; veteran military general; Medal of Honor recipient; father of a muslim soldier who sacrificed his life for protecting groups of people – all constituting the Convention Day’s prefatory to the Magna Carta to follow in the weeks and months in the sense of academic parlance; and the Second constituting a fitting finale to the 4 day long convention i.e. the highly efficacious speech by the Presidential Nominee, Hillary Clinton.
Preservation of “Liberty, Equality, and Independent rights” , the cornerstone of American Democracy, was emphasized by everyone in the First Session in his/her own style and organization of thoughts. Of significance in this session was the one from General John Allen (retd.) who described the U.S. military as the ” indispensable transformational power that U.S. will be to friends, allies, and partners”. Audience could not have been given as strong an elixir as this to elevate their mood and spirits through the event.
In the Second and the key event of the Convention constituting the Presidential nominee’s speech, Hillary Clinton sought to set her theme on “transformation of the progressive platform of the democratic party to effecting Real Change in future”. Tracing the story of America to the present New Chapter of America, she first compared the present situation to the one faced by the founding fathers 240 years ago when some wanted to stick with the King and some others to stick to the King, but finally finding a compromise marked by common purpose enduring the times with unity. It is the same moment of reckoning now for us and we need to embrace each other and live stronger together, Hillary averred. She also invoked FDR’s, ” the only thing that we have to fear is fear itself ” reproving severely Donald Trump’s attempts to create and benefit from the fear of people. Americans are the most dynamic and diverse people in the world; American military is the most powerful in the world; American enterpreneurs are the most innovative in the world; and America is home to highly enduring values; and we have a duty to protect them – she added.
Hillary Clinton gave due credit to the President and Vice President’s record of saving U.S. from recession. “I am better because of President Obama’s friendship, and Bernie’s cause is our cause” – her words according significance in bringing the party together and making attempts to continue the good action/progress of the last seven and a half years. Her speech lasted nearly 60 minutes.
Focusing her speech on the “why” and not so much the “what” aspect of her experience and accomplishments, she proceeded to draw a roadmap for empowering people and making America prosperous with the twin objectives of : (a) more opportunities in life for people; and (b) more good jobs with good wages since World War II. Her solution would lie in effecting the above two objectives. In an effort to offer some specifics, she resorted to the “If you believe” then “join us” corollary citing where and how the economy and social structure will work : by improving and enhancing productivity; by standing up to China; by avoiding unfair trade deals; by making Wall Street Corporations and the super rich pay their fair share of taxes; by rebuilding trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve; by defending the rights of every citizen; by admitting that climate change is real and increasing clean energy jobs; … … in her bold agenda to keep the people safe, strong and prosperous.
In possibly a hint of her eagerness to associate Bernie Sanders in her programs, she talked about Wall Street never to be allowed to wreck the Main Street; and making college tuitions free for middle class and debt free for all. She also added that Bernie and I will work together.
Exposing Donald Trump to the merriment of the audience, she said that in the 75 minutes of his speech last week in Cleveland he failed to put forth a single solution.
She gave expression to her strong feelings that any President shall be a President for Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all others who are struggling, and surviving for success, and she averred that she will be ‘one’ such President when elected.
In sum, Hillary Clinton’s speech sought to reposition the party with words implying, ” No one gets through life alone; we have to lift each other now”, even while solemnising her principle of ‘stronger together’. America will never be a nation where one person will have all the power – our founders put this in our Constitution – she emphasized.
With 102 days left for the D-day voting, and people still remaining open to challenges and promises from many, the playing field is still unclear. My subjective rating of Unity, nevertheless, improves and stands at 90/10. Will the momentum gained be sustained ? Success lies in maintaining that !
“Dieu avec nous”
Friday, July 29, 2016 – 12. 39 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” I am more comfortable with the service part of Public Service than the public part”. – Hillary Clinton.
Day 3 of Democratic National Convention is marked by the twin agenda of ‘forging unity within the party’ and ‘establishing the superiority of the Democratic Party specially on the national security front’countering the repeated utterances of the U.S. military being a “disaster” by Donald Trump. With an impressive display of video, the speakers were introduced to the audience.
All the speakers this night stuck to the agenda in words and spirit organizing and delivering the expected with the audience in ecstasy throughout.
In what may perhaps be his final appearance in a convention, Vice President Joe Biden, in a vigorous speech tinged with intense criticism of Donald Trump and pronounced with a rapid expression of loudness, delved on the middle-class and national security. His argument that when the middle-class does well, rich will also do well and the poor will get their hopes filled to make the 21st Century, the American Century must have resonated well among the audience. On national security he firmly alluded to Hillary Clinton as most capable as the ‘saviour’ in making our streets safe, homes safe, and lives safe. Donald Trump does not have a clue about the middle-class – he added. In a personal reference, he remembered the close association with Hillary Clinton for 30 years recalling with pleasure the breakfast he used to have with her every week in the Vice President’s home. He also described President Obama as the embodiment of honor, resolve, and character accending the unbreakable spirit of the people of America.
Vice Presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, touched upon his humble beginnings, his progress in politics rising from one position to the other as a person would climb the steps of a ladder, while emphasizing ‘faith, family, and work’in his speech. Describing the Republican Party of Trump as having moved far away from Abraham Lincoln, he countered the offensive, unseemly, and grievous nature of Donald Trump’s utterances perfectly imitating his voice and facial expressions with a series of ” Believe me” statements covering Tax returns; Muslim ban; building a wall; insulting the disabled … … He also distinguished between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump observing that Hillary’s passion is for ‘people’ welfare while that of Donald Trump’s is for ‘himself’ It appeared that he excelled in attacking Donald Trump than any other upto this point in the convention. He also urged the voters to look for a person displaying passion long before that person holds any official position and consistently displayed it in life ever. Tim Kaine made a big impact on the audience, for sure.
President Barack Obama in a robust speech with tenacity of will and effective modulation of tones invoked “faith” in Hillary Clinton with a blistering attack on Donald Trump. Two things he did extremely effectively : (i) Contrasting and comparing Democrats’ Vision with that of the Republicans’ stressing upon “Optimism” of the Democrats and the “Pessimism” of the Republicans; and (ii) apagogically establishing and proving the superiority of America as a great nation now with less serious problems than when he took office seven and a half years ago. He substantiated by citing the economic prosperity; decreased crime rate; low unemployment; better productivity of the auto industry; healthcare not becoming a privilege but a right ( with 20 million new registrants); doubling of production in clean energy; bringing about a climate agreement with 250 countries supporting; – even while admitting that more work still needs to be done. Optimism lies in not turning away from one another, or turning away from other countries’ needs and respect. He clearly demolished the myth propagated by his opponents implying that he had placed and guided the nation on the right track. He also strongly defended Hillary Clinton’s “judgement”; her efforts to break barriers; her ‘disipline’, her ‘ work ethic’ ; her ‘experience’; her ‘temperament’; affirming that there is never anyone to serve better as American President, not Bill, not me! He added that Tim Kaine will make Hillary better just like Joe Biden made me a better President. He urged the voters to reject fear and said that Hillary Clinton is ready to take the mantle and he is ready to pass the baton.
In sum, this was a day that the Party can be proud of.
My subjective rating of ” Unity” improves further at 85/15.
“Dieu avec nous”
Thursday, July 28, 2016 – 12. 49 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” America is already great, and strong” – President Barack Obama.
U.S.A. made history this night.
Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention needs to be marked with a white stone for the Party as well as the greatest nation on earth, America, for nominating their first woman, Hillary Clinton, for the most coveted post in the world – President of U.S.A.
The speech that stood out this night was the one by the former President and the nominee’s husband Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton is well acknowledged for his ‘speaking skills’ and ‘substance studded lectures’. Assertive, confident, and powerful he made out a strong case for the recognition of Hillary Clinton as “change maker” and “real person”.
In a novel and new way of detailing the nominee’s credentials, he utilized the tools of ‘diagesis’ to influence the perceptions of the audience to near perfection.
Tracing the course of Hillary Clinton’s role in public service since he first met her in 1971 encompassing – (a) her intern study and initiation into service in the Law School; (b) her help to register Mexican American students in 1972; (c) working on children’s issues in Massachusetts in 1974; (d) helping children with disabilities in gaining access to public education which the Congress moved based on a report; (e) empowering the disabled with Children Defense Fund; (f) providing primary healthcare through trained nurses where doctors are not available; (g) making generic drugs approved by FDA available in crisis cases and situations; (h) help establish Children Health Program in 1997 (the year when her daughter Chelsea had entered the college); (i) becoming the first senator in New York in 2003 to serve on Armed Forces Committee; (j) help to promote small businesses and manufacturing as Secretary of State; (k) a strong advocate of sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program; (l) an advocate of establishing peace with Israel; (m) believing firmly that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights – and proving beyond any shadow of doubt Hillary’s skills as a leader with rich organizational abilities in times when she was not holding power as much as when she held power. The essence of his speech was to say in no uncertain terms that Hillary is the ” Real, Best Person” who has shown energy, and enthusiasm engaged in making more positive change and that voters in this election should vote for the ‘Real Person’.
Bill Clinton built an excellent rapport with the audience injecting the narration of facts as an effective means of delivering the messages in his speech.
The term ‘Real Person’ he referred to helped to quell the previous erroneous beliefs and images of perceptions, if any, held by anyone as incorrect requiring the nominee to be assessed with a different lens.
The way Bill Clinton effectively transmitted the message in the context of a political convention with people of diverse culture listening to him without a conspicuous attempt and standardisation, but judiciously mixing the personal side of the individual’s career growth woven into the tasks and accomplishments made was even more significant. This must have made an excellent impact on the audience and listeners in terms of their “perception” of the nominee as very important. It also helped in arresting the expected accentuation of the situation by the deep concerns of the skeptics and rivals that usually prevail in the political horizon. This is a big positive that Bill Clinton achieved which can enhance not just the image of the nominee but the party as a unit. It also will forge the much needed ‘unity’ that the party hopes to derive from this convention.
My subjective rating of “unity” at the end of Day 2 improves and stands at 75/25.
” Dieu avec nous”
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 – 12. 09 p.m. (IST).
Tidbit : ” If you are a Muslim, stay here and work with us together and we will make our future bright”. – Bill Clinton.
Wikileaks e:mail expose putting the party under a cloud; DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, resigning from her position; frequent fragmented protests in a few places prior to the convention – all treading on the heels of the Democratic Party made it look like a patient who was neither well nor ill. But the audience remained overwhelmed and spirited by the speeches of Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders , and Elizabeth Warren with their bets rising high on “Unity”. It perhaps also brought about a sense of great relief setting the stage for a smooth, confident, and successful convention by end Thursday.
Michelle Obama gave a committed speech fitting the occasion and time focusing her efforts continuously around the singular purpose of ” unity” with a clear perspective of the desired end i.e. enhancing the trustworthiness of Hillary Clinton. Michelle Obama gave expression to the fact of Hillary Clinton being a role model for women citing her long association and keen observation of her activities for years. The speech could not have come at a more opportune moment when the party was in dire need of elevating the mood of voters in its favor. It was also exemplary that President Barack Obama, himself an excellent and accomplished public speaker, can be proud of.
Bernie Sanders, consistently and emphatically, delved on party platform, policy, and issues effectively emphasizing his message with a clear sense of purpose giving force through hand gestures, characteristic of any public speaker, and an excellent exposition of ethical consequences ( kids through education becoming great citizens in future; climate change actions to protect the lives and prosperity of future generations; streamlining of campaign finance offering a level playing field to all contestants; a curb on big banks/financial institutions for effective governance and enhancement of the lives of the middle class; making healthcare not just affordable but with an option to choose the clinic to the individual .). Even while admitting that his voters and himself were a disappointed lot, he displayed the courage and conviction to sustain and promote the “platform” forward. He also portrayed Hillary Clinton will be an outstanding President and assured he will stand with her.
Elizabeth Warren in her forceful speech continuously and squarely insisted on getting the audience dependent on the party’s thoughts and actions. To support and demonstrate her points, she alluded to the experience, issues and characteristics that Hillary Clinton is capable of accomplishing with the tenacity, resolve, and commitment that she is endowed with. She delivered the speech with the tone, style, organization, and substance that any academic will like to follow or imitate.
In sum, it is a good day for the Democrats emboldening the participants, delegates, audience, and all listeners in equal measure to take the momentum forward during the next three days. Well begun is half done ! My subjective assesssment score for “unity” achievement is 65/35.
” Dieu avec nous ”
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 – 12. 59 p.m (IST)
Tidbit : ” Man can be as big as he wants; no problem of human destiny is beyond human beings “. – John F Kennedy.
” Republican National Convention in Cleveland – Rousing Expectations from Donald Trump as ‘Doer’ ” – July 21, 2016.
Donald Trump delivered a powerful acceptance speech full of promises and effective changes to the systems presently in place in Washington – sans specifics.
The reception and reaction of the audience in the stadium – frequent applauses enlivening the atmosphere – resembled a situation where Trump threw ‘flowers’ at them often, while with pleasure they grabbed it willingly. The stadium can hold 10000 and more people; and Donald Trump spoke for an hour and fifteen minutes, the longest in recent decades.
Donald Trump did not seem to fear any criticism being fully aware that many outside may not toe his line of thoughts; at the sametime strongly feeling that the audience in the stadium and those like minded enthusiasts outside in the country are the “Doers”, emphasizing that he will focus his efforts positively if and when he takes the oath of office of the President of U.S.A. Confidence personified !
It is woth mentioning that Donald Trump’s strategy statements and action plans ( he spoke on Safety/Security; Immigration; Defense preparedness; Foreign relations; Economy; Healthcare; Education …), lacking in specifics though, bear a strikingly coincidental similarity to the sense, words, thoughts, and purposes of prominent erstwhile American leaders according to the eye of the beholder. Many would probably feel glad of the following in this context:
1. Donald Trump gave expression to his will to do what he strongly considers good for people if and when he takes the oath of office of the President with full realisation and memories of the words of Abe Lincoln : ” I desire to conduct the affairs of this administration that, if at the end, when I come to lay down the reigns of power, I’ve lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left and that shall be down inside of me”. (Note: Lincoln’s statement, however, came after he became the President). A convincing and selfless stand, this is.
2. Donald Trump, while claiming that ‘he is the power behind the powerless’ and ‘he is the voice behind the voiceless’ – with the aim of lessening the influence of Washington on peoples’ affairs – he seems to be drawing attention to Gerald Ford’s : ” No more! We’ll make the decision about our lives. You protect us from foreign aggressors and domestic criminals ( Trump’s avowed aim of fighting ISIS/terrorists and defeating them); give us a stable currency ( Trump’s avowed aim of preventing currency manipulation by China and any other country); and give us an excellent Court of Law ( Trump’s avowed aim of appointing SC judges of impeccable credentials to uphold the constitution fairly and justly ); and we will do the rest.” – as the major demands of people.
3. Donald Trump’s strong conviction that nations in the realm of NATO, specially the Baltic states should share a fair crack of the whip, and in the light of America’s resolve to curb terrorist attacks at any cost, he seemed to invoke John F Kennedy’s words : ” Let every nation know, whether it wishes well or ill, that we shall support any friend; oppose any foe; pay any price; bear any burden; and meet any hardship in order to assure the success and survival of Liberty “. Donald Trump’s intent to work hard and persevere for the good of people may be seen in this term by many.
4. Donald Trump, while declaring that he is the ‘ law and order candidate’ seems to attribute importance to the words of Herbert Hoover : ” The first need of the nation, more urgent than even bread is ‘ law and order ‘ ; and the next imperative is to restore economic production ( recall Trump’s promise to bring maufacturing and jobs back to America); for the starving cannot long be supported on charity.” Good thinking !
5. Donald Trump, while stressing upon the fact that his government will only speak the “truth” and “respect the hard work of people”, was possibly echoeing George M Humphrey’s words : ” We scorn panaceas; we respect the fortitude, courage, and the staying power of the American people. We show the respect by always speaking the plain “truth” , as we know it. We believe in the ingenuity and ‘hard work’ of Americans as the resources that no nation on earth can match. We believe in his capacity to work, to save, to invest, to sacrifice, to create, to dream good dreams, and to bring them to true life. To do all these things, the people need but one thing : a government they can trust, a government worthy of that trust”. Does Donald Trump imply this credo ! Yes, it would seem.
In sum, there is something in his speech that may sound good for some; not so much for some others; and good for some (or many?) some other day and time as the fresh phase of the campaign begins. People will love to watch the sequel to the acceptance speech with interest and intense scrutiny, for sure.
” Dieu avec nous”
Friday, July 22, 2016 – 11. 59 a.m. (IST).
Tidbit : ” Trump not just feels for people ; but fights for them too ” – Ivanka Trump
House Speaker, Paul D Ryan, responded to questions in clear, coherent, and confident tone and substance laying emphasis on his twin pillars of principles – “Consistent Conservatism”, and ” Inclusive Aspirational Politics “. The event was moderated by Jake Tapper of CNN.
Following the salutations from President Barack Obama, and former President George W Bush to the slain officers in Dallas Memorial Service, and their urgent call for ” unity”, Speaker Paul Ryan struck a similar chord asserting and affirming that “leaders have an obligation to unify people and elevate the tone of public debate on the healing process in an effort to calm one another; listen to one another; and to think about solutions to problems”.
Figure above represents the importance that is likely to be accorded by the voters to the major issues of concern in this General Election. It is evident that particularly after the Orlando shooting; Sniper ambush on Dallas Police Officers; and the killings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Minnesota; – people’s concern for ‘Unity’ and ‘Security’ has risen about 20 to 25%, while those for Health, and Education have decreased in proportion to the coverage and discussion in media as well as the general public, reflecting the impact of events of potential anxiety, problems, and troubles. Economic concerns have not changed significantly.
Prominent elements springing from clearly discernible stages of the event are:
1. Paul Ryan justified electing Donald Trump as President for his power of choosing appropriate preferences of value to problems on “national security”, ” increasing economic growth “, ” getting cronyism out of the system “, ” supreme Court judges alternatives” – which he also added that Hillary Clinton cannot ensure. “Binary Choice” – he alluded to in favor of Donald Trump.
2. Tackling the problems of firearms (guns) getting into the hands of the ‘mentally ill’ people is vital to prevent frequent shootings with a two pronged proposal of (a) early intervention, and (b) cleaning up the VA (focus of VA to be on PSTD; TBI; Prosthesis …). Congress passed the Opioid Bill last week, it also moved a legislation finding common ground on this effort.
3. Paul Ryan strongly resisted any temptation to deport or rounding up people as a measure of preventing illegal immigration; while favoring a secure border, reformation of people entering, and reconstruction of the broken immigration system. He also advocated ‘welfare to work transformation’ and ‘customising benefit incentives’ to fight poverty.
4. On the issue of protesters (Black Lives Matter) – (a) he called for a bipartisan group to look at police success stories and propagate with dialogue to elevate the quality of discussion; and (b) have a congenial talk with leaders in Black Caucus to make a clear difference. This is what he believed in “inclusive aspirational politics”.
5. The goal of Republicans and Democrats working together in Congress is realistic – he affirmed citing the consensus achieved on building security; health care measures; and tax systems. He, however, admitted that until the mid 1990s when they had lots of common ground, the Democrats are now more liberal progressives and more efforts are needed to move fast and further.
6. Defending Donald Trump even while not supporting the ban on Muslims, Paul Ryan justified opining that only a ‘security test’ and not a ‘religious test’ concurrent with the 1st Amendment right of Conscience is what the pronouncement(s) mean reflecting the views of a majority of people (though not 100%). He also added that the list of candidates for SC furnished by Donald Trump is Impressive.
7. Paul Ryan urged the people to view the Republican ideas flowing from the principles of Liberty, Freedom, Upper mobility, Opportunity, Patient centered Health Care, Equality for all before the law; Self determination; Balanced Budget … to change the perception of people even when they are intolerant. He pressed forward earnestly to believe in these values and stay with Republicans firmly.
He also emphasized that Transportation Spending Bill was passed in Congress; Every Student Succeeds Act passed in the House (to be signed into law by the President Barack Obama); Conscience Protection Act to be brought in tomorrow as his accomplishments since October 29, 2015.
Paul Ryan has already carved himself in the mould of a highly trusted “brand” with decent popularity among voters and liked by a majority of Republican allies. A big government conservative, he is known for his keenness to promote the Republican party in its transformative role of a contrasting one to one of seeking solutions, with energy and enthusiasm to expand and fulfill expectations and desires of Americans.
It remains to be seen if he can bring the same energy and enthusiasm in the days, months, ahead leading to the Presidential Election on November 8, 2016. Will he do some preliminary ground work in building relationships in the hope of a Republican victory fitting the dictum, “Great people do things before even they are ready”, making the path and brand premises of the new Republican President less complex !
” Dieu avec nous”
Wednesday, July 13, 2016. – 11. 39 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Best decision makers reach the conclusions slowly and only after studying the issue”.
July 4 is a memorable day in American History filled with memories, heroic and tragic.
The presumptive presidential nominees of both the major parties (Democratic and Republican) have an excellent opportunity to mark the 2016 Independence Day as significant, responding with gratitude and warmth towards the American citizenry and make his/her political periegesis forward in the pursuit of Presidency.
Again I am not batting for either, being a resident of India, but my rumgumption drives my grey cells to offer 3 concepts that Donald Trump can apply if he considers holding a meet/rally in Philadelphia to give expression to the same and play the field as people would desire.
1. Credibility and Trustworthiness : People judge and see Donald Trump as a person who says things as they are. That, nevertheless, has placed him in not so good light among his audience as well as his critics/opponents. He is also seen as flip flopping on issues that makes him vulnerable while emboldening them painting a picture of a person who could not be relied upon. On July 4, if he delivers a speech to the people anywhere ( will it be in Philadelphia?), he may well attempt a transformed self by “narrating his experience when he felt he failed in business or in any aspect of his career in the past”. He may well add, ” Yes, I admit I made a grave mistake (not a blunder)”. People will be able to gauge his sense in real terms and may begin to trust him more than ever. It is the quality of genuine, credible, and authoritative leadership when he himself attempts to erase the flawed aura that either surrounded him naturally to his discomfiture or driven by people with intent. He will also be in a position to establish fresh connections after making a big impact. People who generally are not used to hear himself admitting failures will possibly adore the less pretentious nature and style of his admission and start embracing him without fear.
2. Power of positive view : Trump may regard the observations and comments of his opponents as unfounded and class his opponents as small minded people of little importance. His aim from this moment should instead be on obliterating the depressing and despondent view of people with a dramatic change in perspective. His fair and excellent treatment of everyone may even sound strange and surprise many to the extent of total disbelief but certainly with faith firmly restored.
The figure below presents Donald Trump’s adjustment of ranking of voters.
He is at present a few notches below ‘2’ and will strive to move to ‘4.5’ or above by October end when the General Election mood will be fully attained. It is like taking everyone’s comments in a positive manner with the “power of positive view” standing beside firmly. For this to happen, he needs to repeat his value points in every forum he gains access to.
3. Setting goals to his staff : Donald Trump should reveal his clear intentions and possibly inaugurate a “fresh task program” for his executives/staff with a chief monthly goal of one or two key ideas that can scoop a pool of voters (in terms of 10s of 1000s or even 100s of 1000s), contributing significantly to incremental growth in support for the party. It is like turning around a moribund company riddled with complex problems including cash shortage into a sustaining, profitable one. Donald Trump has already his eyes on this task nationally in terms of people welfare.
In a nutshell, smart moves to execute and realise the fruits of the above three ideas will be a marked change that can push people without being impossible. This will pave the way for Donald Trump’s intention to bring about disruptive social changes in America. The “true” Donald Trump will also be standing before the people.
“Dieu avec nous”
Sunday, July 3, 2016 – 10. 19 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” July 4, 1872, was the natal day of the first President to be born on the nation’s birthday, the 30th President, Calvin Coolidge. “