American political conventions so rarely address the real issues in any sensible way. Nevertheless, they contain a treasure trove of shameless exhibition and hilarious utterances that make you laugh and teach you to avoid at least 45 of the 50 states. Yet of the two, everyone knows the Republicans are throwing the bigger bash. And why shouldn’t they? They have money to burn and are already celebrating their eminent November victory. Why not rent out Madison Square Garden, piss off scores of locals, and live a little? Speakers such as John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and Arnold Schwarzenegger certainly know how to put the word “party” back in Republican Party. And if you are going to go all out and waste three hours of your time watching the RNC, you might as well do it right by watching it on Fox News.
So that is exactly what I have done for the past two nights, and strangely I do not regret it. Even though Fox News is as fair and balanced as Rush Limbaugh on a tightrope, the network succeeds consistently in drawing your attention via your anger and disgust. It is kind of like a scary movie; it gives you shivers but you still get a rush from watching it. Think about it: Why would the only Democrat on the channel with his own show, Alan Colmes of Hannity and Colmes, literally be a walking cadaver? It’s so parents can tell their children that Democrats roam the earth in search of human brains on which to dine. Perhaps Fox’s weighted “balance” is unintentional, but it is definitely present.
Anyways, back to the festivities. On Monday night, the first of the keynote speakers, Republican “black sheep” John McCain uncharacteristically lauded President Bush by staunchly defending the Iraq War. He later called Michael Moore, who attended, “disingenuous” referring to Fahrenheit 9/11. The crowing delegates were so enthusiastic that when he used the phrase a second time, the applause he received rivaled the first. Later came Giuliani, whose lighthearted and unmemorable pep talk continued until it was nearly dawn. “Thank you. Welcome to the capital of the world,” Giuliani said after reaching the podium. Brash patriotism continued as a motif throughout his speech. His use of “September 11” was so frequent that my eardrums resonated and exploded in my head. NYC firefighters rushed to the scene but became trapped in my ears and were tragically killed as my body collapsed from the verbal terrorism. This was the first day and God saw that it was good.
Tuesday night, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took the stage, and not by carrying it on his back! His address to his adopted countrymen focused on how desirable America is to foreigners. He outlined something he called the “Immigrant’s Dream” which amounted to immigrating and finding success, marrying a Kennedy, and speaking at a Republican National Convention on behalf of the president. Whoa, that sure beats the American Dream, but if every immigrant that came to America asked for that, it would seriously compromise Maria Shriver’s fidelity. Playing on old fame, Schwarzenegger called skeptics of Bush’s attempt to redeem the ailing job market “economic girly men,” an insult that I take personally. The speech ended with a Foxworthy-esque “You know when you are a Republican when …” string of fill-in-the-blanks such as “you want to terminate terrorism.”
The convention goes on through Thursday, so if anyone needs to be entertained for a few hours on a school night you know where to go. However, some would say I should not joke about such serious matters as the election of the president. To this I say my joking is a test of America’s social tension, and as long as it tolerated, you are doing okay. Luckily, as an international student, I have the luxury of leaving the U.S. when the next president claims the office, so I do not feel as bad. I honestly pity the rest of you who will have to endure four more years. If the RNC is only four days, imagine what another four years will feel like.
Archived article by George Sand
Red Letter Daze Contributor