I’ve read a lot of comments today from people who were moved and energized by last night’s debut of the virtual Democratic National Convention. I share those feelings, but I also want to acknowledge a more challenging one.

Kristin Urquiza, Whose Father Died of Covid, Denounces Trump at D.N.C.—The New York Times

Trump says he didn’t discuss hacked emails with Roger Stone. A bipartisan Senate report says he did.—NBC News

The security guard blurted ‘I love you’ to Joe Biden in an elevator. One viral video later, she will nominate him for president.—WaPo

August 18, 2020

Convention isolation
by Ruth Neuwald Falcon, Seattle, Washington

It wasn’t just oddly silent during the speeches. It also felt unnaturally silent in my home. There are many days when the isolation is all right with me. But there was something about the two-hour spectacle of people putting the best face on their solo appearances that magnified the loneliness that is usually kept at bay. It wasn’t just that I felt lonely. They looked lonely.

We have become used to watching people talk to us from their living rooms and studies. Single heads and shoulders framed by their personal possessions or a wall of flags. Governor Kasich broke the mold by standing outside at the point of what he described as a crossroads, though there are those who think it was really a fork in the road. I’m with the latter group (as if it matters), but the metaphor still works.

I am grateful that we have the technology and the talent to make this virtual convention possible. I very much hope that this mix of montage and music, of Republicans and Bernie-crats will achieve the desired goal. It is likely we won’t know the answer until some days after November 3, but I give them credit for trying and I will watch the remaining three nights of the DNC (I don’t know if I can bear to watch next week’s spectacle; maybe just the recaps on CNN).

But underneath the songs and the speeches and the film clips, here we are, more than six months into our isolation. The reality of the situation continues to be tragic. And as moving and powerful as the words of many were—perhaps most strikingly Michelle Obama’s—Kristin Urquiza cut to the heart of the matter when she said that her father’s “only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump—and for that he paid with his life.” We need to change our national pre-existing condition.

7 Comments

  1. Oh Ruth, I wish we could have watched that convention in the same room as you! I do hear you about the feeling of loneliness and I am glad you were able to let us know about those emotions. I am sure you were echoing many of your readers’ experiences! I am in total agreement with you about next week’s Republican convention! Be well, dear friend…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruth, your post mirrored what so many of us are feeling now. Thank you for articulating these emotions so clearly.
    The Biden-Harris ticket is a strong one. I hold on to the hopefulness of a new government, one that will bring about a better, kinder, more just way of life in America.

    Liked by 1 person

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