Top five takeaways from the Democratic National Convention

by Russell's Rants

Democratic National Convention: Day Four

5.  The Democratic Party is now the patriotic party that believes in, and wants to make available for all, the American dream.

By contrast, the Republican National Convention was “Darkness at Noon.” And I mean the reference to Arthur Koestler’s novel about Soviet totalitarianism as an absolute rebuke to Donald “I alone can fix it” Trump. President Obama said it best last night:

“Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don’t look to be ruled.”

Trump does not believe in the democratic social contract, but in the Hobbesian “nasty, brutish and short” authoritarian one – which is wholly un-American.

4.  Trump’s economic agenda is based on a lie.

He cannot bring back Rust Belt, blue collar manufacturing jobs by starting a trade war with high tariff barriers; deporting undocumented immigrants who are a significant portion of our productive workforce; and abandoning our international alliances that have protected capital markets on the American model. That’s a prescription for recession, not a sustained recovery.

The lost manufacturing jobs of the 20th Century are gone and not coming back (due not only to globalism but to technology).   Instead, it is Hillary’s job to explain that the Democratic agenda is to encourage the new, good paying jobs of the 21st Century that come from skilled labor, information and green technology and high education.

She made a pretty good start during his acceptance speech tonight, saying:

“In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II. Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business, and infrastructure.

“If we invest in infrastructure now, we’ll not only create jobs today, but lay the foundation for the jobs of the future. And we will transform the way we prepare our young people for those jobs.”

That’s good economic policy and a winning political message!

3.  Hillary Clinton is the only one believable as the commander-in-chief of the United States military.

She stands in the shoes of all post-war American presidents who built, sustained and expanded our NATO alliance. That alliance not only defends democracy, but protects free markets worldwide.

Donald Trump once criticized President Obama for too openly telegraphing our future moves in the Middle East so that our enemies could anticipate and blunt them.

Yet it was Trump this week who telegraphed abandonment of the mutual-defense pact with our allies, making the Baltic states vulnerable to non-theoretical Russian aggression. And then after inviting Vladimir Putin to hack Hillary’s e-mail and interfere with our election, Trump suggested that we recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Why not just offer up Poland and East Germany to boot? In a sense, Trump is retreating to pre-World War II traditional, Republican isolationism. That head-in-sand approach didn’t work then; and it is very dangerous now.

2.  The Muslim ban is idiotic – and unconstitutional.

Khizr Khan gave one of the most emotional speeches of the night as a kind of eulogy to his fallen son.  Capt. Humayun Khan was one of numerous American Muslims serving in the American military who sacrificed their lives in Iraq.   Removing a pocket-sized copy of the constitution from his suit jacket, the senior Mr. Khan spoke these words:

“Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words “liberty” and “equal protection of law.”

“Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.

“You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

That’s powerful stuff!

1.  Democrats have a deeper bench and legitimate A-list stars.

But who needs Hollywood celebrities when you’ve got Michelle, Bill and Barack? Cory Booker gave a great, uplifting speech Monday night that would otherwise have been a standout in any other gathering. Hillary’s acceptance speech wasn’t as soaring as President Obama’s from the night before, but it was authentic to who she is: a deeply caring, very smart, wonky and undeterrable lady poised to be our first female President of the United States.