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The American election process can be messy and entertaining, frightening and exhilarating, confusing and educational. In the past week we have had one great example of this during the nominating conventions of our two main political parties. In both cases, the convention-going party attendees have broken out in loud boos, loudly attacking people on the podium for their positions. Such behavior is not what you would expect from the modern conventions, which for several decades have been nothing more than staged propaganda events designed to sell their candidates to the American public. One doesn’t usually boo during such staged events.
First we had at the Republican convention the response to Ted Cruz’s speech, where when he refused to endorse Donald Trump he was almost literally driven from the stage by boos from the audience.
Then, yesterday we had Bernie Sanders supporters overwhelm the Democratic convention with boos, first during an appearance of former Democratic chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and then during the convention’s opening prayer.
It is important to understand the difference between these boos, as they are a strong marker of what will happen in November. In the case of the Republicans, the booing was in support of the Republican candidate, hostile to the implied opposition to Donald Trump by Ted Cruz. In the case of the Democrats, the booing was in opposition to the Democrat candidate, hostile to Hillary Clinton’s nomination and the perception that the Democratic Party stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders.
I have always believed that Hillary Clinton was the worst presidential candidate I have seen in my lifetime. It seems to me that this difference illustrates this fact once again. Sadly for me, the Republicans have wasted this opportunity and picked a liberal Democrat as their candidate, losing the best opportunity since 1980 to put an honest and principled conservative into office.
All I can do now is hope that Donald Trump will surprise me and be far more conservative than I expect, when he becomes President in January.