One major function of the conventions is to heal the wounds ravaged open from the noxious primary season. This time, the function seems to have flown out of the window.
Firstly, last week’s Republican convention. In 2008, Clinton was seen to hug up to Obama with a shining endorsement. Little of the same can be said for the evangelical Christian Ted Cruz who lost out to Trump. His speech urged the electorate to vote with their “conscience.” Not exactly the radiant endorsement that Trump was hoping to soak up.
Meanwhile, the Democrats have fared only slightly better it seems. Those wounds of Sanders are still burning, especially following Clinton’s elevation of the rather conservative Tim Kaine to the Vice President nominee. The progressive movement, anchored so closely to the Sanders campaign, was devastated by Clinton’s ignorance for what was such a huge body of support. Why wasn’t Sanders or at least the progressive stalwart Elizabeth Warren imprinted next to Clinton’s name on the ballot? Instead it’s centrist Kaine – the Latino hero with a personal aversion to abortion.
In this choice, it looks as if Clinton has prioritised the need for Trump votes instead of the satisfaction of the left leaning mob clinging onto Sanders’ coattails. So with this in mind, where do Sanders supporters latch onto? The obvious answer would be his Democratic counterpart, Clinton, but think again. Some left leaners may bypass Clinton to support Trump with his shared distrust for the establishment and the political dynasty headed up by Clinton.
Nowadays, it seems that left and right are no longer appropriate labels to fully define voters. No longer do the left vote for Democrats and the right for Republicans. Rhetoric encapsulated within the overused taglines proclaiming America’s greatness, or lack of it, now seem to overwhelm political platforms. Alongside this are the bruising personal attacks that are used by both sides to brandish their opponents as untrustworthy or pessimistic.
It seems that two raucous weeks of political slamming normally reserved for remedying the woes of the primaries have simply aggravated the wounds already deep.