By Samir Shukla
I’ll take an Xtra Large Election with Lots of Peppers, Smattering of Nuts, and Hold the Mail
Are we finally approaching November? That month with a caustic presidential election that's been cooking for a couple of years now?
All the primaries have wrapped, the conventions are over and out of the way, and the candidates are now finalized. Forget the boxing gloves, knives and cannon balls are out now. A flood of negative ads, misinformation, disinformation, and some of the worst human traits will be released and will float around everywhere like a visible virus.
By Samir Shukla
Protest slogans require marketing not defunding.
Everything in life is marketing, like it or not.
Businesses spend considerable time and wealth on branding and marketing to persuade people to buy their stuff, use their services, take vacations with them. Focus groups are brought in to see if logos, slogans, advertising and marketing gimmicks help make their products more marketable and less intrusive.
By Samir Shukla
The Continuing Madness of American Politics
The hour of the 2020 national political conventions has arrived. Not with a bang, but a virtual whimper. The conventions for this election are going to be unlike any other in history. Both parties are holding their conventions in August. The Democrats are essentially going to hold a virtual convention in Milwaukee with a small audience for the big Joe Biden speech accepting his nomination.
They are encouraging delegates to stay home!
The Republicans had moved their convention from Charlotte to Jacksonville because the North Carolina Governor wouldn't guarantee a convention without social distancing and facial coverings.
Now President Trump, who pulled the convention from Charlotte due to his fight with Governor Cooper, has cancelled the Jacksonville convention due to Florida becoming the pandemic epicenter. The organizers were already scaling down their plans in Jacksonville, with smaller crowds, President Trump giving his big speech in an outdoor venue, and limiting media and guests. Now, the Jacksonville events are completely cancelled while a small group will gather in Charlotte to conduct party business. Sure, conventions maybe old school, but they fire up the party activists, put spotlights on up-and-coming political stars that can showcase themselves with high profile speeches. All that effort is now moot.
I attended the 2012 DNC convention for Obama's official reelection kickoff in Charlotte as a member of the media. I was looking forward to covering the RNC convention in Charlotte with media credentials this year before jittery Republicans moved it at the whims of President Trump. I was planning to attend both conventions this year; now looks like I will be watching whatever they come up with on TV. Keep the popcorn handy.
A Century of Women's Vote
It's almost unfathomable that the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave took 144 years since becoming an independent nation before allowing women to vote. Our forward-thinking Founding Fathers, who created the brilliant Constitution, didn't think women had enough brainpower to be able to cast a vote? It took decades of struggle before women won the right to vote, thanks to the 19th Amendment ratified on August 18, 1920. Celebrate 100 years of this achievement this month. (See Jenn Allen's article on the topic). According to US Archives, more than eight million women across the country voted in elections for the first time on November 2, 1920.
Tens of millions of women will vote to help decide the next president, several senators, the House, and, more importantly, local and statewide races, when the country votes on November 3, 2020. Bring it on ladies; don't miss the vote this year. Female is future.
August 17-20, 2020: DNC convention (Milwaukee, virtual)
August 24-27, 2020: RNC Convention (Charlotte, virtual)
September 29: First presidential debate, Notre Dame, IN. (University of Notre Dame)
October 7: Vice presidential debate, Salt Lake City (University of Utah)
October 15: Second presidential debate, Miami (Adrienne Arsht Center)
October 22: Third presidential debate, Nashville (Belmont University)
November 3: Election Day
By Samir Shukla
Why worry about a wily virus or economic downturns? Your co-workers, social media trolls or that kid from third grade you laughed at, even someone you consider a friend, may be coming after your reputation.
Out of the need for racial justice, sexual and gender equality, diversity expansion and other long-needed niceties, the knives are now being sharpened for even the most mundane of grievances, where purity tests seem ready for every word you utter, every mannerism you display, every bad joke you crack, every drunken silly thing you did in college.
By Samir Shukla
The two-year betrothal is over. President Trump is taking the ball, the net, the whole darn game, and the crowds from Charlotte and will now head to Jacksonville, Florida. After a boxing match with NC Governor Roy Cooper, Trump and the Republican National Committee chose Jacksonville as the last-minute substitute city for the Republican National Convention. Charlotte was chosen as the city for RNC 2020 couple of years back. Now the gears have shifted. Trump wanted a guarantee for a full-on convention with thousands of attendees while Cooper insisted that the status of the virus would dictate attendee levels in August. Neither Cooper nor Trump would budge so the Republicans will hold their convention in two cities. It's risky for RNC, not to mention there are contracts that are being broken. Legal battles are sure to follow.
All the preparation done for the convention in Charlotte is now fizzling. Charlotte will retain minimal business, basically one day where some of the delegates will meet, and then the party will move south to Jacksonville, which will host all the speeches, rallies, related events and President Trump's acceptance speech.
The RNC is planning a full-fledged convention while the Democratic National Committee is trying to figure out what their convention will look like in Milwaukee. It will likely be mostly virtual, but how they conduct this and create excitement remains to be seen. So, it goes. The weirdest election season rolls on and will end with an unknowable thud in November.
Just the Facts, folks
A lot of misinformation and disinformation is already flying around, and will only get worse as TV ads crank up as we head into November. Hear something spurious? Something stupid? Something clearly meant to evoke an emotional response but sounds false? Check the reliable fact-checking sites below, which keep tabs on the truthfulness of these commercials as well as other claims made by politicians.
Fact check sites: