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.