Today is the official start of the Republican National Committee’s quadrennial convention, the one where the next GOP nominee for President of the United States is confirmed. I’ve watched a couple previews over the past weekend that focused on the convention site, its security in the face of an “open carry” state — Steel tipped umbrellas are banned but guns are not. — and the possibility of all kinds of never-seen-before antics.
Some have compared this summer’s conventions – both GOP and DEM – to 1968. If you’re of a certain age, you’ll know what I mean.
That was the year we saw the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. It was the year President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and Vietnam War protesters ramped up their activities. Richard Nixon was the Republican nominee and Hubert Humphrey was the Democratic choice. Riots were the order of the day. It screamed coming-of-age with unrest at every turn. Blacks and women and gays and pacifists were all marching for attention and change.
This year is a reminder of how far we’ve come since 1968 and how little we’ve changed in the process. Blacks and women and gays and pacifists are still marching. And the nominees who will become official candidates for the highest office in the country are uninspiring, to say the least.
Come to think of it, it IS déjà vu all over again.