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Conventional wisdom

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Most people probably wish they could flip on the television this week and next without having to see or hear anything about national political conventions. But I love this stuff. The pageantry, well-rehearsed rhetoric, and appeals to the virtues of the common that which epitomize our electoral process always make me feel good about being an American.

For me, that's a big deal. When I was a kid nobody was proud of our country. I'm pretty sure it was the aggregate effect of the nightly news Vietnam body counts, and the Watergate scandal. The first time I saw genuine patriotism, I was in my twenties.

It's easy to be cynical about politics, because political answers just aren't deep enough for the questions we have and ask. But whether the room is filled with Republicans or Democrats, conventions have the potential to do more than take up all the primetime slots. They aren't just a week long string of wine and dine events for party delegates from you-name-it or never-heard-of-it, USA. Conventions are meant to accomplish something. They have a purpose.

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