Last month, delegates from the Republican and Democractic Parties gathered to formally announce their presidential nominees. And although the presidential nominations for these two major parties were all but decided prior to the conventions, these events are more than a formality. The conventions are a key platform to extol the virtues of the presumptive nominee and inspire and motivate the party to rally behind the nominee. At times, resembling worship services for their political messiah:
Their people come together as a community unified by their shared political beliefs (generally); they gather to offer praise to their candidates, to hear about the virtues and character of their candidate, to find hope in their candidate because of what their candidate has done in the past and promises do in the future.
The National Conventions are to the respective parties as the Sunday service is to the Christian church.
Social media channels help spread the good word about their nominees, saturating the airwaves with messaging about optimism for the future and the power of what can be achieved by unifying behind the candidate.
As much as a divisive campaign this has been, the Republican & Democratic conventions are still much more than that: they express humanity’s greatest needs and desires. They come asking great question: Who will save us from our [left/right wing] political enemies? In whom can we trust for our future? Who will protect our homeland from our enemies and assuage our fears, perceived and actual? Who will bring justice? Who will free the oppressed? Who will let us live in freedom? Who will create heaven on earth? They come seeking good things.
Amidst the vitriol, scandal, betrayal and compromise, is any one candidate truly up to such a task.