Democrat National Convention -- The (Absent) Power of Words

It can’t be disguised–the Democrat National Convention was a disaster for their party any way you look at it.

Beyond the obvious radical leftist messaging, the refusal to denounce violence in our cities, Biden’s bumbling appearances and angry lecturing, there’s an entire category of ‘fail’ few are looking at, but which I relayed to the RNC so we may avoid their errors in creating a virtual convention.

Let’s look at the production values and the psychology of visuals and sounds. This convention had all the excitement of a Zoom conference, complete with people sitting in living rooms and pitiful applause in tiny chat windows.

That’s SO old, five months into the national lockdown.

Scenes of people speaking while wearing masks looked ridiculous, as did widely-scattered people in the background silently sporting their masks like dutiful Orwellian subjects.

I’ve been to Republican National Conventions as well as to many large conventions, attended Trump rallies and speeches and spoken to many conferences myself. Here’s one ‘yuuge’ difference: people talking in living room chit-chat volume can’t inspire anyone to anything, except maybe to fall asleep.

Imagine hearing “I have a dream,” “ask not what you can do for your country,” “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” or “make America great again” delivered quietly, politely and conversationally while sitting in a chair. Exactly.

In a way, this is predictable–at least if we hadn’t already lived through months of Zoom conferences to know better. The Democrat speakers weren’t addressing an arena of 20,000 people, they were talking to a TV camera just six feet away. There is a great psychological difference, and you could tell it in their voices. They spoke with the passion of a librarian. Except Biden; he spoke like a tiresome professor scolding his students.

By contrast, President Trump talks powerfully enough to reach the entire country when he’s giving a speech or rally. His voice commands strength, resolve, leadership and inspiration.

This is one lesson the Republican National Committee must understand in producing our own virtual convention next week. Speakers should speak as loudly and passionately as they would from an arena stage to produce that powerful inspirational effect. Put yourself in that mindset–you are talking to the nation, not to a camera.

Another lesson can be learned from the weak visuals. The MCs used a small, TV news-style ‘stage’ that diminished the power of all speakers and their messages. The MCs were fairly lifeless, and often didn’t introduce speakers–how rude! The MC on day four was actually rude. And the official DNC “afterparty” was just lame and amateurish. Biden eating ice cream? Really? Weakness defined.

Applause is another factor in creating an exciting and inspirational convention, not just at the end of a speech, but even more importantly, interrupting it. The DNC’s childish attempts to provide some audience feedback were worse than having none. The “applause” clips (live? Prerecorded?) were not played until well after speakers stopped, an embarrasing failure perhaps by their tech and production side. It was really awkward, and featured just handfuls of people, many ridiculously wearing masks. What weak, timid endings for speeches–though the speeches were often weak and timid themselves.

The result of these factors was the most boring, lifeless, uninspiring convention possible.

President Trump has resumed his big rallies, and that model offers the RNC the opportunity to hold big convention-watch events around the country, from where streaming cameras can offer live crowds applauding each speaker and really cheering on the president and vice president as they speak. In real time.

President Trump is bold and larger than life and I expect the Republican convention will reflect that power as best possible in a virtual environment.

Be sure to watch the Republican National Convention at 2020gopconvention.com August 24-27.


  • Monday, August 24 9:00-11:00 EDT: Charlotte NC. The roll call for the nomination. Theme: “Land of Heroes.”
  • Tuesday, August 25 8:30-11:00 EDT: The First Lady will speak from the Rose Garden at the White House, and other speakers from the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington. Theme: “Land of Promise.”
  • Wednesday, August 26 8:30-11:00 EDT: Vice President Pence will accept the nomination at the historic Fort McHenry National Monument. Theme: “Land of Opportunity.”
  • Thursday, August 27 8:30-11:00 EDT: President Trump will accept the nomination at the White House, with planned fireworks following on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Theme: “Land of Greatness.”


Read More Red State Articles by Art Harman

Art Harman is the President of the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration, a space advocacy organization supporting the return to the moon by 2024. He was the Legislative Director and foreign policy advisor for Rep. Stockman (R-Texas) in the 113th Congress, and is a veteran policy analyst and grass-roots political expert. His expertise includes foreign relations, border security/amnesty, national security, transportation, foreign broadcasting and NASA/space policy.

He has travelled the world and been behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet era, witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, was arrested by the KGB, and stood in the footprints of those who sacrificed everything for freedom at Tiananmen Square.

Mr. Harman developed the strategy to kill the 2013 Senate “gang of eight” amnesty bill as violating the Constitution’s Origination Clause–and was dubbed “The Bill Killer” by Roll Call for his work. He provided policy advice to the Trump campaign, transition and the White House. He wrote what became the ‘bible’ for post-Brexit trade relations which was introduced in 2016 by Sen. Mike Lee as S. 3123, the United Kingdom Trade Continuity Act, and he advised the Trump administration to return Americans to the Moon by 2024–now official policy. Harman is a frequent guest expert on radio shows on key policy issues, an award-winning filmmaker, and an award-winning fine-arts photographer.





Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Video