Watching the Democratic and Republican conventions this year is a lot like catching those infomercials that dominate television programing here in Charlotte just before dawn.
You know, the ones that promise the Veggo-Monster will chop, dice and slice vegetables like no other food processor the world has ever seen; or insist that if you just buy the Flab-Buster exercise machine you’ll soon have the tight, toned body of an Olympic athlete.
The pitch comes with testimonials from people who assure you they love it, recommend it and would buy it again. They throw in a little swag free of charge, and then comes the hard sell. Sound familiar?
If you listen long enough it’s hard to resist buying. No doubt that’s what Democrats and Republicans hope will happen for them.
Conventions promise their tickets are the best for what ails you and the nation. Elect them and you’ll be on the road to a happier, richer life. The economy will roar, jobs will materialize, your kids will learn and the world will love and fear the United States like never before.
But unlike blowing a few bucks for the Vego-Monster or Flab-Buster electing a president is serious business. Particularly this year with the future of the American middle class is at stake.
And with presidents, there’s no money-back guarantee. So a little policy substance would be a good thing.
Pictured above: Karen Yarbrough, a delegate from Illinois, gestures in front of the giant electronic stage backdrop before the start of day one at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 4, 2012)