After a week of chaos at the Republican National Convention, the nation’s attention now turns to the Democratic National Convention held here.
At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, speaker after speaker including Republican nominee Donald J. Trump, offered a frightening vision of America under siege by criminals and terrorists.
Trump and others spent a large amount of time focusing on illegal immigrants and crime — despite polling that shows the economy is the number one issue for voters.
Most of the Republicans who spoke before him with the notable exception of his daughter Ivanka Trump also offered this bleak vision while demonizing President Barack Obama and Trump’s presumptive Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
It is obvious Trump believes this negative vision of America can send him to the White House.
Beginning Monday, the Democrats will get a chance to offer their vision to the nation.
Considering that a Democratic president is in power, speakers at the DNC are not expected to be as bleak as the Republicans.
It would be political suicide for the Democrats to offer such a negative view of America while a Democrat is the sitting president.
It would also be a mistake for Democrats to offer the opposite view. Democrats cannot just offer a sunny view of America when there are serious problems facing the nation in the criminal justice system, policing, education and the economy for many underemployed and low income Americans. Many Americans are frightened by terrorism at home and abroad.
President Obama has made many positive changes in America, including lifting the country out of the Great Recession and a financial crisis. The president’s signature Affordable Care Act has increased access to health care insurance to millions of Americans.
But there are many Americans still hurting. A growing number of young African Americans are becoming increasingly disillusioned that police officers will never be held accountable for police brutality and unjustified shooting of civilians. Still many of the nation’s schools are under-performing, and college tuition is exceeding the grasp of many Americans.
Hillary Clinton must make her case to the American people. She cannot just focus on the fears many voters have of a Trump presidency. She must offer a plan to move the country forward and a reason to vote for her.