Those Political Party Conventions

The US has made political history by holding their party conventions virtually.

That brings me to a thought I had……

Conventions–A necessity or a complete waste of time?

But first we need to look at why they had their beginnings and how they have changed over the years…..

George Washington didn’t have a nominating convention. As the commander of the colonial forces in the American Revolution, he was an easy candidate to select from among the eligible pool of any white man 35 and older, and he won his first two elections without any real competition. After that, there was no clear path for narrowing the pool, so political parties developed their own ways of choosing candidates.

Parties began holding conventions in the early 19th century and presidential primaries in the early 20th century. The convention remained the main way of selecting candidates until 1972, when new rules gave the primaries more power to determine the nominee. Since then, conventions have become a way to celebrate a predetermined candidate, rather than a means of choosing one.

Then we ask…why do we need these conventions?

The standard answer is that the conventions allow the parties — and their nominees — to define themselves on the national stage. In addition, conventions supposedly produce a “bounce” of popularity that catapults the better-performing candidate into the White House.

But in this era of non-stop news saturation, haven’t the candidates already had ample opportunity define themselves? It’s hard to see why they deserve four extra days of round-the-clock TV coverage, or why taxpayers should be shelling out $136 million to fund two big marathons of cocktail mixers, buffet lines, and canned speeches.

And the bounce-to-the presidency idea is mostly a myth. John McCain got a bigger post-convention bounce in 2008 than Barack Obama, but Obama trounced McCain in November. Barry Goldwater got a bigger bounce in 1964 than Lyndon Johnson, who went on to win the White House by the widest margin in U.S. history.

Why do we need political conventions?

I have been watching American politics for 60 years and still to this day see no necessity for these damn conventions.  To me it is a waste of time and money especially in the last 25 years or so….

In case you are not aware of the devolution of the conventions I can help…..

1976 Republicans: The last convention at which there was any doubt whatsoever of the identity of a major-party nominee.

1972 Democrats: George McGovern delivers his acceptance speech at 2:48 a.m. ET, which led to greatly tightened schedules and scripted proceedings in both parties.

1968: The last year before rules passed requiring primaries to choose most or all delegates. Also the last conventions featuring “spontaneous” demonstrations on behalf of candidates whose names were formally put into nomination.

1956 Democrats: Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson let delegates name his running mate without making a recommendation. On the second ballot, Estes Kefauver edged John F. Kennedy (Albert Gore Sr., finished third on the first ballot).

1952 Democrats: Last multi-ballot presidential nomination contest; Stevenson drafted on the third ballot.

1940 Republicans: Stage-managed galleries stampede convention with chants of “We Want Willkie!”

1924 Democrats: Dark horse John W. Davis nominated on the 103nd ballot.

1920 Republicans: The original “smoke-filled room” chose Warren Harding, who was subsequently nominated on the tenth ballot.

1896 Democrats: Keynote speaker William Jennings Bryan electrifies the convention with his “Cross of Gold” speech and is himself nominated on the fifth ballot.

1880 Republicans: New York’s Roscoe Conkling delivers arguably the most famous nomination address ever, for Ulysses S. Grant, beginning:

The time has come to move past these fossils of our political system….the 21st century has arrived and we need politics to arrive as well……

The media is no better…..they trot out the fossils from the past old farts that have NO idea about the future and establishment lackeys that are only concerned with the status quo….and those know no racial bounds.

The conventions are the beginning of a political circus every four years….they serve NO purpose!  The average person learns nothing from the conventions for most have their minds already made up before the convention begins.

They are about as worthless as the US Senate these days.

I would like your thoughts on this topic….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–14Aug20

WE as a nation are about to vote for our next president……these days it appears that knowledge og civics is in short supply……

I think that a little knowledge would be best for everyone and especially for the nation.

This can only help for the acquisition of that knowledge….

Civic education is crucial in America. Every American should know why the Declaration of Independence was written, why the colonists fought to break away from Great Britain, and what caused the Civil War. Americans should know their rights, duties, and responsibilities. All of these things—American history, principles, and virtues—are what it takes to be a good American citizen. 

Fortunately, learning about America and what citizenship means can begin at an early age. 

The following portals are designed to be used by parents, teachers, and students in elementary school, middle school, and high school. We’ve curated the best resources from institutions that teach about America, which will be especially valuable to teachers looking to fortify their curricula with quality American civics content. These resources are separated by appropriate grade level in order to help students better understand, or even encounter for the very first time, the American story. 

We hope that these portals will help you learn something about your country that you didn’t know. We hope that they will encourage you to become better students and citizens of the country that you call home. 

The best source for civic education is our veterans…..if anyone knows what it means to serve this country it is they…..

… their long history of providing critical support to civic education initiatives, veterans and veterans organizations have generally been overlooked as a resource in these recent efforts. But few citizens have more at stake in the preservation and inculcation of American values and civic knowledge than the men and women who have put their lives on the line in their defense. The recovery of this role for veterans and veterans organizations is crucial both to the well-being of veterans and to the revival of civic education. Those who seek to help veterans thrive should consider exploring ways to once again engage them in the crucial work of civic education, while those who seek to bolster civic education should look to veterans as assets in their work.

The Joe Foss Institute at Arizona State University’s Center for Political Thought and Leadership — named for World War II Medal of Honor winner Joe Foss and supported by Arizona philanthropists Randy Kendrick and Jim Chamberlain, among others — engages veterans in civic education through their Veterans Inspiring Patriotism program. This program brings trained veteran volunteers into K-12 classrooms to share their personal stories as well as to deliver educational content on American institutions and founding documents, symbols such as the U.S. flag, and the responsibilities of citizenship.

Learn Stuff!


I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Iowa–So It Begins–2020

The voting will begin for the Dem nominee in Iowa…..the first primary/caucus of the election cycle for 2020.

Since it is not a go to the polls and cast your vote…then what the Hell is a caucus?

The political world is waiting with bated breath to see who will win next week’s Iowa Democratic caucuses. But there’s another surprisingly murky question: How will we even decide who wins?

The problem is that there will be three results coming in after Iowa voters gather on the evening of Monday, February 3.

One will be for something called “state delegate equivalents” — this is the number previously used to determine the winner of the Iowa Democratic caucuses, something I’ll explain more in a bit. But the Iowa Democratic Party will also be tallying and reporting two other sets of numbers: how many actual people voted for each candidate in a given caucus — first an initial tally, then a final tally taken after lower-performing candidates are eliminated.

At the very least, this could be confusing. What if, for example, Sen. Bernie Sanders wins more votes but former Vice President Joe Biden wins more state delegate equivalents? It could make determining who “won” quite difficult.

The only thing besides being the first in the nation is that the Iowa vote seldom picks the ultimate winner… why is it so damn important?

Iowa voters aren’t going to pick the country’s next president. But they will eliminate several possibilities.

The rap on the state, which begins the balloting with its Feb. 3 caucuses, is that it is too small and rural to speak for the rest of America.

However, the state’s impact is undeniable.

In the last seven contested races for the Democratic nomination, five candidates went on to become the Democratic nominee after winning Iowa. Three winners of the New Hampshire primary, which traditionally follows soon after, went on to claim the nomination.

That is because the main function of the early states is to cull the field of hopefuls, separating the also-rans from candidates with a real shot at success.

No two campaigns are alike. But the past could provide some clues to what happens next.

There is your answer….it is to cull the candidates before the rest of the country gets to hear their ideas and policies….another rigging of the system.

It is also a well of cash for the media and that is the most important thing….not who is the best candidate.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!


I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Impeachment Vs Civics

The Congress is back in session and the big picture is the wait for the Senate’s trial of Pres. Trump’s articles of impeachment.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will preside over the trial….in this case it will be Chief Justice Roberts and he has made his thoughts about use of disinformation and civics be known before the trial begins…..

As false information and rumor spread instantly online, John Roberts said, it’s even more important that Americans understand how their government works. But civics education has “fallen by the wayside,” the chief justice said in his annual report on the federal judiciary, and Americans “have come to take democracy for granted.” Roberts said judges are helping to fill that gap, Reuters reports, citing Merrick Garland’s tutoring at an elementary school. Garland is the judge whose Supreme Court nomination by President Barack Obama was blocked by Senate Republicans.

Roberts did not mention permitting televising or streaming audio of the Supreme Court’s oral arguments, per the Washington Post, which many have advocated as a way to show government’s workings. He did give as an example the court’s landmark desegregation ruling in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. “Chief Justice Earl Warren illustrated the power of a judicial decision as a teaching tool,” Roberts wrote. Warren’s ruling, he said, was “a mere 11 pages—short enough that newspapers could publish all or almost all of it and every citizen could understand the court’s rationale.”

You see I agree with Roberts about the lack of civics education among Americans…..

All this is a precursor to the beginning of the impeachment trial…..and the Senators need this instruction because of the statements they have made about the trial and its evidence.

Personally, I do not think it will make any difference Senators have said they have made up their minds before the trial has begun….do not be surprised for that is a prime example of the American judicial system at work.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Bill Of Rights

Closing Thought–18Dec19

All the talk about the Constitution these days leads me to want to help readers understand the entire document and that includes a portion that was added later…the Bill of Rights.

Many of the rights and liberties Americans cherish—such as freedom of speech, religion, and due process of law—were not enumerated in the original Constitution drafted at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787, but were included in the first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights. How much do you know about the Bill of Rights?

Answers to question like why was it added? Where was it written? Who wrote it? And others

Let’s begin with ….What is the Bill of Rights?

The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments guarantee essential rights and civil liberties, such as the right to free speech and the right to bear arms, as well as reserving rights to the people and the states.

The Bill of Rights has its own fascinating story as a distinct historical document, drafted separately from the seven articles that form the body of the Constitution. But ever since the first 10 amendments were ratified in 1791, the Bill of Rights has also been an integral part of the Constitution.

To help my readers understand the Constitution beyond using the word to make some mindless point…..there is an aid to reading the document that ALL Americans should know front and back…….

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Civics Will Solve Any Problems


I have been reading and writing about the impeachment thing….to me it is just a replay of the 1990s and the Clinton thing…..I find it amazing that in a country that is so proud of our Constitution……I mean it is a prop for every damn political campaign I have every heard……that so few people know what Civics is all about.

When I was in grade school and into high school American government was a required course and without it one could not move on to the next level…..apparently those days are long gone….

The lack of Civics education shows in the people we elect and the people we listen to for the “news”…..we are a nation readily willing to believe whatever some high paid pundit wants us to believe….that is pathetic…nay it is disgusting!

Most Americans can not pass a simple civics quiz….

… lawmakers in Oregon proposed a bill that would require all public-school students in the state to pass the civics portion of the U.S. naturalization test before receiving their high-school diploma. Under Senate Bill 1038, Oregon students would have to correctly answer 60 of the 100 civics questions to pass. A student could take the test as many times as necessary to reach that threshold and could begin taking the test even before high school. Just last month, Alabama, Arkansas, and Kentucky each enacted similar laws, joining at least 15 other states with such civics requirements for high-school graduation, according to the Joe Foss Institute’s Civics Education Initiative.

Just how much do you know about our way of governing?

Take the quiz…….

This is the test given by the naturalization service…..take this one and see what you truly do not know about the government…..

Personally, I would support mandatory civics in grade school through high school……I think this subject is as important as the economics many schools teach our youngsters.

It is sad that so many of our elected officials have NO idea what the Constitution says or what the duties of their office are all about…..and these are the people protecting this country from harm from external as well as internal problems.

It is sad and pathetic that these people know so little.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”