Jonathan Zimmerman: Thoroughly Conventional
Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history at New York University and lives in Narberth. He is the author of "Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory" (Yale University Press).
The convention season is upon us! Starting with the Republican National Convention next week, followed by the Democrats' the week after, Americans will watch with bated breath as the parties decide their nominations for president.
Actually, those decisions were made months ago. The real mystery is why anyone watches the conventions - and why we need them at all.
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 can catapult candidates into the White House.
But in this era of nonstop news, haven't the candidates already had ample opportunity to define themselves? It's hard to see why they deserve four more days of round-the-clock coverage, or why taxpayers should be shelling out $136 million to fund two marathons of cocktail mixers, buffet lines, and canned speeches....
comments powered by Disqus
- Iraq’s Long-Lost Mythical Temple Has Been Found…and Is In Danger of Disappearing Again
- CBS features in-depth coverage of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights law
- Archive of WW II war crimes made public
- They tried to kill Hitler. Now they’re heroes.
- ‘Clinton Inc.’ Author Dishes on Monica Lewinsky and the Blue Dress
- Ukrainian Leaders Are Using David Barton's Theocratic Pseudo-History To Build Their Nation
- John D’Emilio, renowned professor of gay studies, retires
- Journalist Michael Wolraich says he wrote his new book about the Progressives to teach Americans how to do liberal politics
- It’s Martin Kramer vs. Ari Shavit vs. Benny Morris
- It's official: 2014 AHA election results are in