When I turned on the DNC, I expected that there would be a focus on the Hispanic immigration, a proclamation against building the wall, and an anti-Trump campaign. My expectations were met as multiple speakers were introduced to support Hillary and stop Trump from winning the Presidency.
However, I was a bit frustrated with the method in which the Democrats chose to present their platform for a number of reasons. Primarily, the integration of Spanish into the speeches.
A Time and a Place to be Bilingual
There is nothing wrong with using multiple languages in a speech. In fact I would encourage politicians to embrace multiple languages to reach a larger voting audience. Yet, when the campaigning caters to a language and no translation is given to the general audience, it limits the creditability of the speech. Watching the DNC quickly became frustrating for me, not because I do not know another language (I know three), but because I have chosen not to learn Spanish and do not feel as though in order to gain the information about a political party I should have to.
If the Democratic party wants to cater to the Hispanic crowd by using Spanish, that is fine and well, just put in sub-titles for the majority of non-Hispanics who would like to know what is being stated.
The Illegal Angle
While I can appreciate the motive behind stating that not everyone who comes to the country without the proper papers is a rapist, a murder, or a criminal as it is portrayed by the Trump campaign, I do find that it is a bit counterproductive to have people sit in front of an already aggravated nation and state that they did not come to the country legally and that they are proud of this fact.
While the democratic party may welcome an immigrant into the country, it should by no means endorse unlawful behavior. Yet, this is what saturated the speeches. I especially found the speech from the young girl disturbing, not because she was the child of illegal immigrants, but because she read from a prompter a speech which was well over her age.
It came off as being kind of a Sarah Mclaclan Arm or the Angel type of event rather than an authentic speech from a child concerned for her parents.
I believe that the immigration issue would have been better presented if immigrants who have gone through the proper process of legalization made speeches stating how a wall would discourage immigrants to the country, how the legalization processes need to be made more efficient for the immigrant, and how as a citizen in America they have worked hard against the stereotypes which plague the Hispanic and Latino community.
A Bad Start to the DNC
Overall, I feel as if the first day of the DNC did no better than the first day of the RNC. The overall impression was that it was rushed and thrown together. Of course, this is not the case as the convention has been being planned for quite some time and there has been substantial funds put to the development of this week’s program. Yet, with all the time and all of the planning which was allotted to the DNC, the first impressions were not at all impressive to this experienced voter.
I worry about the impression that the DNC opening had on first time voters or those who have not decided which party to side with. There were the same theatrics as we saw in the RNC.
Supporters of Bernie Sanders made it known who they support. Granted, Bernie Sanders put in a speech encouraging support of Hillary, but still the theatrics were present.
Additionally, the video and snippets were a bit too info commercial and not enough to make the cases being presented.
Finally, while it is understood that the focus was on how Hispanics should be given the same opportunities as any other American, the use of the bi-linguistics throughout the day did little to build up the claim that Hispanics are just like any English speaking citizen of the country and more to create the facade of diversity.
If the DNC is to get past some of the main issues that are being raised by the Republicans, they must do so in a more efficient manner. They cannot base their campaign in confusion (which using Spanish without subtitles does), poorly constructed speeches, and theatrics.
The American public has spoken and, as a whole, they are tired of these methods. Was the RNC superior in its opening day? Probably not. However, the Democratic National Convention must step up their game if they wish to come across as the party that will unify our country.