According to MarylandReporter.com, “Federal taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $136 million to cover the cost of the major political parties’ presidential nominating conventions.”
Well amigos, that’s a lot of moolah… “A million here, a million there… Pretty soon you are talking real money.”
When it comes to politics, like most people, I am a babe in the woods; but I am not a total idiot either. I know that what people see at the convention has been preordained and blessed by the party bosses. So why this big circus on television?
With every institution on the face of the earth begging for money, why waste so much cash talking to people already acquired to the cause? Because after all, it looks like the convention is preaching to a choir of hardcore believers, not to the heathen.
A presidential convention likes to showcase a bunch of ambitious braggarts intent on proving than they are more royalists than the king. The more outrageous their comments, the more the zealots roar their approval. It is not unlike a “corrida” where every oratory pass is punctuated by enthusiastic “olés”.
Personally, I have the sneaky suspicion that a convention is a good excuse for normally straight-laced individuals to booze it up and blow some steam. And partially at the expense of taxpayers, because Congress appropriates $100 million ($50 million for each convention) to cover the cost of “security”.
As a flawed human being I understand that. But we are going through hard times, and wouldn’t be more reasonable to throw a few block parties and do away with this extravaganza? It would save taxpayers money, and the sorry sight of seemingly grown people gone wild.
Incidentally, the hanky-panky (eh eh eh) that happens at the convention stays at the convention! At least that’s what conventioneers hope for.
But ultimately, conventions are about money, and backroom deals.
Many delegates come to the Big Tent to lobby (pay) for a particular project. They are essentially saying, “I’ll give you some cash, but if you are elected, I want a piece of the pie”. And politicians will unabashedly take the cash and make promises that they don’t intend to keep.
But if you long for a piece of that delectable pie, you have got to be willing to pay for the ingredients, n’est-ce pas?
To sum it up, a convention looks like a Roman triumph when a victorious general came home and was heralded as a god after trashing the Barbarians. But in ancient Rome they celebrated after a victory, and not in anticipation of a victory.
As far as I know the Barbarians are massing at the gates and banging their shields with their swords.