Hello, it’s Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, the morning after the first online presidential nominating convention in U.S. history. This is also the day the week when I reprise an instructive or inspirational quotation. Today, I have two, both from women — one of whom you are probably unfamiliar with, and the other from someone the whole world now knows.
First, though, I’ll point you to RealClearPolitics’ front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion pieces spanning the political spectrum. We also offer an array original material from our own reporters, columnists, and contributors this morning, including the following:
* * *
Dems 2020: The Good, the Bad and the Gimmicky. Phil Wegmann and I have this overview of the party convention.
Biden Meets the Moment. Susan Crabtree assesses the nominee’s speech last night.
Trump’s Team Says Biden Is Hiding as Pence Blitzes Media. With five TV appearances Friday morning, the vice president appears to be taking the fight to Democrats, Phil reports.
Can Trump Learn From the Last Three Defeated Incumbents? Myra Adams revisits the Ford, Carter and Bush 41 campaigns for clues the current president would be wise to study.
Democrats Ignore the Men and Women Who Elected Trump. Brendan Flanagan warns the party not to assume that working-class voters who backed the president in 2016 won’t do so again.
A Big Deal in the Middle East. In RealClearWorld, Dan Feferman explains why the UAE-Israeli peace agreement matters so much.
The Biblical Roots of Capitalism. In RealClearReligion, Charles Mizrahi links our economic system, now under assault by the far left, to Judeo-Christian values.
Thomas Sowell’s Unfair Attack on Teacher Tenure. In RealClearEducation, Glenn Sacks answers the conservative critic’s charges, made in a new book.
* * *
“You, me, and Joe — together. What an awesome responsibility. What an awesome privilege.” That was Kamala Harris teeing up the conclusion of her potent acceptance speech Wednesday night. She continued:
“So, let’s fight with conviction. Let’s fight with hope. Let’s fight with confidence in ourselves, and a commitment to each other. To the America we know is possible. The America we love.
“Years from now, this moment will have passed. And our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and ask us: ‘Where were you when the stakes were so high?’
“They will ask us, ‘What was it like?’ And we will tell them. We will tell them, not just how we felt. We will tell them what we did.”
It’s a noble thought, imparted to a nation where much work needs to be done. Yet, as wildfires rage out of control in the state that both Kamala Harris and I come from, I thought this week of a sentiment I came across from Charlotte Kasl, a psychotherapist and author of self-help books. I realize that Kasl isn’t the kind of source I usually cite is my daily essays, but we must take wisdom wherever we find it these days. She used fire as a metaphor, not as a call to action but as a reminder of human limitations, and that our purpose in life is not only to fight. Sometimes, we must put down our weapons, experience gladness — and instill it in others.
“My father once told me of a trick question he used in a college class on forest fire control,” she wrote. “If there was a fire coming from a certain direction and wind was coming from another, what was the best thing to do? The right answer was, ‘Run like hell and pray for rain,’ but few students ever got it. So allow yourself the freedom of knowing there are times to bail out, quit, run, leave the struggle, and have more time for joy.”
And those are your quotes of the week.
Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics