So am I saying the speeches are all for show and are, to borrow the words of Vice President Biden, "malarkey?" Not exactly, but what I am saying is that everything in these speeches is intentional. Our students can learn quite a bit about presentations and writing from listening to and breaking down these speeches in addition to forming their own opinions about people in the election. It's not my job to do that for them.
How are the two dominant parties similar? One is a little more doom and the other is a little more hope, but those are two sides of the same coin.
Look at it this way. We all want the same stuff. We want our families to be safe, we want food in our stomachs, and we want the opportunity to have a better tomorrow than we have today. That's simplistic, but it's true. The hard part is doing that together with everyone instead of viewing everything as a zero sum game where me doing better means that you are doing worse. I don't believe it has to work that way, but a lot of people in our country do. That's part of the tension between the black, blue, and all lives matter crowds. That's part of the tension between citizens and immigrants. That's part of of the tension between socioeconomic groups, ethnic groups, religious groups, and even men and women.
We have it pretty easy here politically. The Republicans aren't going to exterminate the Democrats if they win. None of the people that say they are moving to another country if Donald Trump wins are actually going to do it. None of the people that said they were going to do the same when Obama won did it. If they did or do, there are other reasons besides just who is president. Clinton and Trump aren't going to leave the United States a smoldering pile of poverty in 4 years. Neither will unilaterally begin a military conflict with China or Russia. All of these are fun things to think about, but very unlikely to happen.
Sure, all of these eventualities are bad enough where taking them into consideration makes sense, but in the interest of making all of this make sense to students, perhaps focusing on the techniques being used by our politicians and what it says about human nature is more worthwhile.
I know Republicans voting for Clinton. I know undocumented Mexicans voting for Trump. That is far more productive to discuss than the very unlikely nuclear war with China and Russia that "WILL" happen if either gets elected.
Don't let your opinions get in the way of student learning.
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***Convention Speech Transcripts***
Obama DNC Speech 2016
Trump RNC Speech 2016