David Brooks, not someone I'm inclined to quote, sums it up for me:
The Democrats had by far the better of the conventions. But the final and shocking possibility is this: In immediate political terms it may not make a difference.
The Democratic speakers hit doubles, triples and home runs. But the normal rules may no longer apply. The Democrats may have just dominated a game we are no longer playing.Both conventions featured one grieving parent after another. The fear of violent death is on everybody’s mind — from ISIS, cops, lone sociopaths. The essential contract of society — that if you behave responsibly things will work out — has been severed for many people.
It could be that in this moment of fear, cynicism, anxiety and extreme pessimism, many voters may have decided that civility is a surrender to a rigged system, that optimism is the opiate of the idiots and that humility and gentleness are simply surrendering to the butchers of ISIS. If that’s the case then the throes of a completely new birth are upon us and Trump is a man from the future.
If that’s true it’s not just politics that has changed, but the country.
I don't know if this is true--I hope not--but it might be. I loved Obama's Lincolnesque speech and how it tried to call out the better angels in the American soul, but I don't know if that's a message that's selling to anybody except those who already believe it. Do most Americans believe it? I don't know. I guess we'll find out in the next few months what most Americans believe.