On night two of the Democratic National Convention, Jack Schlossberg, son of Caroline Kennedy and grandson of President John F. Kennedy, hammered a cynical final nail in the coffin of the more palatable and moderate party that his grandfather once represented.
Speaking in a slight lisp, Schlossberg, who was named in 2017 to Vanity Fair’s ‘best dressed list’, intentionally perverted one of the most iconic quotes in American political history.
‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,’ John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address on January 20, 1961.
On Tuesday evening, the former president’s grandson tossed that old-timey sentiment aside, while still trying to capitalize on JFK’s memory. He encouraged Americans to vote for Joe Biden as president, who he instead said ‘asks what he can do for our country’.
It was orchestrated DNC messaging, which Schlossberg happily played along with, perhaps intended to massage less astute older voters and moderates. Some actress named Tracee Ellis Ross served the evening’s pre-recorded, remote emcee from an empty studio in Los Angeles. She introduced the Kennedy family’s video alongside vintage footage of the slain former president, claiming, ‘Biden is a real leader, because he will look out for you’.
Both statements would be, for anyone paying attention, encouraging Democrats to ask what your government will do for you, and not the other way around: the opposite of JFK’s immortal dictum. In doing so, Democrats affirmed what most Americans already know — this party has moved on to more Maoist pastures, tossing aside the man who stood down the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis.
Between actresses no one has heard of, and nominee Joe Biden doing live streams with rapper Cardi B, it seems the Democratic party has learned nothing from 2016. Americans who vote do not care what Hollywood celebrities think. In fact, the association proved to be a liability during the previous general election. Still, the party of the red carpet presses on, like a high-school student council candidate who believes getting the popular kids to support him is the path to victory. John Legend also performed remotely for Tuesday’s night of festivities as the party continues to call on those ‘lock-jawed pop stars, thicker than pig shit’ celebrities, as Morrissey once sang, to back their out-of-touch and sublimely cynical pitch for average Americans. The popular kids don’t seem to realize the energized electorate remains the weirdos, outcasts, goth kids and pot-smokers skipping gym class to hang out beneath the bleachers — sick of being bullied by the establishment.
While watching the sad, awkward second night of a ‘virtual’ convention, you could be forgiven for wondering if this was the best possible situation for the Democratic party. The 2016 Democratic convention was rocked by Bernie Bro disrupters: now their increasingly bloodthirsty leftist cousins are burning down businesses and rioting, in some cases, like Portland, for three months straight. The DNC screwed the progressive base once again when AOC was only permitted 60 seconds to speak Tuesday. Any physical gathering for the DNC might have descended into further mayhem.
The virtual DNC has also given Republicans an advantage. They’ve watched the sad affair and lack of enthusiasm, to strategize how they might outshine the basement-dwellers on the other side of the ticket. Perhaps Republicans might consider scrapping existing convention plans for a convention on sea, not land, or via Zoom. Recent weekend boat parades in support of the President in Florida have reached near world-records for contemporary flotillas. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy seeing the President cruise in to accept the nomination while standing on an aircraft carrier?