Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

Democratically speaking

Bluish blue wave

Yes, there were multiple points I was brought to misty eyes during Monday night’s opening round of the Democratic National Convention.

Even with all the problems I see in our nation today, including that of placing our comfort over the lives of most other people around the globe, I’m still touched by things such as a choir representing all areas of the country singing The National Anthem.

More so, my heart strings are tugged by memorials to those whose lives have been lost unnecessarily.

But that’s all I have to say about it right now. Instead, here are some quotes I pulled out of the broadcast. I did not have an ideal situation to harvest these lines, so they may not be the best, but they’re worth repeating. If there are others you’d like to mention, please do so via the comment link below.

We are 77 days from the election, but most of us will have the chance to vote early. Go to, a site by the League of Women Voters, make sure you’re registered, learn when you can vote, make a plan, take a friend.


Kristin Urquiza, an Arizona woman whose father died of COVID-19 after the state reopened too early:

“My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life.”


Rep. Jim Clyburn, South Carolina, on laying the groundwork for a more just future:

“It won’t be easy. We can only succeed if we move forward together. So, we will need a president who sees unifying people as a requirement of the job, a president who understands the true meaning of community and who will build it through trust and humility.”


Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York, about his state’s early experience with the coronavirus:

“We went through hell, but we have learned much. We know that our problems go beyond the COVID virus. COVID is the symptom, not the illness. Our nation is in crisis and, in many ways, COVID is just a metaphor. A virus attacks when the body is weak, and when it cannot defend itself. Over these past few years, America’s body politic has been weakened, the divisions have been growing deeper, the anti-Semitism, the anti-Latino, the anti-immigrant fervor, the racism in Charlottesville, where the KKK didn’t even bother to wear their hoods, and in Minnesota, where the life was squeezed from Mr. Floyd. Only a strong body can fight off the virus, and America’s divisions weakened it. Donald Trump didn’t create the initial division. The division created Trump. He only made it worse.”


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan, on who is essential:

“Over the past few months, we’ve learned what is essential – rising to the challenge, not denying it. We’ve learned who is essential, too. Not just the wealthiest among us. Not a president who fights his fellow Americans rather than fight the virus that is killing us and our economy. It’s the people who put their own health at risk to care for the rest of us. They are the MVPs. The nurses and the doctors, the utility workers, truck drivers and grocery clerks, the childcare workers, the parents, the teachers, the mail carriers, and the auto workers.”


John Kasich, former governor of Ohio and Republican presidential candidate, on country over party:

“I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country. That’s why I’ve chosen to appear here at this convention. In normal times, something like this would probably never happen, but these are not normal times. I’m proud of my Republican heritage. It’s the party of Lincoln, who reflected its founding principles of unity and a higher purpose. But what I have witnessed these past four years belies those principles. Many of us cannot imagine four more years going down this path, and that is why I am asking you to join with me in choosing a better way forward. I believe that the best of America lies ahead, but only when we rediscover our shared belief in the United States of America.”


Sen. Doug Jones, Alabama, on finding common ground:

“Alabama has shown me that even our deepest divisions can be overcome because each of us wants the same thing, to be treated fairly and given the same opportunities, and a freedom to live with dignity and respect. Now, some politicians try to pit us against each other, but I believe Americans have more in common than what divides us. And in November, we have the chance to elect a president who believes that, too.”


Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota, on reaching toward a higher purpose:

“Donald Trump just happens to be in my state today to divide the people instead of responding to the pandemic and the significant needs of our economy. But Democrats, Independents and, yes, many Republicans have had enough of his divisiveness. Tonight, my friends, in contrast, we’ve heard a lot about how we can unite as Americans, about our shared values, our shared dreams, how we’ve come together in the face of crisis, but I want to be clear, unity isn’t about settling. It’s about striving for something more. It isn’t the end, it’s the means, it’s how we get stuff done. Unity is about reaching out toward a higher purpose, a better future for all of us. E pluribus unum – out of many, one. It is more than a motto; it is the North Star for our democracy. Now, more than ever, we need a president who will unite this country, we need a president who, in George Floyd’s memory, instead of using The Bible as a prop will heed its words to act justly.”


Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont, on unifying a party with broad interests:

“This election is the most important in the modern history of this country. In response to the unprecedented crises we face, we need an unprecedented response, a movement like never before, of people who are prepared to stand up and fight for democracy and decency. And against greed, oligarchy, and bigotry. And we need Joe Biden as our next president.”


Michelle Obama, former first lady, on empathy:

“And here at home, as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and a never-ending list of innocent people of color continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that a black life matters is still met with derision from the nation’s highest office. Because, whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is chaos, division and a total and utter lack of empathy.”


Tonight’s (Tuesday’s) program is to feature former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, former Secretary of State John Kerry, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, former President Bill Clinton, and former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

There are many ways you can watch, as listed here.

I’ll leave you with one Monday zinger, this one from Sen. Sanders:

“Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs.”

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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