Dave Paxton

I’m not going to tell you that I watched gavel to gavel the Democrat convention last week. Frankly, my family, church and community are more important than sitting in front of a television soaking in largely hatred and vitriol from a political party, any political party. I thought I was an equal opportunity ignorer of political conventions until the Albia volleyball tournament was cancelled and my wife and I started watching the G.O.P. convention around eight o’clock.

I switched back and forth between CNN and Fox News and sure enough, the CNN people were watching a completely different convention than we were. It was really sort of bizarre.

With Tim Scott and Nikki Haley, I’m pretty sure the party is in pretty good shape looking past 2020. Kimberly Guilfoyle (former “The Five” co-host) is stunningly beautiful but got to shouting a little too much. Sean Parnell, the thrice wounded Afganistan Army vet running for Congress from Pennyslvania was tremendous, as were most of the other speakers.

Everybody jabbed Biden-Harris, but the theme was all about the greatness of America. It was pretty fine.

What I know of the Democrat convention comes from reading the Des Moines Register and watching Fox News. And it’s not a pretty picture. There is no real love and momentum for Joe Biden in the Democrat party. How can there be? He is a man closing in on 80 years of age, with a spotty history on race relations, a former (in another lifetime) Kennedyesque Democrat who sided with Republicans and other moderate Democrats to support Bill Clinton’s initiatives on law and order and welfare to work in the 90s and a man who was cozy with any number of southern Democrats who wanted to stall the civil rights movement.

He’s a creepy, hands-all-over women kind of guy who is now suffering from some sort of mental fatigue. How the Democrats delivered this guy from a field that included Tulsi Gabbord, Andrew Yang and Cory Booker (I disagree with most of what they espouse, but admire their ability to link coherent sentences) I will never know.

And I don’t use the charge of mental fatigue lightly. My family suffered along with my step-mother and her battle with Alzheimers. It’s a terribly debilitating disease and it is not a disease a person running for President of the United States should have.

From the coverage of Fox News, watching actual footage of the virtual convention, there were incredibly troubling moments that I can’t believe my friends and neighbors in southern Iowa who still claim to be Democrats can abide.

Foremost was the gathering of various caucuses (specifically the Islam Caucus and the LGBTQ Caucus) who recited together the Pledge of Allegiance removing the words “Under God” from the pledge. If you know the history of the pledge, it comes from the fledgling Communist movement of the late 1800s where the masses were to pledge their fealty to the state. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, added the words “Under God” following the words “One Nation” to poke a stick in the eye of that Communist/Socialist mindset.

Modern Democrats, clearly know what they are doing. This is A.O.C. and The Squad who adore Castro and Stalin, staking their claim to the country.

The other stunning thing about the convention and the lack of coverage in the Register, was the absence of any mention of the riots, looting and burning in cities across the United States. I know Trump haters who think the President created the rioting in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Kansas City, New York and Chicago, but these are generationally run liberal, Democrat cities, with the nation’s toughest gun laws. Murders in these bastions of liberal thought are up between 30 and 50 percent.

The one thing you can say about the looters and rioters is that they are equal opportunity anarchists. They hate everybody, of every color, of every creed and every gender. They hate America. We’re into this national disgrace for something over 90 straight days where mom and pop stores are being burned and looted at the same time these whack-a-doodle Democrat mayors and city councils are defunding their police departments.

And there wasn’t one word about it last week in the bunkers that were the Democrat convention. You’ve got a black lesbian mayor of Chicago who finally made a stand when the anarchists came to her neighborhood, threatening violence on her wife. The anarchists and rioters are equal opportunity but Mayor Lightfoot is only interested in protecting property in Chicago when it’s hers.

You cannot tell me that this is something Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy or even Bill Clinton would have stood for.

Speaking of Bill Clinton, he provided high humor for the convention when he came out and talked about President Trump’s moral failings the exact same day that photographs were released of him getting a massage from (very probably) a teenage sex slave of Jeffrey Epstein’s. If this is the best moral thermometer the Democrats have to wag a finger at Trump, the country is in a lot worse shape than I could have ever imagined.

Then they trooped Hillary Clinton out to continue their moral outrage, knowing full well it was Clinton who orchestrated all sorts of FBI illegal surveillance and paid for a fully discredited Russian dossier in the last election.

I did watch a portion of Biden’s acceptance speech, where he apparently read flawlessly a speech written for him, a part of which is now being eyed as being plagiarized from a Canadian politician. Obviously he is better able to read from someone else’s thought patterns.

Thursday I left my self isolation in the timbers of Monroe County to visit the fields of YMCA flag football in Oskaloosa where my grandson is playing on the vaunted Purple Panthers (a name, by the way that is politically acceptable for all but people protecting the sanctity of wild cats). I could brag up my lickety split fast grandson all day, but just sitting out in the bright sunshine with a bunch of people I didn’t know watching eight-year-olds (none of them masked) run around having fun with a football was golden.

On Saturday I was back in Oskaloosa taking in a three-hour varsity volleyball scrimmage with Oskaloosa, Pella, Fairfield and Albia participating. My granddaughter is on Albia’s team and for kids who missed out on a summer of camps and club play, there was some pretty good competition.

Pella (ranked 14th in Class 4A) has two girls I’m pretty sure could be recruited for Division I volleyball and Osky has a kid with similar skills. But Albia mostly held its own in a rebuilding year. Our girls are short but spunky, with a whole lot of court sense.

Most interesting was the new rule of wiping down the volleyball after every serve. Three balls will be in use this season, one in use, one in the waiting and one being sanitized. Trying to get my head around the reasons behind sanitizing the volleyball after every point is impossible. I’m pretty sure the people from the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union who laid out the rule, upon seeing it in action said, “What the heck is this?”

It did make for some very sticky balls by the end of the day and girls with hands and forearms that smelled dainty fresh. Will this in any way prevent the spread of COVID-19? No, but if it allows kids to keep playing, go for it.

Just to stir the pot a bit more. Biden says he will shut down the entire economy this winter if that was what the science says. This is what my scientist daughter says having run the numbers on total Iowa deaths during the six months of the COVID-19 pandemic:

The stats show that a little over 1,000 Iowans have died from COVID-19 in this time period. But right now we’re something like 337 more deaths in 2020 than the same period in 2019. A rational person can come to only one conclusion. People die and they die from something…influenza, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, motorcycle accidents, drownings, murders and social isolation (despair). COVID-19.

Following the science would be outstanding if scientists were actually honest with the American people.

One more thing and I’ll shut up. My heart breaks for those people who have families trapped inside nursing homes, unable to see their loved ones in the final days and hours of their lives. I thank God every day that I was with my mother when she died of breast cancer in hospice care at the age of 66 and my dad from congestive heart failure, again in hospice care in his 90s. And we’re grateful we were at my wife’s mother’s bedside when her heart failed and then spent every waking hour with her dad as liver and lung cancer killed him at 91.

COVID-19 is robbing precious, life-changing moments between our nursing home bound parents and grandparents and their children and grandchildren and when we come out of this haze, we will recognize this as the greatest failing of our ability to understand and deal with the disease.

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