Opinion by Richard Galant, (CNN)
More than 500 years ago, Thomas More published a slim book in Latin that bequeathed us the word "Utopia." He conjured up a fictional island where people enjoy "life in happiness and peace, with all cares removed."
Three centuries later, philosopher John Stuart Mill questioned the practicality of achieving a Utopia -- popularizing the term "dystopia" in a speech to the House of Commons.
As they presented their case this past week for ousting the President, Democrats summoned a dystopian vision of Donald Trump's America: a rampaging virus, record unemployment and democracy in danger. Over four nights, convention speakers, including Barack and Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Jill Biden, invoked decency, empathy, democracy, diversity and unity to rally voters behind Joe Biden. Trump is clueless about the Covid-19 pandemic and completely out of his depth in his job, they said. "It is what it is," Michelle Obama concluded, echoing the President's own recent comment.
Forced by the coronavirus to meet virtually, Democrats invented some new ways of convening, featuring a roll call that offered glimpses of all 57 states and territories -- including a cameo appearance by a platter of Rhode Island calamari. "Let's not go back to the old way of doing conventions," Jen Psaki wrote, "The third night of the Democratic National Convention was far more powerful and more moving..."
But that was last week. Starting Monday Republicans will have a chance to strike back at their convention, to defend Trump's presidency and to warn Americans not to entrust the White House to Democrats. And the outlines of their own fearsome dystopia are not hard to imagine. On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence said on Fox News, "Joe Biden said last night that democracy was on the ballot, character's on the ballot. Well, the economy is on the ballot, law and order is on the ballot, and the American people know it."