Regardless of one's precise political peccadilloes, most of us agree this is one of the most important elections of our lifetime. However, one gets the feeling the Romney campaign, and even the RNC, either aren't aware of the stakes or, perhaps, just not sure of the best way to convey those stakes to the electorate. But there's a simple way to make sure the upcoming Republican convention in Tampa acts as a constant reminder of the stakes.
Political conventions are essentially one long Zig Ziglar self-help seminar, with a bit of the "Sham Wow" guy thrown in. You want to energize the base, while simultaneously helping to sell the soap. I get it. Far be it for me to suggest they change any of that. But, this time around, amid all the usual glad-handing and self-congratulation on the stage, they should feature a constant reminder of the kind of trouble we're all in.
At the start of the convention, whoever brings the gavel in to get it started should hit a huge Jeopardy!-style buzzer, and start tallying up what's being added to the national debt. The tally will keep running all day and night, and the numbers will be clearly visible throughout the convention—just like Jerry Lewis’s Labor Day telethon. The tote board will be on display during all the speeches, including Chris Christie's VP acceptance speech (just let me hang on to that dream a little while longer) and Romney's coup de grace.
As Romney finishes his speech, the debt clock is stopped, "God bless America" is said, and the lights are turned out. The cameras then zoom in on the red LED read-out of those billions that have been added to the national debt throughout the week—holding there for a full minute, giving plenty of time for the stakes to sink in. Then, after that moment of silence, crank up "I Still Believe" by the Call, and send the delegates, staffers, volunteers, and American voters off to fight the good fight through November 6.
Dennis Miller hosts the Dennis Miller Show, among other things.