Now that the current public health catastrophe is clearly going to affect the Democratic convention, the party is starting to talk about what happens next. What can the Democrats do when they are unable to hold their convention? This is all uncharted territory and it is easy to see why the party is full of doom and gloom.
Could you imagine the public backlash if the Democrats decided to push forward with their usual plans? There is no reason to risk the health of any pivotal party members and the general public must also be considered. The United States is hoping for a summer lull when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Democrats cannot be irresponsible here. If they make the wrong choice, they could be planting the seeds for a brand new outbreak. Party leaders are now in the process of considering all of the viable alternatives. Maybe the convention could be held a bit later? Is a virtual convention an option?
These are questions that need to be answered as quickly as possible. April is already upon us and July is going to be here before you know it. Alexis Wiley is one of the superdelegates in the state of Michigan and she believes that the convention is likely to be cancelled entirely.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin DNC member Khary Penebaker is worried about the economic impact of cancelling the convention. Milwaukee businesses are struggling to remain afloat during the pandemic and the convention would provide many of them with a much needed shot in the arm. At this point, the convention would be bringing many of them back to life.
Rescheduling the convention date also comes with a host of potential problems. Fiserv Forum may need to keep dates open if the NBA season is resumed. The Milwaukee Bucks are expected to make a deep playoff run and are the heavy Eastern Conference favorite to make the NBA Finals.
Wisconsin residents have been polled on the matter. 62 percent of the respondents have decided that a typical convention would be a bad idea. While these residents also have to consider the millions in lost revenue, COVID-19 has everyone thinking differently. No one wants to risk their long term health in hopes of enjoying a short term financial gain.
The event cannot be scaled down, either. How would this type of idea even work? It’s the type of thing that sounds better on paper. There are over 4,000 delegates who would be on hand, let alone all of the other personnel and attendees. Rapid contagion could easily take place in such a setting and we should be avoiding these types of concerns at all costs.
The delegates are also older and thus more susceptible to the virus. If an outbreak took place at the convention, it would be a major disaster for the Democratic party. Their members would be placed in immediate danger and the public outcry also has to be taken into account here.
Testing on site would not be all that feasible either. How are you supposed to test thousands of attendees each day? The event could be scaled down a bit and less delegates may be sent. Unfortunately, this would drain much of the vitality from the event. You can’t bring a small crowd into a massive convention center and hope to create the same level of excitement.
There are others who believe that floor speeches and floor votes could take place remotely. If there’s no audience on hand, the event takes on a different sort of meaning. The Democrats are probably better off cancelling entirely but this is going to spell the end of the Bernie Sanders campaign. This was his last chance to close the gap that Biden has opened up.
It’s hard to imagine a universe where large gatherings are going to permitted by public health officials anytime soon. In fact, there are many who believe that large gatherings are going to be prohibited for the rest of the year. Even if the Democrats wanted to aim for August, this is right around the time we would be told to stay home and try our best to prevent a new outbreak.
As for Bernie Sanders, he is going to try his best to stay in the race in the meantime. Things may look bleak for him at the moment but give him credit for fighting it out until the bitter end. He is not going to go quietly into the night. If he’s lucky, maybe Joe Biden will finally have the massive gaffe that he’s clearly been building to over these past few months!