The Democratic National Convention is just around the corner and desperation is in the air.
With a belligerently out-of-touch 2020 presidential nominee in Joe Biden and a cutthroat prosecutorial mind almost antithetical to the modern progressive movement in newly named running mate Kamala Harris, the Democratic Party certainly has its hands full when it comes to exciting idealistic young leftists to vote the ticket this November.
And willing to try just about anything in its efforts to bring increased viewership to the convention and better court a younger demographic, it would seem the party has decided to tap into a played out social motivator: the power of celebrity.
In a Friday news release, the Democratic Party proudly announced it had secured a handful of household names in the American music industry to perform sets across the four-day Milwaukee-based convention, which will feature primarily virtual addresses and a distinct lack of in-person audience as a result of COVID-19.
Among those set to perform are recently viral Grammy winners Billie Eilish and John Legend, as well as Leon Bridges, The Chicks, Common, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Porter, Maggie Rogers, Prince Royce and Stephen Stills.
— billie eilish (@billieeilish) August 14, 2020
I’m excited to be performing at this year’s @DemConvention in support of @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris! Find out more info here: https://t.co/XIdmqolNtj
And don’t forget to register to vote! #DemConvention pic.twitter.com/3cccaZ0FXf
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 15, 2020
Their appearances, 2020 Democratic National Convention program executive Stephanie Cutter said, will make the four-day event “look and feel very different than past conventions.”
“It will truly be a convention across America, and these incredible artists will help us tell the story of where we are as a country today under Donald Trump’s failed leadership, and the promise of what we can and should be with Joe Biden as president,” Cutter said. “These artists are committed to engaging with, registering and mobilizing voters to get us over the finish line in November.”
This culture-dependent strategy, of course, has already been exhausted by the Democrats and come up short.
In 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enlisted the help of such artists as Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and her husband, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen to energize younger voters down the stretch, according to The Atlantic.
Despite filling out a handful of sizable rallies, the aforementioned celebrities were entirely unable to push Clinton over the finish line, as she fell to a politically untested Donald Trump in a 304-227 Electoral College decision.
The reality was one that Trump would not soon allow Clinton to forget, touting it at campaign rallies for years to come.
“She’d bring in Beyoncé, and then Jay-Z would get up and he’d use language that was so bad if I used that language I’d be run out of the country,” Trump said during an August 2018 campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, according to the Asbury Park Press.
“And then she brought in Bruce Springsteen and they would draw crowds that were smaller than my crowd.”
“I didn’t need Beyoncé and Jay-Z. I didn’t need little Bruce Springsteen,” Trump reiterated roughly one year later at a rally in Minneapolis, according to Variety, alleging Clinton’s already small crowds would show up for the musical performances and depart or mentally check out the moment their favorite celebrity left the stage.
TRUMP on Hillary: “She would bring in Beyonce & Jay-z would get up & use language that is so bad. They would say ‘Trump’s language is tough.’ You have heard Jay-Z. She would bring in Springsteen. They were drawing crowds smaller than mine. I said, ‘why are we going to lose?'” pic.twitter.com/MMGDYct9I2
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 3, 2018
I mean, who could blame them?
We may disagree on politics, but I would have been front and center at one of Clinton’s lousy “I’m With Her” rallies in 2016 if it meant a free concert from my favorite musical artists.
Of course, Clinton’s generosity in providing me that concert certainly would never have secured my vote for the former secretary of state.
And that is exactly the problem.
The Democrats in charge of planning these pageants may not recognize it, but no free concert is going to move this generation’s lazy youth to the polls if they aren’t already politically tuned in.
This is all the more true in the era of COVID-19, when anyone with an internet connection can receive that free concert from the Democrats with the mere click of a button — no proof of electoral interest of voter registration necessary.
Mark my words, the folks pulled into watching the DNC solely for the musical guests are not going to be voting.
The folks watching the event out of ideological agreement, on the other hand, were already planning to vote before these guests were announced.
Heck, they may now be watching in spite of the pedantic pop performances.
Those still interested in watching the DNC for the progressive insanity and political theater that will undoubtedly come interspersed between those socially charged pop music performances, however, will find the event televised online and across the spectrum of establishment media news networks this Monday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time.
But I wouldn’t suggest it.
The average viewer could make better use of those eight hours enjoying one of the many popular television or streaming service miniseries released in recent months — or just banging their heads against a wall.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.