Matthews: The difference between Tampa and Charlotte

Updated

Let me finish tonight with where I began in that other convention, the one in Tampa. 

If people want to know the difference between the two political parties in 2012, let them come to Charlotte. If people are looking for an alternative to the grim business convention of last week, wanting more joy in their politics, more generosity in their aspiration for this country—let them come to Charlotte. 

I think we heard some bad voices last week, a convention echoing with spiteful talk about “welfare” and “food stamp presidencies,” dripping with “birther-ism,” backroom schemes to keep minorities from voting. 

I know we heard some good voices this week, like that of Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and Julian Castro of San Antonio and Bill Clinton of…let’s face it—the whole world! They called for fairness and opportunity and, yes, the pursuit of happiness regardless of how you are born. 

There was a kind of “gentleman’s agreement” in Tampa: allow people to say terrible things, words meant to anger and divide people—allow all this to be said—but agree to deny to the last man that a nasty word had been even thought, much less spoken. 

There was none of that here in Charlotte. Here we’ve felt the revelry of a people happy to be American, not begrudging it, not slicing and dicing who’s in and who’s out, who’s to be turned against another, who’s to be silenced, who’s to be specially rewarded. 

If it looks happy down here, it’s because it is. 

Hardball Let Me Finish

Matthews: The difference between Tampa and Charlotte

Updated