PHILADELPHIA – Amidst calls for unity that transcend party lines and insistent mantras of “Stronger Together,” tensions at the Democratic National Convention remained high as it entered into its fourth and final day of ceremonies.
The convention reached a boiling point during the speech of retired Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, who spoke unequivocally of what a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean for U.S. military policy in the Middle East: total victory over the Islamic State.
This sentiment was met with multiple chants of “No More War,” which would be drowned out by chants of “U-S-A.”
The result was a three-way shouting contest between the anti-war faction, the pro-military majority and Gen. Allen, who became visibly frustrated by the chanters’ constant interruptions.
This precedent did not bode well for Clinton’s acceptance speech. The prospect of a loud chanting crowd would be a national embarrassment, as Clinton’s party would appear completely torn and out of control when she needs it to look “Stronger Together” the most.
Constant interruptions would distract from the messages Clinton needed to convey to voters across the country: that she’s qualified, she’s ready, and she will defeat Republican nominee Donald Trump in November if the people go out and vote.
Fortune would favor Clinton, as the presidential-hopeful accepted her party’s nomination with far less interruption than Gen. Allen. Lone wolf protestors were met with stern hisses of “Shhhh!” from those sitting around them. Hecklers who continued to vocalize their disapproval through the chastisement of their peers were escorted out of the convention by security.
There were only two moments where the counter-chants of the crowd gave pause to Clinton mid-speech. In those two brief moments, Clinton’s expression and posture would stiffen, but she never lost composure.
In all, Clinton demonstrated her presidential temperament for all watching the convention and delivered a speech that appealed to voters from all walks of life and political affiliations.
Top photo by Doug Christian
Philip Swanson is a sophomore at UMBC.