The recently concluded U.S. political conventions offered American voters two separate and distinct views of the world – one based on authenticity and another on artifice, a member of the European Parliament said this week.
“Looking at the Republican Convention for the past two days, you can see such a huge difference,” Jerome Riviere of France, who has served in the multinational body since 2019, said during an appearance on “The National Pulse” with host Raheem Kassam.
Riviere, who later shared some observations about Hillary Clinton, said, “The Democratic Convention seemed like a stage -- with actors delivering specific lines, trying to give to the American people a specific speech.”
'More about normal people'
The Republican Convention, meanwhile, “was all about authenticity,” Riviere said.
“It was quite interesting to see it was more about normal people, telling the American people about their fears, their worries, their pride -- what they are hoping for the United States. It is a breath of fresh air and I think this was quite enjoyable to see.”
Over the course of four nights, the GOP convention introduced the nation to everyday Americans such as Madison Cawthorn, 25, of North Carolina, who's now running for Congress after surviving a horrific accident; Sgt. Ann Marie Dorn, widow of a retired St. Louis police officer who was fatally shot during a riot; and Carl and Marsha Mueller, whose daughter Kayla Mueller was abducted and slain by ISIS terrorists.
Viewers also watched as President Trump presided over a naturalization ceremony, granting legal U.S. citizenship to a group of immigrants.
Riviere said it was unfortunate that the coronavirus pandemic made large crowds impossible for the GOP gathering “because it would have brought even more traction to the Trump candidacy because it felt authentic -- with people deciding that they are going to vote because they want to.
"The Democratic Convention seemed like a stage -- with actors delivering specific lines."
“You’re not touched by a movie and the stars that were coming at the Democratic Convention were delivering something,” he said. “It’s a prop and it was not that good.
“In the end, I think, the two conventions will make quite a difference,” in what voters decide on Election Day, he concluded.
Clinton 'like the Taliban'
During the same interview, Riviere offered his views on Hillary Clinton’s recent insistence that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden not concede the November election to President Trump under any circumstances.
Riviere said Clinton’s comments were very revealing about her approach to politics.
“I hear someone that does not respect the people anymore,” Riviere said.
He noted that in the 2016 election, when Clinton was the Democratic nominee opposing the political novice Republican Trump, Clinton had used the word “deplorables” to describe some of Trump’s supporters.
The remark proved that Clinton “has disdain for the common person,” Riviere said.
“She believes that she should be entitled to rule -- or her class should be entitled to rule the people -- because they know better.”
To Riviere, the attitude that Clinton brings to politics is “a little bit like the Taliban,” he said.
“They believe that they knew better and they want to rule the people, whether they liked it or not. It’s the same thing here. She believes she knows better and she should be entitled to be ruling the country.”
"She believes she knows better and she should be entitled to be ruling the country."
But Riviere also thanked Clinton, saying her labeling of some voters as “deplorables” had helped frame the state of politics for many members of the public amid the rise of globalization.
'Proud to be deplorables'
In France, Riviere said, “We don’t have a word like ‘deplorables.’ We must thank Hillary Clinton for coining such a term because I think we are all proud to be deplorables.”
He went on to say Clinton represented the “winners of the globalization” – while those who oppose Clinton politically speak for “the losers of globalization.”
“In French, we call them bourgeois, the boheme,” Riviere said. “These are the people that are winners of the globalization. They can buy a ticket and go for one weekend somewhere with an airline and travel … and enjoy the fact that it’s easy to travel from one country to the other.
“The reality of the common man,” he continued, “is that it is still expensive to travel, they need to fight for their job.
"The reality of the common man is that it is still expensive to travel, they need to fight for their job."
“You have to understand that in France, the level of unemployment is above two-digit figures, so it is really high, and people are scared for their jobs. So they are the losers of the globalization.”
Riviere said the Brexit battle – the move by Britain to withdraw from the European Union – grew from ordinary citizens’ rejection of globalization and its effects on their economic security.
“So people from the United Kingdom [were] saying, ‘Look, going with European Union, we keep on losing. We keep on losing job, we keep on losing wealth.”
He said the epiphany in Britain that globalization wasn’t working was “the first domino … that led to President Trump being elected four years ago.”
“In France … we hope to be another domino in this puzzle, in this vast movement of people taking over their nations,” Riviere added. “About populists being able to say, ‘Look, we are in charge of our country because we love it.’”