This column has been temporarily canceled due to lack of sideshow (until GOP convention shenanigans start in late August).
Until then, it's important to sum up, for those angry Americans who have turned off their TVs in disgust, exclaiming that the two-party system is hopelessly broken, that much of substance was achieved here.
No 1.: After the balloons fell, and the last delegate left the hall, I'm pretty sure I actually saw a secret service agent crack a smile. He might have just been picking his teeth - and some analysts claim he had just passed an open helium tank - but Washington insiders are placing the event at the top of their lists of the impossible.
No. 2: Many delegates have made contacts and new friends that could last a lifetime. Just by rubbing shoulders with folks of other contexts and persuasions, many have been jarred out of their limited viewpoints. In an impromptu street parade put on by some alternative political organizations, I personally met a very creative guy in chaps who made me question my time-worn habit of wearing socks and shoes, and eschewing warpaint. Calling himself the "black-nose clown of anarchy," he spoke in a whole new form of language and logic, and promised to call me often to explain why paying rent is not necessary.
No. 3: As evidenced by exhaustive but improved security screening of visitors at all entry points, advances have clearly been made in the area of holistic body massage. Many delegates reported that they now have a new knowledge of their anatomy that they lacked before.
No. 4: New names and faces have been legitimatized in the political arena. Previously avoided by many in upper echelons, the TV personality Jerry Springer was seen here at local bars holding court with young women - it is perhaps a sign of the Democratic Party tent expanding to embrace trolls, druids, and mutants (but enough said about the guests he chooses).
No. 5: There is a growing awareness and appreciation of personal tolerance within "the American process." You don't really know a person well until you've shared quality time together on the subway-crammed convention floor, explaining how your hotdog mustard ended up on that sweet little delegate from Alabama.
No. 6: Without knowing how or why, many visitors here can now spout full sentences of intelligent-sounding jargon that sound impressive and can't be argued with. Phrases such as "I'm for a virtuous circle of prosperity," or "We need an economic policy based on increasing our common wealth." I witnessed this in myself after explaining to the subway-token seller that I wanted to "execute a secure, self-sustaining, private authorization initiative."
Bottom line: Americans, don't be afraid to shed your long-term inefficiencies and shine the light on the mirror of one-time tax-credit reform, strategy enhancement, collective multilateral disinvestment. Nothing less than the future of the country is at stake.