I entered the Democratic National Convention with high expectations. The energy level at the RNC was insurmountable―in both good and bad ways―and I didn’t see how Philadelphia could be any different.
Once we arrived in the city of brotherly love, I was disappointed to see the lack of any place for convention-goers to congregate. In Cleveland, there was a large public square just blocks from the convention center where protesters, journalists, and students like ourselves gathered to engage with one another. Often these conversations went politely, other times they did not as warriors from both parties would hurl loud and arguments over the deep chasm of political difference.
Philadelphia was much different. About fifteen minutes from the heart of the city, there was a vast concrete desert carved into a piece of land where all of Philadelphia’s stadiums stood. On account of the extremely high level of security, there was nowhere for the politics junkies to engage with each other as there was in Cleveland. As a result, the city felt quiet. Sure, there may have been more t-shirt stands than there would be on average, but for a city steeped in love and companionship it was lacking the fervor and excitement that was present in Cleveland.