I usually skip watching political conventions entirely, given that they are just staged political propaganda for each party, providing a forum for politicians on each side to present rhetoric that mostly ranges from the dishonest to the insipid, as American political rhetoric usually does. (It's especially not surprising to find such rhetoric at a convention, because they are trying to win over the undecideds, who tend to be the most ignorant of voters, who generally cannot be bothered with substance, and are unaware of the dishonesty). And given that my libertarian views are so far out of the political mainstream, I rarely can take ideological pleasure in any of the speeches given by politicians for either party, almost all of whom I dislike and often despise.
That said, this election cycle is more interesting than most, and I caught a few of the Republican convention speeches. Dishonest and insipid, not surprisingly, was par for the course, though it was very interesting to watch Gov. Palin easily surpass low expectations as a rhetorician.
According to Brian Leiter, however, one of his colleagues at a "leading American law school" found the Republican speeches Wednesday night, which included Palin's, not the usual partisan nonsense one gets from political conventions, but "horrific." Leiter's anonymous correspondent continues: "Only twice have I heard anything so blood-curdling: First, on viewing Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph des Willens while an undergraduate. And second, on listening to a radio broadcast of an old tape of a Jim Jones sermon in 'Jonestown' Guyana."
Res ipsa loquitur.