There was one especially revealing moment this week at the Democratic National Convention. It came as Leon Panetta was in the middle of his speech Wednesday evening.
That's Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense, former Director of the CIA, former Congressman, a man widely respected by members of both parties.
It was not surprising that this distinguished American, who knows a thing or two about foreign policy, brought up the fight against global terrorism. But the moment he did that, many in the crowd erupted in boos and chants of 'No More War.' Leon Panetta could only stand at the podium and smile wanly.
'No More War' sounds great, but those protesters may want to bone up on the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. The nations of the world got together and essentially outlawed war as a means of settling disputes. Noble in sentiment, foolish and feckless in reality.
So Leon Panetta learned a painful lesson Wednesday, namely that terror is the issue that dare not speak its name in liberal circles.
President Obama used the word 'terrorism' once while lauding Hillary Clinton's foreign policy chops. He mentioned the Islamic State - 'ISIL' to him - exactly twice. The president assured us that our troops have 'pounded ISIL without mercy.'
How about the 'radical Islamic terrorism?' You might expect to hear that phrase with Islamists running wild in Europe, even beheading a beloved octogenarian priest in his French church.
Francois Hollande, the President of France, proclaimed, 'France is at war.' But here in the USA, even as ISIS vows to strike Washington and New York City, one of our major political parties refuses to acknowledge the enemy.
Some uber-liberals should check out Step One in the Alcoholics Anonymous playbook, which advises people to admit there is a problem. (Of course, they can skip all those other steps that mention God.)
So right now President Obama and Donald Trump are putting forth radically different views of America in the year 2016.
The Republican candidate paints an America beset with 'poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad.' The New York Times accused Trump of trying to 'terrify voters.' Well, voters apparently don't need Mr. Trump to do that, considering that about 7 in 10 Americans believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction.
On the other side, President Obama and Hillary Clinton put forth a rosier image of the USA, which is to be expected.
They point to an economic recovery, even though growth has been sluggish. And they eagerly note a dramatic decline in violent crime over the past 25 years, although the murder rate is recently soaring in many of our largest cities.
Some of those crimes are being committed by illegal immigrants, bringing us to another issue that is conspicuously absent from the Philadelphia convention. In the minds of hard-core progressives, who dominate the Democratic Party, there is no such thing as an illegal immigrant because no person can ever be 'illegal.'
Let's stipulate that Jesse Watters' humorous interviews fall far short of being scientific polls, but when he spoke with some folks in Philadelphia their responses were nothing short of remarkable. 'I believe in a borderless planet,' one man told him, while a woman said, 'People should come here and we should welcome them with open arms.' Watters reported that he couldn't find a single person opposed to unfettered immigration.
We should all face facts about the problems facing America and the world: President Obama's decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq led to the rise of ISIS, the savage group that can't be mentioned at this week's convention.
The president and his secretary of state failed to destroy Assad's air force in Syria when they could. Laying down a 'red line,' then backing away from it, led to millions of refugees storming into Europe.
The Iranian nuclear deal has bolstered the power of the mullahs across the region, while the Libya debacle has given ISIS a foothold there.
Here at home, cops are getting murdered, race relations are much worse than in recent memory, and the far-left is running wild in our cities and universities.
The New York Times and other left-wing publications have clearly taken sides in this election. They see Donald Trump as a lying demagogue trying to scare Americans to death, while Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are calm and rational leaders who can be trusted to make things better.
The mainstream media, kind of like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, will put their thumbs on the scale to help Mrs. Clinton. But Donald Trump has the distinct advantage of being able to speak off the cuff about nearly anything, even when he gets into trouble doing so.
We'll conclude with that ubiquitous quote from the movie All About Eve: 'Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride.' In fact, the Bette Davis character said 'bumpy night,' but you get the idea. There are very many turbulent days and nights, weeks and months ahead of us. Buckle up!