The party of optimism against the party of pessimism.
Let's start with President Obama's speech last night, which set the table for that campaign theme.
A recent Gallup poll says that just 17% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the USA.
Apparently the president is among those 17%:
OBAMA: “By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we first started. And through every victory and every setback, I've insisted that change is never easy and never quick.”
So it is clear that the Democratic Party is going to run on a platform that things are swell even though the folks see it differently.
That may be an advantage for Donald Trump.
But there is a deeper theme that has developed at this convention.
And that is love.
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): “I love Donald Trump, I’m going to say that. I don't want to answer his hate with hate. I’m going to answer to answer it with love. I'm not going to answer his darkness with darkness. I love him.”
When I first heard Senator Booker say that, I was perplexed but tossed it aside.
Then Bill Clinton said this:
BILL CLINTON: “We were married in that little house on October the 11th, 1975. I married my best friend. I was still in awe after more than four years of being around her at how smart and strong and loving and caring she was.”
Loving and caring the key words of the president's description of his wife.
So now a theme is starting to develop in my mind.
The original summer of love was in 1967, as a bunch of hippies got mellow on the west coast.
In 2016 we are heading toward another summer of love.
But not entirely.
Behind the touchy feely stuff lies the "h" word.
Here's President Obama speaking about the Republican convention last week:
OBAMA: “What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems - just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.”
As we reported last night, Time Magazine columnist Joe Klein is also describing Republicans as the party of hate.
So as dim as I am, I am now getting it. Democrats -- party of love. Republicans -- party of hate.
That is the dominant theme in Philadelphia this week.
It will be interesting to see if Hillary Clinton creates that image in her speech this evening.
Now it is pretty easy for liberal partisans to despise Donald Trump. His vision is the polar opposite of theirs.
TRUMP: “But I watched last night, and they’re not talking about the real world. They’re not talking about radical Islamic terrorism. They’re not talking about borders where people just pour across. They’re not talking about the crime, the kind of crime that we have in this nation. They’re not talking about the fact that many people in our country are making less money today in terms of real wages than they were making 18 years ago. They’re not talking about that.”
But why would they?
Democrats are running mainly on emotion, that Trump is dangerous to the republic.
But Trump is doing the exact same thing, putting forth that Hillary and the president are incompetent and have drastically weakened the country.
Summing up, love is in the humid Philadelphia air, but it's kind of a phony play.
It is loathing, maybe even hate that is driving the political debate this year.
And all the incense and love beads in the world will not change that.
And that's "The Memo".