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I’m thinking ahead to the Republican and Democratic nominating conventions.

Usually, the nominee’s speech is a guns-blazing attack on the other side’s nominee and his party. (If the other side has the presidency, the speech includes an attack on the incumbent).

That kind of speech fires up the base, but the nationally televised Republican or Democratic nominating convention isn’t just for the base. It may be the candidate’s best chance to get the whole country to hear his or her words. I don’t know if a hit-’em-hard assault attracts votes beyond the people who were going to vote for the candidate no matter what.

Besides — and this is just a personal thing — I’m uncomfortable with slash-and-burn rhetoric even from candidates that I like. I’d prefer to see something more positive and forward-thinking, like this:

“I’d like to speak tonight to the moderates, the independents, and the undecided voters. I know you’re listening. Let me tell you what I’ll do as president, why it’s good for this country, and why it’s better than what the other party’s candidate would do.”

That’s a speech that I’d like to hear.

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