Friday, August 31, 2012

My Thoughts on the Tampa Convention

I remember watching the 1968 Democrat Convention. Say! That was exciting. Fighting in the streets and burly policemen with billy clubs. I'm not sure what was really going on except for good old-fashioned politics and Chicago thuggery. I do know that it had been a horrific year with both Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy being assassinated within a short time of each other. It was a time of unrest and protests in the streets. Even worse times than these and, quite frankly, these are some of the worst times I've lived through. Still I feel a little better and brighter this morning.

Conventions have all been less exciting since, but this convention is one of the tamest I've seen, despite what I'm reading in the news and online about the president being beaten up.

So no one can say that I didn't tell you who I am, I am a Conservative and an Evangelical Christian, but not in that order. I bring this up in light of Rick Santorum's speech on Wednesday evening when he said: "The only Evangelical Christian running this year is Barack Obama." Yes, well, hmmmm. It may be that I am a size four Super Model, too. The point that Mr. Santorum was making is that Mitt Romney's faith should not have anything to do with his running for office. I would agree with that. The only time I'd disagree is if a radical muslim were running for office or a nazi or a skinhead or a ku klux klan member or a terrorist or...

My first impression of the Convention then is the tameness of it. Tame.

The second impression is the fact that the Republican women who have spoken are amazing. They're bright, articulate, and passionate. I had never heard Nikki Haley speak nor Mia Love.

~Mia Love~

Mia said this: President Obama’s version of America is a divided one, often pitting us against each other based on our income level, gender, and social status. His policies have failed us. We're not better off than we were four years ago and no rhetoric, bumper sticker or Hollywood campaign ad can change that.

I nearly stood up and cheered in my own living room. This resonates strongly with me. With so many people unemployed, losing their homes, and struggling with the high cost of living, I know that I am not alone.

Condoleeza Rice was very clear with these words: The world knows that when a nation loses control of its finances, it eventually loses control of its destiny.

When talking with a friend a few days ago, we decided that if everyone had children and grandchildren they would not be so willing to pass along 17 trillion dollars in debt to them. We would all have the courage to fix it now in our own generation. We would do the right thing.

I enjoyed hearing Paul Ryan's speech last night before last. I don't know all that much about him, though I like what I am seeing and hearing so far. I liked the respect and love he has for his mother; I liked his talking about caring for his grandmother with Alzheimer's. I especially liked these parts of his speech:

It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you. 

My favorite speaker of all was Artur Davis on Tuesday evening who gave a wonderful speech, well crafted and beautifully delivered. You can find his speech in its entirety at You Tube if you'd like to hear it for the first time or listen again. Mr. Davis voted for the president in 2008. This is what he said in part:

Now, America is a land of second chances, and I gather you have room for the estimated 6 million of us who know we got it wrong in 2008 and who want to fix it.

Maybe we should have known that night in Denver that things that begin with plywood Greek columns and artificial smoke typically don't end well.
Maybe the Hollywood stars and the glamour blinded us a little: you thought it was the glare, some of us thought it was a halo.

He ended with these words:

Ladies and gentlemen, there are Americans who are listening to this speech tonight who haven't always been with you, and I want you to let me talk -- just to them - for a moment.

I know how loaded up our politics is with anger and animosity, but I have to believe we can still make a case over the raised voices.

There are Americans who voted for the president, but who are searching right now, because they know that their votes didn't build the country they wanted.
To those Democrats and independents whose minds are open to argument: listen closely to the Democratic Party that will gather in Charlotte and ask yourself if you ever hear your voice in the clamor.

Ask yourself if these Democrats still speak for you.

When they say we have a duty to grow government even when we can't afford it, does it sound like compassion to you -- or recklessness?

When you hear the party that glorified Occupy Wall Street blast success; when you hear them minimize the genius of the men and women who make jobs out of nothing, is that what you teach your children about work?

When they tell you America is this unequal place where the powerful trample on the powerless, does that sound like the country your children or your spouse risked their lives for in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Do you even recognize the America they are talking about? And what can we say about a house that doesn't honor the pictures on its walls?

John F. Kennedy asked us what we could do for America. This Democratic Party asks what can government give you. Don't worry about paying the bill, it's on your kids and grandkids.

Bill Clinton took on his base and made welfare a thing you had to work for; this current crowd guts the welfare work requirement in the dead of night.

Bill Clinton, Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson reached out across the aisle and said meet me in the middle; but their party rammed through a healthcare bill that took over one-sixth of our economy, without accepting a single Republican idea, without winning a single vote in either house from a party whose constituents make up about 50 percent of the country.

You know, the Democrats used to have a night when they presented a film of their presidential legends: if they do it in Charlotte, the theme song should be this year's hit, "Somebody That I Used to Know."

My fellow Americans, when great athletes falter, their coaches sometimes whisper to them "remember who you are." It's a call to their greatness at a moment when their bodies and spirit are too sapped to remember their strength.

This sweet, blessed, God-inspired place called America is a champion that has absorbed some blows.

But while we bend, we don't break.

This is no dark hour; this is the dawn before we remember who we are.


***

As for last night's speeches... As stated, I am feeling brighter and better this morning. Mr. Romney was not my first choice. I didn't feel as if I knew much about him. After his wife's speech, I knew that she loved him and that's always good and I knew that they had worked hard to get where they are today and, yes, success is a good thing.

I have been dismayed beyond words by the current president's attack on business and successful men and women. This leveling of the playing field baloney that has been going on has been an all out assault on the American way of life. We all deserve an opportunity, but what we do with our opportunity is entirely up to the individual. The good thing is that there are second chances. I hope so as many of us must start building from the ground up again after this past four years.

The "speech" by Clint Eastwood was comical and left some wondering. We laughed and appreciated it for what it was: A Little Chat with An Empty Chair An Empty Suit. When his voice cracked for the 23 million unemployed Americans, I understood his being there very well.

Marco Arubio would have been my choice for vice-president so it goes without saying that I so appreciated his speech, his comedic timing, and his love of this country.

The third impression is this...LOVE of this country, its values and ideals, and LOVE for its people. I see that in the Romney/Ryan team.


It’s the genius of the American free enterprise system – to harness the extraordinary creativity and talent and industry of the American people with a system that is dedicated to creating tomorrow’s prosperity rather than trying to redistribute today’s.

That is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction: “you are better off today than you were four years ago.”

Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president.

This president can ask us to be patient.

This president can tell us it was someone else’s fault.

This president can tell us that the next four years he’ll get it right.

But this president cannot tell us that YOU are better off today than when he took office.


To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: if Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right.

and finally...


Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.

That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother’s confidence that their children’s future is brighter even than the past.

That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.

That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our Constitution.

That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.

That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children.

If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.


~Mitt Romney




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