Okay, so I spent five hours last night watching the Democratic National Convention on C-Span, like I said I would. Yes, ALL five hours. I watched, and listened to speaker, after speaker, and did so with an objective eye, and cynical ear. So, what follows are my thoughts on last night’s parade of speeches.
Let’s first go with the objectivism. I know what a lot of people are thinking right now, how can one be objectively cynical? Well, trust me, it can be done, and I hope what I am writing will be proof of that. On the whole, I thought the speeches were pretty good, as I did with the GOP’s speeches on their opening night. I honestly thought Cory Booker’s speech was pretty rousing, and I thought Tammy Duckworth’s speech was moving, and quite honestly if you didn’t feel the slightest bit of empathy for Stacey Lihn and the health struggles of her little girl, then you might be like the Tin Woodsman in the Wizard of Oz – in need of a heart. The closing speech given by Michelle Obama did paint a very human and likable image of her husband, and our sitting President, Barack Obama.
Still looking through the lens of objectivity, I have to say it was refreshing to see a political party who wishes and means to be non-exclusive; meaning that the Democratic Party not only touts, but actually embraces members from different backgrounds, religions, creeds, ethnicities, and sexual orientation. This was mentioned several times through the course of the evening, with one speech (sorry I forget who – it was after all 5 hours) actually going after the Republican’s saying pretty much what I said in my 8/29/2012 article, where I gave my thoughts on that party’s opening night; which is basically this. You cannot preach freedom and then try and dictate to others what freedom is – doing so you cease being an advocate of freedom. Then there was the steady refrain of “opportunity,” which, again, through an objective lens, sounds fantastic. So, after spending those five hours watching the convention last night, I thought that if I were an undecided voter, I might have been swayed. However, I also said that about the Republican Convention.
That leads me to the cynic in me. I honestly have to say that if you were to compare the opening nights of both the Dem’s and the Rep’s that they were choreographed by the same person. Have an endless parade of people, most of whom are party insiders, and aspiring party insiders, who say basically the same thing over and over again, which is essentially our candidate is good, and likable, and yadda, yadda, yadda. Then close with that candidate’s wife giving a speech about how awesome her husband is. Hell, there were even times when the themes of the speeches were so similar between the two parties as to make them almost indistinguishable. Sure, the persons giving the speeches were different, as were the actual words, but the theme, and general message bordered on identical.
Then there was the glaring omission of the evening; the national debt. Nowhere throughout the night was it even mentioned once, which I think is kind of strange, given that it is the now $16,000,000,000,000 growing gorilla sitting squarely on Uncle Sam’s back. I guess the Democrats figured that their brothers in the GOP beat that horse enough last week, so why mention it again. As with the Republican Convention there was a lot of high praise, big ideas, nebulous, but feel good slogans and words thrown around last night, but both were very short on the details.
The GOP pounded in their belief of fiscal conservatism, and freedom (as they see it), and the Dem’s pounded in their message of inclusiveness, and opportunity (as they see it) and turned a blind eye to the afore mentioned debt. If only there was a political party that somehow combined fiscal conservatism, with social tolerance… Huh? What’s that? There is such a party? Oh, yeah, it is the Libertarian Party. I wonder why no one has ever heard of it before.
Tonight I will put my objectivity glasses on again and watch, though not all of it this time (I have to maintain some sort of life) I will specifically watch former President Bill Clinton’s speech, though I am kind of interested to hear Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank, but I don’t know if my objectivity lenses have a high enough prescription for me to remain fully objective with them.
The President cannot make clouds to rain and cannot make the corn to grow; he cannot make business good; although when these things occur, political parties do claim some credit for the good things that have happened in this way. (William Howard Taft, 27th President from 1909-1913)