Posted Thu, 09/04/08
I watched the Republican National Convention last night and one thought kept running through my head: These people are in desperate need of a hero.
It's understandable, really. Their last elected candidate is now a major embarrassment to Americans, a man who is hated the world over, and someone who single-handedly started a war and put soldiers in deadly situations to satisfy a personal agenda. Not to mention that his administration seriously damaged the economy of the country, turning many of middle class into paupers. This person will not go down well in the history books, and in fact will probably be noted as one of the most unpopular presidents in the 21st century.
I laughed out loud when speaker Rudy Giuliani (former Mayor of New York City) inferred in so many words that if a Democratic candidate were to be elected President, "jobs will be sent overseas." Don't people check their facts before they speak? John McCain voted against minimum-wage increase in the Senate seventeen times, and more jobs have been sent overseas during Bush's presidency than at any other time in recent history because large corporations get a tax break for doing so.
I was similarly unimpressed with the speech given by Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice-Presidential hopeful. She, too, took sarcastic swipes at the Democratic Party and its candidate and then embellished her own record of achievement in the state of Alaska; truths mixed with lies to serve her current purpose. Palin might be a media darling at the moment, but I don't think she has the substance or integrity to go very far on the national stage.
Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack's experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed. Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies. And it's no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. Meanwhile, we still haven't gotten a single idea during the entire Republican convention about the economy and how to lift a middle class so harmed by the Bush-McCain policies.
From what I saw and heard, the RNC barely addressed the state of the economy. Instead of tackling issues important to the American people, the speakers at the convention spent more time trying to vilify the "other side." They seem to employ the same tactics at every convention no matter the candidate or the year, so last night really wasn't a big surprise.
Most of the speakers also went on about John McCain's status as a war hero, and that he would extricate soldiers from Iraq in honorable fashion when the "war is won." What they all seem to forget is there wouldn't be a need to defend the war in Iraq if Bush hadn't put us, and other countries, there in the first place.
Watching the convention last night finally convinced me which direction to take when the election rolls around two months from now. Needless to say, my vote will not be cast for the Republican on the ticket.
However, I'm looking forward to the upcoming debates between candidates with great relish. I highly doubt Palin will pass muster with Joe Biden; he will probably rip her to shreds on the issues. And having Obama and McCain on stage together in serious declaration will finally make painfully obvious the inadequacies of the latter.