My Reaction to Wednesday’s RNC

Despite the fact that I was up late last night, I purposely decided to hold my responses to the RNC last night until I had gotten a good night’s sleep. Now that I’ve done that, here it goes:

I thought that every speech towed the line of the Republican Party’s platform. They talked about Iraq, they talked about less regulation, they talked about the radical Muslims, and they talked about cutting taxes and having smaller government. The problem is that, as we’ve seen over the past eight years (most of which also saw a Republican majority in Congress), the Republican Party’s practices aren’t working for our economy or our national security. In some aspects, I think this is because they don’t practice what they preach (see post dispelling the myth of Republican fiscal responsibility), and in other aspects I think it’s because what they’re proposing is not the direction our country should be going. In the interest of keeping this post short, I’ll focus on one example: free markets. The Republican Party has long been a proponent of a totally free market. Perhaps a totally free market would be best. I can’t say because I’ve never seen it. As we saw in the Bear-Sterns and Frannie Mae-Freddie Mac collapses, everyone (including the Republicans) wants the government to come to the rescue when things go south. And, in my opinion, if we’re going to demand that the government step in and save us when we’re up to our necks in crap, then we shouldn’t be so fiercely opposed to having the government regulate those industries so that we don’t end up swimming in crap in the first place.

I must take extreme exception to one of Palin’s remarks during her speech. She said, “I guess being mayor is kinda like being a community organizer except that you have actual responsibilities.” I thought that was the lowest below-the-belt remark she made. No one from the Obama campaign has belittled her experience. Yes, the media has gone after her, and yes, the Obama campaign has pointed out that it’s peculiar that they would pick a VP nominee with so little experience when they’ve based their entire campaign on showing Obama to be inexperienced. I don’t think that in any way belittles Palin and her experience. I think it just points to the inconsistencies in McCain’s decision making and his campaign.

Further, a quick google search of Barack Obama shows that he was the Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago, a non-profit organization that exists for the purpose of grassroots organizing. In three years, he grew the organization from a staff of one to a staff of 13 and from an operating budget of $70,000 to $400,000. As someone who is also running a non-profit organization, I have deep respect for the amount of resposibility a director has and the amount of work it takes to grow an organization the way he did in such a short period of time. So I found her remarks personally offensive.

My final point about the RNC is that I’ve heard a few spatterings of “unity” and “coming together as Americans” mixed in with much more substantial airtime devoted to denigrating the “angry left,” “liberals,” etc. I personally think it’s inexcusable for the president of the United States to sit in the White House and refer to half of the American people as “the angry left.” Even if that hadn’t happened, aren’t we past this yet? Barack Obama and his campaign appear to understand that appealing to the divisiveness in our society appeals to our lowest common denominator. Shouldn’t we be focusing on the 80% we can agree on and not the 20% we can’t? The Republican Party has done a very good job this convention painting a picture of “us” and “them.” They’ve continued their fear tactics of trying to scare us out of voting for Obama because we don’t know what he’ll do, and he could send us to hell in a handbasket (newsflash: we’re already in the handbasket and on our way to hell thanks to George W. Bush). I just don’t buy it. I was hoping to see the Republican Party move past that during this convention, and so far I’ve been deeply disappointed.

I’ll hold out my final judgment until I hear McCain speak tonight. I’m still desperately waiting for someone from the RNC to address the issue of the economy with a plan for how to fix it. So far, all I’ve seen is the Republican Party trying to focus attention away from the economy and to make terrorism the biggest issue (another fear tactic, I’m afraid). The polls indicate that voters are more concerned about the economy than about terror. As the ticket that shouts “Country First!” loudly, shouldn’t they be addressing their constituents’ concerns instead of dismissing them and talking about something entirely different?

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One Response

  1. As we saw in the Bear-Sterns and Frannie Mae-Freddie Mac collapses, everyone (including the Republicans) wants the government to come to the rescue when things go south.

    Look out, the formerly Big 3 of Detroit will be next in line. They’re a necessary part of our National landscape, aren’t they? Just because they don’t seem to be making very good business decisions these days, isn’t a reason not to preserve them!

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