Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The DNC Convention, Day 1 (...or, "The Empire Strikes Back!")

There are very few individuals, especially politically, that I admire. The few that I do admire span the length and dept along the ideological spectrum; those who I do admire either set out to help, empower, unite, or set an example for others insomuch as uplifting the human spirit.
As I watched the Republican National Committee Convention held in Tampa last week, I did so with a personal motive. I set out to see whether I might find within their ranks a few individuals I could count among the few political figures that I admire. But in watching and listening to the various speeches and presentations, I was hard-pressed to find a Jack Kemp, Alan Keyes, Colin Powell, or even a Bob Dole among them! I saw no example of an objective analysis of the various sociopolitical and economic issues we have in this country.
Tonight, as I set out to watch the Democratic National Committee Convention in Charlotte, I don’t expect to find any among their current number…with the slight exception of President Obama. Surprisingly, I found myself admiring the video tribute to one of their late members, Ted Kennedy. Not because Kennedy was of the few politicians among the Democrats who could actually get anything done sans most of the leftists ideological rhetoric—although there were instances of that too with him—but because embedded within the video was a bygone clip of the late Senator’s 1994 debate with then Senate challenger Mitt Romney which had to have hit the Romney campaign hard enough to knock over an empty chair!

Fresh from the internet, take a look at the tribute…

The political impact of the video notwithstanding, I still have a hard time placing myself in the Democratic Party camp...both they and especially the Republicans have allowed ideology to dictate their policies rather than reason.
Do I think they May Day-celebrating socialists flood their ranks? Of course not. No more than I think the Tea Party represents moderate conservatives who actually worked with liberals to get things done.
Instead of changing the corrupt culture of politics as usual, both have allowed the ideological extremes within their ranks to build a culture of partisanship and gridlock, fueled by fear-mongering, half-truths, and outright lies and power plays.
The take away here is that Democrats should learn to be like the late "Lion of the Senate" and command the respect inherent in reaching out to the other side of the aisle and work with their ideological opposites. The Republicans can learn not to confuse their ideology with conviction, and work with their ideological opposites rather than plot to oppose them based on their particular stance. And for goodness sake, stop lying to win!


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