. . . the Man and the Myth
The story of the 2012 political parties nominating conventions amounts to six days of speeches and activities. The three days of the Republican Convention resulted in the choosing of former Massachussets Governor Mitt Romney as the standard bearer for the Republican Party. The Democratic Convention chose President Barack Obama to stand for re-election to a second term as President of the United States.
In effect, there were two conventions, choosing two men to represent two parties but, in fact, there were two conventions about one man, President Barack Obama, America's first Black President.
The Republican Convention presented five days of lies and myths about President Barack Obama and what the Republicans wish the American voter would believe. It was fitting that the Republicans ended their convention with a man talking to a mythical man in an empty chair. Most observers called it "The Invisible Man", reminiscent of Ralph Ellison's classic book by the same name.
The Republican Convention was not a convention praising the achievements of their candidate, Mitt Romney, but rather a burial of truth about President Barack Obama. They never mentioned their last elected President, George Bush, who ran up the national debt and started two wars, leaving them unpaid for. In the end, the Republicans anointed the President with the task of doing the impossible in just a few years. They say the government doesn't create jobs, private industry does. But then, they ask him "Where are the jobs?" and spout out that a President Romney will create 12 million jobs.
The Republicans want to repeal the Affordable Care Act and that will create more jobs; maybe as emergency room workers and undertakers. They want to create more job training, but will close the Department of Education. They want to 'drill baby drill', but won't say how they will prevent oil spills like the British Petroleum spill in the Gulf Coast that destroyed beaches and marine life in Mississippi and Louisiana. Their plan for improving America involves a series of secrets. No secret is more transparent than the one exposed in the Democratic Convention that the Republicans would block any progress by the Obama administration to prevent his being re-elected.
The Republicans picked as their Vice Presidential candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan, who is promoted as a fiscal conservative but has proven himself to be a spending hawk. He has voted for everything Republican, including all the things that Bush wanted that landed the Country in the economic ditch. He is also infamous for saying that he wants a country where Black folks will work instead of living off of other folks' money.
More recently, Ryan infamously said that President Obama has gotten rid of the work requirement of the Medicare fund, thereby weakening it; another patently false statement, so false that President Bill Clinton in his speech at the Democratic Convention stated that it took real brass (you can fill in the blanks) to lie to a man's face about what the man said. The Democratic Convention was three days of power presentations by the giants of today's Political scene. Their responsibility was to pick the best to preside over the United States of America, identified as the greatest, most powerful, country in the world. Their choice, Barack Obama.
Speakers at the DNC included Vice President Joe Biden who gave testimony to the brilliance, steady hand, and loyalty of President Barack Obama to the American people. He reminded us that, because of President Obama, General Motors is alive and Osama Bin Laden is dead. Michelle Obama reminded the world that her husband is a man we can all trust to cure the country's economic woes, if given a chance and, implicitly, a little cooperation from the Republicans. Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick, said that Governor Romney may have been good at fixing things, but he didn't fix Massachusetts.
Obama care was on display, but never like it was played out by speaker Stacey Lihn. She is a mother whose child has had to be treated for congenital heart problems with a series of expensive surgeries. She reminded the audience that without help from the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, her daughter would have died.
Watching the Conventions was worth the price of admission. The speakers have spoken. Now it's up to the voters to speak on November 6th at the ballot box and set the direction of America for the future. President Barack Obama made his case for another four years, as the world watched. He made it clear that there was no magic wand for fixing the broken economy overnight, but he believes that the course he has set will get us there if he is given a chance to finish the job. Not since the 1970's American T-V's mini-series of Alex Haley's "Roots" about Black life in America have so many people rushed home to their televisions to watch the historical moments in American life. This time, however, it was about an African American star's arrival as the head of the country. Four hundred years ago, this country would have branded him and put him to work as a slave.
Change has truly come when, instead, that ancestor of slaves is reaching for another term as President of the United States of America.