What a difference a week makes. The stark contrast between the Republican and Democratic Conventions was evident in the type of speakers and their topics. The Republicans were about pomp and circumstance. Its speakers mostly attacking Barack Obama and driving the ‘fact checkers’ nuts their misrepresentation of the facts. Last week it was attack Obama week in Tampa. This week we got to hear some great speeches not only from some heavy hitters like Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro, Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton, but some great speeches from ordinary everyday citizens like ourselves. And they were about putting America back to work and a vision that includes everyone.
The diversity of Delegates was evident at the Democratic Convention whereas in Tampa the convention hall bled white,
with a smattering of Asian, Hispanic and an almost negligible African American presence. Diversity for the Republicans it seems is old white guys versus young white guys. Women and minorities were pretty much ‘persona non- grata’!
The energy was evident right from the start at the Democratic Convention. The Republican Convention barely pumped up the excitement meter until its presumptive ‘etch a sketch’ nominee Mitt Romney stepped up to the podium and even then the enthusiasm was low-level in comparison. The Democrats were pumped more, it seemed after each speaker and reached a crescendo of highs with Sandra Fluke, Elizabeth Warren and Bill Clinton.
The messages were also in total contrast. The Republicans were anti-almost everything, while the Democrats offered new fresh ideas and concrete proposals to bring our country back from the brink. There was no question that the Democrats cared, but at the Republican Convention their care and compassion seemed hollow and put on, what little of it they offered. Mostly they offered a stark vision of what they want America to look like and it didn’t include a lot of minority participation, either at the convention or in the foreseeable future.
Their vision of the future includes a nation of for and by those who have and nothing for those who don’t. They expect the rest of us to accept our lot in life and wait for the trickle down from above. Like the Reverend Al Sharpton says on his ‘Politics Nation’, “A lot of things in this country was acceptable until we stopped accepting it.”
Bill Clinton summed up the contrasts very well last night, “Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can’t afford to double-down on trickle-down… If you want a ‘you’re on your own, winner take all society’ you should support the Republican ticket. But “if you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities – a ‘we’re all in it together’ society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.” Amen!” —– Bob Bearden