Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Republican National Convention – Second Day

Not much to say. I caught Rand Paul, Condi Rice, Susane Martinez and Paul Ryan. And, as I expected, each was strong, each had a slightly different message, but were still on point. Once again, there were a lot of inspirational stories and success stories.

So, my impressions are these. There is no question what the purpose of each speaker is on the schedule. There is no question that the remarks, anecdotes and rallying are meant to stir up the emotional response of some 40 million viewers nationwide and those delegates in the convention hall.

Once again, I weigh all of their presentations from a speaker technique and, while each is a bit different and some are stronger, others are not quite as strong, they all are good speakers – and, obviously selected because they can deliver their messages effectively – after all, they are all politicians and convincing and persuading voters to their point of view is what they do and what they have done to achieve their positions.

Unless you simply hate the Republican Party’s ideology, you want to believe they are telling the truth. And, honestly, I believe all of them believe what they are telling us is the truth – as they perceive it. Unfortunately, there is always the tired adage, “How do you know when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.” My challenge is attempting to separate fact, from fiction, from exaggeration, from outright untruth.

Now, I know that if I ask someone from the other side of the aisle they’re going to tell me that everything the Republicans are telling the public - are lies. Why? Because the Democrats are cut from exactly the same fabric and embrace their own ideology.  Next week I’m going to watch and hear the same kind of rhetoric, I’m going to see what the Democrats feel is the truth and they are going to have carefully selected speakers whose responsibility is exactly the same as this week’s Republican speakers. In other words, when the conventions are done – it’s simply goes back to what I personally believe is truth as I perceive it. It’s getting harder and harder to sift through it all and discern truth. I have a bullshit meter and frankly, it goes off every time I hear a politician from either party speak.

I liked all four of the speeches I listened to. But, after the emotional impact, I still had to remember that these folks have already spent about a half billion dollars trying to convince me that they are totally doing everything in my best interest to guarantee my personal freedom, happiness and a feeling of security that I can chase and achieve the American Dream, however I perceive that elusive dream. Next week, the Democrats are going to do exactly the same thing and they’ve blown as much money as the Republicans. And they are both going to blow a lot more money that could be better spent, in my estimation, doing other things. But, that’s just me. While the Republicans certainly attacked the the incumbent’s record and his failure to deliver on his campaign promises of four years ago, as defined by the Republicans, the Democrats can’t really attack the Republican candidate's record since he hasn’t served as president, yet. So, I expect the attacks to be much more personal and designed to malign and tear down the Republican candidate personally. 

Examples of what I expect and is already evident is that the Republican candidate doesn't pay his fair share of taxes - when, in fact, he paid all that he was required to pay by current law. It would be fiscally stupid and irresponsible for anyone to pay more taxes then required by law. The Democrats also don't explain to the public there is a VERY distinct difference between "earned" income as in receiving hourly wages and salaries for specific work done for payment and "passive" or "investment" income where the individual invests money and the money appreciates just as money deposited in a bank savings account once did. Earned and passive incomes are taxed differently from one another by tax law.

They also blame him for loss of  jobs in companies his Bain Capital had to shut down because they weren't profitable and viable businesses. This is prudent business. Meanwhile, the same Democrats are shopping at using the products and services of the numerous and very obvious successes that Bain Capital has and that have created tens of thousands of jobs. That's simply how good business operates. Which, happens to be diametrically opposed to how government, especially the federal government, operates. Businesses can't run up a $16 trillion debt and expect to remain in business. If that’s the tactic I see next week, then my feelings about the incumbent and his party will be what I am expecting.

The thing that really bothers me are some comments I have received from some individuals close to me. One is a woman who is 90 years old and all she knows about Romney is that he doesn’t pay his taxes. She doesn’t want to accept that he has paid what was lawfully due by the laws that her representatives in Congress approved. She believes the attack ads and media coverage because that's her primary frame of reference. But, she won’t listen to me, to the candidate or to anyone because she has been convinced by the media reports that he’s an underhanded, corporate raider, tax cheat as she understands it. But, she doesn’t like the incumbent either. So, how does she decide who to vote for? 

Another person doesn’t want to listen to any of the speakers to get to understand who these people are or what they are saying they stand for. She simply said that whoever I vote for (meaning me personally), she’ll cancel out my vote by voting for the other candidate – whoever it is. I hear this over and over again. This is why the system is where it is and why it really doesn’t work the way it is represented to work. That kind of thinking is no different then comments made by African American voters who voted for the incumbent president at the 2008 election. There were certainly some African Americans who made their choice NOT based on skin color or anything else to do with ethnicity, race or religious views. But, in general most cast their vote not because they had any idea of what he was about, who he was, if he even had any real qualifications or on his campaign policies, plans, etc. that he proposed. They voted for him because he looked like them and was running around the world acting like the new American Idol, a rock star, the new messiah. That is why the democratic process is way more flawed then anyone realizes.

By the way, IF I should decide to vote Republican (since there is only one other choice) my friend who said she’d vote for the opposite candidate will have to get in line to invalidate my vote since, as I’ve already said, there are at least six other people who are already planning to invalidate my vote should that be my decision. It sure doesn’t make any sense to even waste time voting if the reason is simply to invalidate my vote. But, that, unfortunately, is some of the mentality I’m seeing across this country.

I’m planning to catch the Romney speech tonight and the “secret guest” Clint Eastwood. I still have to keep scratching my head wondering why I’m even going to bother voting (other then to retain bitching rights – that aren’t worth even wasting my energy on).

I’ll be interested to see how the Democrats represent personal freedom, happiness and the American Dream to me next week. I'll reserve any decisions until I see what they have to offer. I'm attempting to be open-minded and objective, but it's hard since I don't fully support either party or either ticket. How can I, neither really represents me or cares about me, individually. That's my own personal responsibility . . . as it is every other citizen's and legal resident's of this country. 

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