Thursday, September 6, 2012

Democratic National Convention – Day 2

Day 2 was a bit disconcerting to me. I’m going to attempt to keep this a bit shorter because I could really get off on a rant if I don’t.

The first address I really paid attention to was Sandra Fluke. All I’ll say about her address is that it brought back memories of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem and the peak of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Ms. Fluke appears to be a very angry young woman. Apparently she feels she has really been mistreated as a woman in our society.

But, I honestly don’t believe that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are Neanderthals who carry clubs and drag their women around by the hair. Women have come a long way since the 60’s revolution. Today, more women attend and graduate from college then men. Women have climbed the corporate ladder to the top of many huge Fortune 1000 corporations. More women are serving at all levels of government including the current and last Secretary of State. Women continue to play more and more major roles in the military including piloting sophisticated jet fighters. 

I just don’t see Mitt and Paul reversing 50 years of progress in a few months as she suggested they would and have women back in the kitchens barefoot and pregnant, again. Thankfully, we didn’t see the women delegates ripping their bras off and burning them on the convention floor. Frankly, that would not have been a particularly pretty sight. There were other comments she made about women’s health and reproductive rights that I won’t even begin to consider. I’m sure she appealed to a certain splinter group of women, but I surely hope that women in general aren't believing this extremist, radical view presented by a disgruntled woman. And if there are women out there reading my blog who want to dispute me on this, have at it.

And just to make my position clear, I’m happy with the progress women have made and I see nothing but continuing progress in the future. I probably have more women friends (the operative word being friends) who I appreciate for their independence, intelligence, ambition, motivation, competence and contributions to my life personally and professionally, than I do guy friends. I’ve had some fantastic women work with me in my businesses and I’ve worked with well run client organizations headed by women and managed mainly by women. I treated them with the respect they deserved and they returned that respect. So, I have to say that Ms. Fluke made a negative impression on me, but thankfully, not on my feelings and respect for women who’ve earned it (just as a man would have to earn it).

Now, the next speaker I listened to was Elizabeth Warren. Once again, she left me unimpressed. She also gave me the impression she really didn’t understand business, corporations or what the opponent, Mitt Romney said about corporations. As soon as she went into her tirade about “corporations are not people” she lost my attention. As a lifelong businessman, this was insulting. With her kind of rhetoric and condemnation of business and corporations, I’m surprised any business owners or corporate executives who are democratic supporters didn’t pull up stakes and abandon ship.

Sure, corporations are legal entities, not flesh and blood people, but they only exist because of the people who operate them. They don’t have a life of their own. If there is something bad about the way a corporation operates it’s not the corporation that caused it, it’s the people running the corporation. Which is exactly true about government. Government doesn’t exist and operate as a flesh and blood entity. It is the sum total of the people who make up government at every level from the smallest town or village to the federal government. Anything that’s good about government is because of the people. Anything that’s bad about government is because of the people. Someone needs to point out to Ms. Warren that he/she who is without blame should cast the first stone. There are no blameless people in government of any party affiliation, so think twice before throwing that stone.

Finally, Wild Bill Clinton got up and did his Clinton thing that only he can do so well. Here is a fact – Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan were and still are, in my opinion, the best political communicators I can recall during my lifetime with the exception of John F. Kennedy, who unfortunately never had a chance to prove himself fully. Some people want to include Obama in their category, but the jury is out on that for me. 

Clinton is a scintillating speaker. His down home Arkansas colloquialisms are colorful. His crooked pointing fingers draw your attention. Even though he ran way over his time last night and, apparently, usurped the vice-president’s time to accept his nomination and throw fireballs at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, William Jefferson Clinton kept the troops rallied.

So, here’s my take on Mr. Bill. First, he has a problem respecting women. That's a negative mark for him. Second, he proved to be a liar in front of Congress and the world. Third, he was involved in various nefarious events during and before his presidency. Those are two more negative marks. And, finally, he had several opportunities to change the course of the future and history by taking action against and even taking into custody, one, Osama bin Laden. 

His failure in that last matter can directly be traced to the expenditure of way in excess of a trillion dollars of taxpayer funds and untold thousands of lives lost, both in the U.S. (911) and overseas – American lives and innocent Middle Eastern lives. And, that doesn't take into account the costs to the private sector in the loss of property and collapse of the airline, hospitality and other industries impacted by 911. 

Oh, I know, 20/20 hindsight and all that sort of thing. But, that’s what he was getting paid for when he wasn’t boinking interns, lying about it and going through impeachment proceedings. So, I’m afraid, although I enjoy listening to him speak, I don’t trust or respect him.

I have to admit, about 35 minutes into his speech I began drifting and had to work at staying awake to make sure I caught his attacks and defenses. The one thing I do give him credit for is that he recognized his communication equal, Ronald Reagan, when he quoted one of Reagan’s famous lines, “There you go again” from a campaign debate with Jimmy Carter.

So, those are my impressions of the second day of the Democratic National Convention. I won’t deny it; last night was a negative night for me. I’m not sure that my two best convention experiences so far were Ann Romney at the RNC and Michelle Obama at the DNC. Most of the rest of speakers from both sides of the competition haven’t convinced me that I should vote for either side. So, it appears that when the DNC is over, I won’t be any more prepared for election day then I was before the RNC commenced last week.

Day three is tonight. The big guns, Big Joe and the current Commander in Chief get their chance. Unfortunately, and I have to admit, I’m not a fan of Big Joe and I’m very fatigued by the president’s speeches. So, it’s going to be difficult for me to even attempt to be objective about either speech. Ho hum! I’ll be happy when the conventions are over. Two weeks of Amway rallies is a little hard to take.

And, as an aside and speaking of Amway rallies, I recorded several very large Amway rallies at the original Charlotte Coliseum back in the late 1970’s. It still stands and is now called the Bojangles Coliseum. It will remain operational because it’s on the Charlotte Historical Register even though it’s small in comparison to the Time Warner Coliseum and most other modern arenas around the country. I only mention that because I have some warm feelings about Charlotte when I recall those early recording assignments. 

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