I watched the Democratic and Republican Conventions this year and was shocked and dismayed by the lack of Republican cohesiveness and pleased with the Democratic push for military, minorities, and efforts to make Hillary Clinton look more like the apparently wise woman that she appeared to be in Democratic speeches. I remember a very valuable lesson I learned from Ronald Reagan when he ran against Jimmy Carter. Carter, probably one of our most intelligent Presidents, was Reagan’s putty. All Reagan had to say in order to shape him was, « Are you better off now than you were four years ago? » Undoubtedly, we were not.
Now it is time to ask the Republicans the same question, « Are you better off now than you were eight years ago? » The obvious answer is yes. I know of people who have done very well in today’s economy but they want more. Everything cannot be Obama’s fault. He has used Keynesian Economics too much and we are in far too much debt. Part of the solution is lying on the docks. If we were actually fair to ourselves we would raise the tariff and bring in more money to pay off the debt. Countries would still trade with us because the dollar is the best bet in today’s world economy.
Obama had plenty to do with it, but some guys are not going to give him even a simple « hello. » We were in dire straits eight years ago, when it looked like everything was going to sour. It looked like the start of the Great Depression all over again. Because of Obama, and the Democrats in Congress, Keynesian Economics was used liberally, resulting in the standard large deficits of that economic stimulus. I have a copy of Keynes’ book, and the man did not spare too many people’s feelings. He said we had to spend more than we took in, that we had to run up large debts, and pay them off when the country was in better shape. It is kind of a credit card mentality. Rack up a large debt and pay on the principal and interest. It works.
The Democratic Convention, as I alluded to before, was a Band Aid on a large wound, but hearing the arguments of the speakers made me feel good that I was a Democrat. The fact that they lined up Republicans and Independents was good, a good thing. Bloomberg was right on about Trump when he said that Trump manufactured his own goods in China and other places overseas. I just hope that sticks. A Republican running for President of the United States should not be manufacturing goods overseas and then saying that he supports American goods made here. It is ultra-speak.
Many people had the chance to speak at the Democratic Convention. I especially liked the people I am going to list and with whom I felt a kind of fellowship. General John Allen, who had never spoken in a convention speech before said that « We will stop the spread of nuclear weapons. » Now, I am not for a nuclear free world. Nuclear weapons keep us from exercising our tactical weapons strategies. They are a powerful deterrent. When General Curtis LeMay was sent up to look at Japanese cities laid to waste in WWII, he looked at ten sites and could not tell the difference between cities that had been fire-bombed, and those that had been destroyed by nuclear weapons. Hiroshima and Nagasaki looked like other cities that had been fire-bombed. Fire-bombing was the release of five gallons of gasoline with a conventional bomb. It was a devastating way to invade Japanese air space.
General Allen also said, « The USA will continue to be that inspirational and transformational power in the world. » I believe that he was right. As a country, we have an obligation to the rest of the world to exhibit those facets of our democracy that make democracy so difficult to manage but so desirable.
Khzir Kahn, a Muslim, who lost his son in a battle in Afghanistan said, « Vote for the healer, not the divider. » In his estimation, Hillary Clinton was the healer, while her opponent was the divider. He also said, « My son had dreams of being a lawyer but he sacrificed those dreams to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. We are » he said, « stronger together. » I agreed with him that we cannot look at a person’s religion and come to a conclusion based on religion or race.
Governor Andrew Cuomo showed why he is like his father when he argued that, « The Middle Class is the backbone of society. » It is, I believe. Cuomo remembered 9/11 when he said that, « We got up and rebuilt together, and that was America at its best. » It was America at its zenith. We were united, and Obama made sure, apparently with strong persuasive words from Hillary Clinton, that he got Osama Bin Laden. I remember the day well, my friend said, « Your man did well today. » That was when it was verified that Osama Bin Laden was dead.
The Democratic National Convention made me proud to be a Democrat. Of special note was Bernie Sanders passing of his baton. He had done so well, and worked so hard, that his friends should have been able to vote for him, but it was not to be. He backed Clinton. That was an amazing and astounding move. When my brother-in-law, Paul Tsongas went to the 1992 Convention, he got a chance to speak to his supporters. Bernie Sanders did not even demand speaking time. He proposed healing time. He was inspirational.
So, that is my take on the Democratic Convention. I have little to say about the Republican Convention other than to point out that the Bush’s, the McCain’s, and the Romney’s were not even in attendance. That says more about Trump than anything. I went to a Trump speech and it was literally, « All about me. » All he spoke about was what was happening in his campaign. I have an hour and one-half recording of his speech, which was widely about his campaign accomplishments with very little about what he would do beyond building that wall. It was, in my opinion, a sophomoric talk to an all white audience. No wonder there were so few African-Americans in his hall. I did not see one person of color in a crowd of over one thousand. I have that recorded, too.
Those are my meanderings on the Conventions. Just a few thoughts, and a welcoming of the fact that I am a Democrat. I do not believe in the Democratic stand on abortion, I am too Catholic for that. Other than that, they were chanting my tune.