Throughout the Democratic National Convention, I have been asked by every family member, friend and acquaintance the same question: “So, what do you think?” My answer has remained the same throughout. “It’s pretty much what I expected.” And that’s the problem.
I have said throughout this election that the Democrats are out of ideas. Nothing has convinced me more of that fact than witnessing this convention. The phoned-in speeches, the rehashed, rehearsed talking points, the lackluster speakers and the bush-league organization of this whole event convinces me further of one fact; this Party is rudderless.
The party of failed ideas and uninspired leadership is even more lackluster when juxtaposed with the Democratic Party of 2008. Like a friend recommending the newest Indiana Jones movie, the Obama supporters in this country are running on benefit-of-the-doubt-enthusiasm mixed with denial. They switch between the defensive counter attacks against Mitt Romney and the tired excuse of, “It takes time to change things, you know!” It’s been four years…
The youthful, cocky Mr. Cool from Illinois is no more. What we are left with is a tired, failed and floundering executive that is scared of losing his job. In an ironic twist, thanks to him and his Party’s failed economic policies, he is not alone; a lot of people are afraid of losing their jobs and view their future as uncertain. I honestly wish sometimes I could ask him, “How does it feel?”
Many are surprised to find that I saw Barack Obama speak in college. Some friends, my fiance and I all went and saw the candidate speak to a crowd at the University of Oregon. The enthusiasm was palpable, and as much as I disagreed with his ideas, it was exciting to be surrounded by such optimism and- dare I say it- hope. I knew he would be the next president- McCain couldn’t have drawn a crowd like that.
We stood and listened to him speak. He was obviously very tired, and he wasn’t as vibrant as he had been on television. Even I cut him a break- Oregon is far from being a swing state and this was towards the end of the campaign. The traveling was taking its toll, and that was to be expected.
However, something more than energy was lacking from his speech. He had plenty of ideas, but no way to implement them. He promised us more government involvement across the board. Need healthcare? It’s done. Birth control? Done. Affordable federal housing? You got it. He outlined new departments, new government agencies, he promised to triple the size of government. The best part? He was going to lower taxes. Everyone was dazzled by the rockstar candidate with the rolled-up sleeves, but nobody stopped to ask how in the hell any of this was possible.
I discussed it with some friends afterwards. They were still high on the Obama ether and they didn’t want me harshing their buzz. To them, I was cynical for having the audacity to ask how any of his proposals could be achieved. It turns out, the answer was that he would just force us further into debt. All my friends have defected since then. They may not vote for Romney; but, just as devastating for Obama, they just won’t vote at all.
Watching Obama’s speech at the DNC brought me back. It was promises of a better future. Though, this time, this used-car salesman of politics had an uphill battle to fight; the ether has worn off and people are on to his empty promises. In fact, before people can believe his promises, they are first demanding answers for his last four years.
In his speech, Obama said a lot of things without saying much. He invoked nostalgia by painting a picture of what America once was, a prosperous nation that valued hard work. Absent from the discussion was what he and the party of “You didn’t build that” politics did to that national prosperity and pride.
With no real accomplishments to tout, the Democratic Party has resorted to just parroting the same set of flat-out lies with the hope that enough of them will register in the collective consciousness of ill-informed voters. Obama claims,
“I’ve met workers in Detroit and Toledo who feared they’d never build another American car. Today, they can’t build them fast enough, because we reinvented a dying auto industry that’s back on top of the world.”
But it’s just not so. As much as I would love to feel the unique pride that belongs to every American in knowing that we built the cars the rest of the world drives, it’s just not the case. 30 years of auto makers acquiescing to union demands while simultaneously being forced into complying with increasingly stringent government standards for technology placed too heavy a burden on manufacturers. Finally, the camel’s back broke, and the bailout has done precious little to create better business practices. The bailout is a bust.
Obama then went on to pat himself on the back regarding our energy policy. He stated,
“You can choose the path where we control more of our own energy. After thirty years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. We’ve doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries.”
However, the glaring omission from his statement is that we had the opportunity to create jobs and secure cheap oil through the Keystone pipeline, but he declined. Furthermore, I’m not certain he should be reminding Americans that we have been footing the bill for investments in such green technologies as the Chevy flop, the Volt, and the outright swindle that was Solyndra and a handful of other green energy scams.
Obama also claimed,
“And I will never turn Medicare into a voucher. No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.”
Sure, why give people choice in their healthcare? Could it be that the irony is lost on this president who fights against seniors being at the mercy of insurance companies, but helped pass his namesake healthcare package that mandates that we all must now be at the mercy of insurance companies whether we like it or not?
He went on to say,
“We believe that when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can’t afford, that family is protected, but so is the value of other people’s homes, and so is the entire economy.
Excuse me? “Tricked?” Let’s get something straight; American home lending used to run off the principle that not everybody will be approved for a home loan. If you could afford it and were a good credit risk, then a deal could be struck. What turned the housing market into a giant bubble was the federal arm-twisting of lenders into putting people into houses that they would not be able to afford in the long term. The creation of an abundance of toxic loans is a by-product of government meddling.
Obama finished his speech with typical “believe in hope” rhetoric. However, his speech left me neither inspired nor hopeful. It left me angry. A recurring theme in his speech was the admission that things aren’t easy in America right now. What would have made it more palatable was the admission of his role in these missteps and colossal failings. His message of hope was a reboot of what we once had heard. Only this time, we are all a little wiser.
I’ve never been a fan of Obama. I felt that he was dangerous for America, and I take no joy in learning that I was right. When hearing his speech tonight and evaluating his job performance, I felt the resounding words of my mother in my head, “It’s not that I’m angry, it’s that I’m disappointed.”
Okay, fine. If I’m being truthful, I’m angry, too…