My assessment of DNC day one:
I didn’t watch Ted Kennedy or Nancy Pelosi. Frankly, I knew what they were going to say and wasn’t in the mood for the usual politics. Pelosi and Kennedy are two people for whom I have little respect. Last night was Michelle Obama’s night and I was interested to hear her speak.
I start off with something that didn’t occur to me until after the speech, but I think is the most important thing about last night. In the after-speech discussion, Juan Williams (my favorite liberal) was asked of his impression. Williams became visibly emotional. He talked about how amazing it was for him, a black journalist, to watch a black female stand and deliver an address in such a context. He was proud. Then he became more emotional when discussing the image of the Obama family. There, before the world, was the picture of a whole family. Michelle mentioned her father and the importance of his influence, her brother and the strength he provided. Then we saw Barack, a man devoted to his wife and children. In these times where the black family has been shattered, such a picture was a wonderful thing to see. That’s what moved Williams and, you know, he’s right. I think America needs more of this and I welcome the fine example set by such a handsome family, as should we all. This could be a very important legacy for an Obama presidency if he goes about it the right away. Bravo for Michelle Obama! Bravo for her beautiful family!
As for the speech, I think it was warm, fuzzy and loaded with typical liberal idealism. Granted, Mrs. Obama did a good job and she accomplished the task of reintroducing herself to America , but the content was lacking. I heard things like “the world as it should be” and “the new tide of hope”. I heard “listen to our hopes instead of listen to our fears”. I heard “stop doubting and start dreaming”. Basically, I heard the same old baby boomer, let’s-all-hold-hands-and-love-each-other-hug-a-tree-world-peace-tie-dyed-kumbaya idealist nonsense that stinks of the ‘60s and has become common from the Left. Don’t get me wrong. I’m okay with idealism. I’m okay with dreaming about utopia, but not at the expense of reality. And the reality is that I don’t have time for this mess. I have to get up and go to work in the morning. I have mouths to feed. I have bills to pay.
That’s reality, Mrs. Obama.
The reality of our world is that there are bad people out there who want to kill us. Acknowledging this fact does not amount to listening to our fears. The reality is that even though they’re easy to hate, we still need rich folks to drive business and provide jobs. I know I do, and so do most Americans. Rich folks aren’t evil, they’re just successful. They should be modeled and not demonized. The reality is that government is not an efficient, effective way to provide people with things they need. This has often been a brutal realization for some, yet it’s a lesson we have somehow yet to learn. The reality is that national health care has been ultimately detrimental for other nations. The reality is that we need to find a way to lower the cost of living and wean ourselves from foreign energy and we need to start RIGHT NOW! Listening to our dreams and the new tide of hope does absolutely nothing in that regard.
In fairness, it’s not Michelle Obama’s job to detail specifics about these things, so I don’t want to be too hard on her. But I do hope that the rest of the DNC doesn’t follow suit. The Democrats have long been the party of emotion much more so than the GOP, which is why Republicans are often viewed as insensitive and uncaring. But emotion doesn’t solve the problems we face. Emotion makes us feel good, but then we still have real problems that need effective solutions. Feeling warm and cozy doesn’t help. As a middle class voter, I can respectfully say that I don’t need a hug. I don’t need to listen to my dreams. I don’t need the new tide of hope, but thanks anyway. I need to hear someone talk about solving problems in a way that will benefit me, my family and my country, and I need specifics. “Change we can believe in” doesn’t cut it. “Yes we can” means nothing to me. Americans need more action and fewer words. While Michelle Obama’s speech was sweet and cozy, it still failed in that regard. There was plenty of emotion, but the lack of action left me dissatisfied. It will be interesting to see how the others follow.