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Warren/Castro in 2016? Some Thoughts on the Democratic Convention

The Democratic National Convention took place last week. Even though I was near political overload, I watched with great pride for those I support and very much enjoyed what I saw and heard.

As you are probably all aware, the Democratic National Convention took place last week. I spent many hours watching and I walked away feeling inspired and even more certain that I am on the right team.

Not only were the speakers top notch, but the entire production was impressive. The guest line-up, camera shots, staging – it was all put together remarkably well.

But of course, it was the speeches which really blew the whole thing out of the confetti-littered water. So I wanted to share a few random thoughts on the event.

He’s Baaaaack

If you haven’t yet taken the time to listen to President Bill Clinton’s speech, I highly suggest you do so. He was convincingly on point and conveyed the necessary facts to make a truly informed decision. His delivery was nostalgic and brilliant. Here are a few of the points he made which resonated with me the most:

When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics, but in the real world, cooperation works better. After all, nobody’s right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day.

I mean, seriously. It sucks that we even need to go over this. But Washington has apparently turned into one big political sandbox – complete with bullies, pouting and tantrums. It has been the GOP position from the beginning of President Obama’s presidency to focus on nothing more than getting him out of office. And their actions demonstrate just that. Compromise is a must. Conversation is crucial. Cooperation is imperative.

We simply can’t afford to double-down on trickle-down.

Republicans have been trying to convince us of this economic unicorn known as Trickle Down for decades. It has proven not to work time and time again, yet they are tethered to this theory in the middle of a hurricane and they are holding on for dear life.

When water is dumped from above, those at the top get drenched (especially when they hold the buckets) and those at the bottom barely catch a few drops. But a fountain, spouting from the middle, dampens everyone equally. The middle class is what will save this country and what needs to be saved the most. It’s time for the GOP to put trickle down to sleep, hold a funeral and bury that crappola idea forever.

I realize Clinton wasn’t perfect. NAFTA, the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the implementation of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell were some definite "tsks" in my book. But name one president who, in hindsight, did not make mistakes. You can’t. There aren’t any. All-in-all, I think he was a terrific leader. And I am very proud that my very first ballot ever was a vote for him.

Elizabeth Warren 2016!!

Wow. She is just one fabulously insightful, intelligent and well-spoken woman. Warren is currently running for Senate in Massachusetts. Her appearance was certainly one of the most impressive during this year’s convention.  

No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters. That matters because we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people.

Well, that pretty much sums it up. Citizens United is by far one of the most dangerous and corruption-worthy moves by our government since the Iraq war. It officially brought a legality to the destructive path we could all see coming for a long time – our country, our values, our politics, our laws - all under the thumb of the almighty dollar.

Make that Warren/Castro 2016!!

The Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, was introduced to the American public during the event. And boy, what an introduction he made!! There is no doubt he will be a national figure sooner than later. I would even wager in favor of a future presidential run possibility. 

Castro had many thoughtful points to make and his entire speech should certainly be viewed by all. One comment that really stuck with me was the following:

I don't think Gov. Romney meant any harm. I think he's a good guy. He just has no idea how good he's had it. 

I think a common thread in much of a dialogue over those three days contained a defense of Romney as a person, while making it clear he is far out of touch with the average American citizen. Whenever he speaks, it is so glaringly obvious that he just doesn’t get it. Ask my parents for start up money for my business? Seriously? They struggled to pay the bills for many years, let alone send me to college or start me off in a business. I understand he grew up much differently, but doesn’t he have a TV or any conduit to the outside world?

While the convention was entertaining and enlightening, I doubt it makes much of a difference at the polls. I mean, let’s face it, they were all preaching to the choir. I cannot imagine there were too many GOP supporters whom were turned by that viewing experience and vice versa. And people who are undecided between such vastly different candidates probably do not bother to watch things like this anyway. Oh, well, I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Stormy Weather September 14, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Rees - Yes, being disabled would make it difficult, so I understand that. My mother was disabled, and I spent years working with handicapped children, so I understand how difficult it can be to do the simplest of things. I guess you will have to wait to see 2016. I hope you won't regret your decision to vote for Obama.
Rees Roberts September 14, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Stormy: I am quite sure that no matter which party is victorious the same issues will plague us. The issue of Peak Oil is the biggest one which no one is even talking about. If you do a bit of research you will easily see that most, if not all, the cheap oil has already been consumed. That leaves the stuff that is very expensive to get to. I'm not saying we don't have oil to use but rather it will cost us in our wallets. And if there is but one country which does not like us and decide to go crazy and deprive us of petroleum we will get a shock alert. It is our lack of preparation which will ultimately hurt. And, as I said just 30 seconds ago, no one is even talking about this. Start writing your book now because you will certainly have a bunch to write about sooner or later about this. Locally, we could do much to help transition to this new world.
mau September 14, 2012 at 08:07 PM
If you ignore what is going on at the national and international level, be ready to be blind sided when you look up.
mau September 14, 2012 at 08:21 PM
I agree with you on the oil situation but it goes well beyond this. Our steel industry is devastated, buildings closed and equipment sold to foreign investors. The same is true of electric generating (power plant) equipment that does not depend on computer technology. We may be building our military equipment but where are the parts coming from to build it. How many of our fighter planes and tanks are being built by foreign countries with components from China. Bringing it back to your point, what happens when our "allies" turn against us. And then we have a society who can no longer fend for themselves. Almost everything is now computer related and needs electricity to use. Our electric grid system is tied together and run by computer. Shut down the power grid and the US comes to a stop. What reaction will there be when you can't use your i-phone or get onto Facebook. Another thing is we have lost the knowledge and skills to do just about everything. People don't even cook for themselves. If they can't open a bag and heat it in the microwave, they are lost. Grow your own food, forget it. Change the oil on your car, forget it. Use a land-line, forget it. Take care of your kids, forget it (I have my career). What happens when China slams the door on us.
Rees Roberts September 14, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Mau: Your points are square on target. But that is why I founded Transition Towns Wisconsin, Inc. a non-profit tax exempt corporation to provide funding to Transition initiatives around the state of Wisconsin. If you go to Transition web sites you will see real solutions to the issues you so well spoke about. The solutions are locally based. We call the education of skills "re-skilling." We will need to learn the skills our grand-fathers knew. This is going on now. Permaculture, is the art of working with nature to grow plants and food the way nature does. It is truly an amazing thing to behold. But, we need to get the word out, which is difficult when traditional media hasn't a clue about these problems. It will take time, generations. And there will be painful periods for maybe decades. But, eventually, there will be life worth living that actually can be better than the rat race we live now. Young people will need to learn new skills not taught in schools. Society will have to accept a no growth economy. We simply have lived in the bubble of the best time in human history. But that bubble is destined to pop. I just hope we have time to warn for it's always better to be warned than taken by surprise. Only then can we prepare.

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