My wife and I were/ have been watching the Republican National Convention the last few nights and we take a very different tack about such things. I go nuts over the sheer irrationality of this speaker or that and she gets upset when this speaker or that says something that isn’t factually true. Tonight, Condoleeza Rice made me remember that there are good Republicans — simple patriots who believe in the promise of America and acknowledge its limitations, but believe that life includes risk and that risk is — or should be — worth it. Before this, I had never been able to hear her speak as herself, rather than a member of the Bush cabinet, where I believed that Colin Powell was the only moral person in the room.
A world full of Democrats and Republicans like John McCain and Bob Dole and Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell and maybe Olympia Snowe would have had this country rolling again within three years of the Bush Obama change-over and America would have felt like America again. I’d still be a Democrat, but I wouldn’t doubt that a bit to the right of me were people who actually cared about the American dream and fairness, but had a different view of how to get there. For the last two to three years, we have had Republicans who don’t even seem like earthlings, let alone people who care for the welfare of the people they represent. What we have had is stalemate for that time. What we have had is a Congress that simply doesn’t want “that man” to have won, and they will do anything to deny the reality that he did. This present Congress is not “conservative” (I apparently have many friends who are that, and this present Congress doesn’t sound like them at all). It is reactionary. It sees the future coming and it wants us all to run the other way.
So, Rice gets my vote for reasonable person and patriot, as does the woman who spoke afterwards, a Hispanic woman — maybe a governor or senator — who used to be a democrat. She was eloquent and serious and patriotic. But, what, is she the only Hispanic they could find? I hate when a group pretends they’re inclusive by bringing in the token _________ (fill in the blank) to present a false image of who they really are. Big Tent Republicans, Democrats, or Denominations in churches are representative of America as it is, and as we should be represented. “Let’s bring in the tokens” is dishonest and frankly disgusts me because it is so dishonest. For an organization with a platform that looks like this (in this case, to the far right) to present itself as full of that is the worst of America’s modern life.
Then up steps Mr. Ryan, the VP nominee and, apparently, lie after lie after skewed fact after skewed fact comes out of his mouth — enough so that my generally calm wife starts getting upset. I don’t know what the democratic convention will bring, but if my guys and gals act the same way, I’m going to be just as mad at them.
In this election, when there is so much talk and raucous irrationality, couldn’t we at least tell the truth, so people could make good decisions?