The political season has reached its play-offs, with the national conventions getting their 15 minutes of fame at the water cooler, trending topics and hashtags. Back in the middle of the 20th century, the political parties’ nominating conventions were held about a month apart in July and August, working the calendar around the summer Olympics and before the start of the NFL season. That changed in 2008 as a result of campaign finance rules: candidates’ campaign fundraising now is unlimited before the convention, but they cannot raise any money afterward in order to receive federal campaign funds. So what should be our most important task as a nation – choosing who will be our leader for the next 4 years – is now an exercise in avoiding television broadcast conflicts and maximizing donations?
Last week’s news from Tampa had little in the way of news, other than some odd behavior at the podium and on the floor. We knew in advance that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would be the stars of “A Better Future” for our country. How will the DNC respond? What highlights from the current administration’s 3-1/2 years at the helm will they bring forward to show that their re-run will be the better option in November?
Here are some things we’re probably not going to see:
No success story about the commitment to jobs jobs jobs, with unemployment having dug in at around 8% for their entire run.
No raving about their wonderful success in economics during this term – with growth failing below 2%, while spending our country into ever deeper debt and pushing the solution off onto a “supercommittee” that couldn’t find the way to keep a cap on the national debt and maintain our country’s credit rating – or even submit a budget.
No fulfillment of voters’ dreams of the equal opportunity to create their own success (change we can believe in), when the only real beneficiaries of the government’s huge bail-outs were the union members whose pensions were re-secured.
And you won’t hear people in Charlotte raving about the reasonable cost of health care or gasoline, either.
It will be interesting to see what they do celebrate – and how it’s spun. What plan does the DNC or the administration have to make next four years better than last four? What drastic change in economic policy can be introduced to convince the voters that our current president is the best one for the job now – Trust me, I’m the guy you need, and I need 4 more years to make this right. But these last four have only shown that this administration can’t lead without debt, and their type of debt leadership is something my generation doesn’t need.
The rumor mill may be getting the gossip going about divisiveness between classes, but the true divisiveness is between generations. Do they fail to see it, or are they choosing to ignore it? But if we change the channel now and ignore it, our country will be dictated to from the grave, as my generation and those to follow will have their opportunities sold off, and be left to pay for the eating, drinking, and merry-making after those who made the spendthrift decisions are gone.
We can’t just drop the reins and expect our horse to find the way home for us. It’s time to make the tough decisions and stop looking for someone to blame. Government has overpromised, and the time to change direction is now.
Dear DNC: Regardless of who you bring on the stage this week, and the spin you put us through, avoiding or twisting the facts – and the Constitution – will not help the Democratic cause, the Republican cause, or the American cause. Instead of entertainment, we need the leadership that will balance the budget between generations, and for our future