Monday, September 03, 2012

On Compassion and Community

The Democratic National Convention starts tomorrow.  That's a good thing because I suspect that the words of my fellow Democrats are just the antidote I need after a week spent watching the Republican spectacle of cold-hearted privilege in Tampa.

A number of the speeches last week really ticked me off.  I found Ann Romney's appeal to the sisterhood of women both disingenuous and dishonest.  It's terribly hard for me to believe that stay-at-home mom with access to multiple homes, household help, and millions of dollars has any idea what life is like for working moms like me, let alone the families in this nation whose income has been shrinking thanks to 1 percenters like the Romneys.  

Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan's speech was a long list of deliberate deceptions.  You can read about all of them here.  I found all of that troubling, of course. But I didn't find it surprising, given Ryan's fondness for the self-serving, bankrupt philosophies of Ayn Rand, whose string of cold-hearted and half-developed truisms forms the core of his beliefs.  

And then there was the nominee himself.  Mitt Romney's speech told me that he loved his parents and that he loves his kids and his wife.  Beyond that, he explained that the economy hasn't rebounded like we all had hoped in 2008.  Well, duh.  He blamed President Obama for that disappointment without once acknowledging that Congressional Republicans have blocked action at every juncture.  Newsflash, sir: Our nation continues to struggle because of the Republican party, not despite it.

But the most chilling moment of all came at the end of Mitt Romney's speech on Thursday night.  Winding up for his big conclusion, Governor Romney  identified the United States of America he wants our nation to be.  He said, "That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our Constitution.  That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.  That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children."

After nearly 45 minutes of cheers for virtually everything that Romney said, the hall fell silent at that moment.  This wasn't a room of compassionate conservatives, not by a long shot.

That moment is the cold, hard truth of the modern Republican party: they care not a whit for their fellow citizens.  They reject the idea that we sink or swim together.  Community responsibility means virtually nothing to them.  They've had success in this nation of ours and by-golly, they will hold on to it with both fists, denying others a hand when it is needed most.

No thank you, Governor Romney.  The Democrats aren't perfect, not by any means.  But I know that they care about their fellow citizens.  They understand that the core of our national success is the obligations we have to one another.  I will gladly place my faith in a man and a party who believes we must help the most vulnerable, who understands that the good luck of a child's birth shouldn't dictate that child's fortunes in life.  

1 comment:

Nichole said...

Michelle Obama had an amazing speech!! If I was a lesbian, she would be my girl crush. She got brains, education, fabulous arms, and a big booty. Just my type of woman(I think?). Although I'm sure Ann Romney is a lovely woman, she has no freaking clue. She's had some tough times in her life, but she always had money and family and means to help her through them. She can't possibly compare her life story to mine, nor can I compare mine to hers. I think I judge her unfairly for this reason, but I cannot get over the smug attitude.