Monday, August 25, 2008

Democratic National Convention

It's finally here. The great DNC, followed next week by the great RNC. My parents and grandparents always watched the Conventions, and I watched with them. When I became a teen, I developed a passion for them. This comes from a woman who, when she was 6 years old, was in love with Harry S. Truman and despised, as much as a child can, Edward McCarthy. When a college freshman in 1960, I was in love with JFK and actually was fortunate enough to shake his hand. (I didn't wash that hand for a week)

Today, I am rather cynical about the whole process. What was once Democratic is now Republican, and vice-versa. Today, politics must be hashed and rehashed by political commentators trying to sway public opinion. You think lobbyists control politics? They used to, but today it's MSNBC, CNN, Fox and all the others. The average American citizen does not make the decision about who will be president. Not really. Not when the chips (or chads) are down. Those in power decide who the candidates will be and who will win. Look what happened in the last two elections. And we, the people, must pay the price.

I am hearing how the Democrats have made things better for everyone, with healthcare reform, Medicare reform, welfare reform, affirmative action, et al. Let me tell you, those reforms haven't helped the average American. Rather, things have become worse.

Since I could first vote at age twenty-one, I have never voted for a Republican for president. This year, I am facing a dilemna. I am not wanting either candidate for president, and may vote Republican for the first time. Call me a poor loser if you want, but I still want a woman for president. I believe the men in power derailed Hilary because she is a woman, and substituted a relatively unknown minority candidate who they knew would get enough minority votes to possibly win over a Republican candidate.

I am sick right now of hearing about Obama's early days of working in community action like it was some great and noble venture. I, too, worked for a federally-funded community action program when I was young, and what I saw there was eye-opening. I saw employees who talked the talk but didn't walk the walk. A lot of people pretending to work, but not really doing anything. A boss who drew a large salary and after arriving at work 1-2 hours late, sat and clipped coupons from the paper and talked to friends and family on the phone instead of working, and whose day ended several hours earlier than it was supposed to end. An executive director who had the title of "Reverend" and stole thousands of dollars from the agency. People whose words sounded lofty, but didn't have any real content. People who were only too quick to reverse perceived discrimination. President Nixon eliminated the program because he said it duplicated existing effective programs, and it may have been the best action of his presidency. It saved a lot of money. So quit talking about those days in community action and tell me what Obama has done and accomplished since then. He has only been a Senator for three years, and most of that time, I believe, has been spent campaigning.
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