Thursday, August 30, 2012

Observations on the 2012 Election 8.30

I don't even know how to begin to describe the final hour of last night's Republican convention. It began with a speech by Condoleezza Rice who honestly did a very good job of speaking to all Americans whether or not they agree with her. She was followed by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez who seemed to channel both Steve Martin and Clint Eastwood with her 'I was born a poor girl with a .357 magnum in my hand' speech. The night ended with an admittedly very good but totally scary performance by vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

Condoleezza Rice gave a brilliant speech and what a friend said later is very true, to bad she isn't one of ours. After the speech one of the commentators said that if Pete Wilson had appointed Rice to the Senate seat from California, which he vacated to become Governor of the state, Rice and not Willard might be accepting the nomination for President tonight. Instead Wilson appointed John Seymour who was defeated by Diane Feinstein two years later. Her best; "On a personal note, a little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham. The segregated city of the south where her parents cannot take her to a movie theater or to restaurants, but they have convinced that even if she cannot have it hamburger at Woolworths, she can be the president of the United States if she wanted to be, and she becomes the secretary of state."

Paul Ryan is something different entirely. He also harkens back to a dark time of the American soul. He is good, very good, but also a classic demagogue in the style of Huey Long or George Wallace. I'm in no way comparing Ryan to Hitler but looking at the faces in the audience during his speech I was reminded of the films of Hitler's early speeches at Nuremberg. Ryan is that scary good. When he said "sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government," my remote literally hit the wall yet I couldn't stop watching.

After two nights of very little actual ideas I come away with two predominate thoughts about the Republican Party. Noblesse oblige, a French term which implies that people of noble birth, or wealthy in our case, are obligated by that birth to be honorable and generous. The Repubes think they are being just that but all one most do is look at the smug face of Paul Ryan to realize they are actually being the polar opposite. That fact plays along with my second term which is manifest destiny. For the most part the speakers and their audience honestly believe all the rhetoric. They believe the country is in ruins, that Obama is the devil incarnate, and most of all they believe they are right and destined to save this country from itself while leading it into a second American 'century of greatness.'

As I said, scary good. More later.

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