The Republican National Convention, which was scheduled to be Aug. 27 to Aug. 30, 2012, was delayed a day due to the threat of hurricane Isaac. According to Romney strategist, Russ Schriefer, the first day was to be dedicated to discussing the “failures of the Obama administration over the past four years.” It would include testimonies from real people who were affected by this administration’s economy. Instead, the convention went on to showcase what America stands for and to remind us of the “American Dream” as it was meant to be. Each speech was inspirational and demonstrated the speakers’ patriotism and love for America.
Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama, who introduced Obama at the Democratic Convention in 2008, gave a surprise speech. He spoke highly of America and the Republicans who welcomed him into the party. He then spoke directly to the Democrats and Independents about how he understands why they voted for Obama and how they managed to find themselves swept up in all the hype, false promises and overall failure of this administration. He movingly stated, “This sweet, blessed, God-inspired place called America is a champion that has absorbed some blows…This is no dark hour…may it be said of this time in our history, 2008 to 2012: mistake corrected.”
Another speech that defined the ‘American dream’ for me, was by Mia Love, a Utah congressional candidate. In stark contrast to the speech that Michelle Obama gave in 2008, Love spoke of the America she knew. Her parents had immigrated to the United States with all of $10, believing in the American Dream they had heard about. Love expressed that there had been hard times, however, instead of asking the government for help they tried to find a solution themselves.
Love also discussed the division of the country under the Obama’s presidency. She stated that his policies have failed and we are not better than we were four years ago. To a roaring crowd, she stated that “no rhetoric, bumper sticker or campaign ad can change that. Mr. President, I am here to tell you that we are not buying what you are selling in 2012.”
Ann Romney gave a heartfelt speech about her husband Mitt Romney. She seemed to be nervous and somewhat awkward in the beginning, but gained momentum and looked directly at the camera, seemingly making a connection with those of us watching the convention. There were many other equally great speakers from all backgrounds who exhibited intelligence, eloquence and class.
Of course, the main attractions of the convention were candidates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Romney spoke of his life, family, American exceptionalism and his vision of the future. It was informative, inspiring and showed that he does have a sense of humor. He clearly stated the difference between what he would do during his presidency in comparison to what Obama has done to the country. He also talked about his plans for the next four years if he is elected. There was a moment during Romney’s speech when he stated, “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.” He rolled his eyes with a look of amusement and with all sincerity stated, “My promise… is to help you and your family.”
I was also very impressed with Paul Ryan’s speech. He adds youthfulness to the campaign. In 2008, Obama was portrayed as young and inspiring, however, today it is Ryan who is young and full of ideas. Ryan’s youth and energy has successfully made Obama seem old and washed up. He emphasizes this by saying, “It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at the moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.”
Last but not least one must mention the keynote speaker, the make-my-day Clint Eastwood. Many have stated that old Clint may be a little senile in that he was talking to an empty chair, however, counseling and psychology majors can recognize this as Gestalt therapy in which an empty chair is used as to represent someone or something that an individual would like to address.
The Democratic National Convention took place this week from Sept. 4 to Sept. 6, 2012, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Already, an exhibit of a sand sculpture of Obama in the style of Mount Rushmore was damaged by a torrential downpour, in response to which the Washington Times states, “An ominous beginning to what many fear is a plagued convention.”