Hate vs. Hope
It’s just past Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention and it couldn’t be more clear. The jury hasn’t even heard the entirety of the defense’s case yet the evidence is unambiguous. In Tampa last week, the Republican prosecutors presented their hollow case – during their 3 days they called witness after witness – none of whom presented any evidence that their approach to pulling us out of the deep economic ditch we’ve been mired in is any different than the policies of previous Republican administrations that steered us into the ditch in the first place. None of whom could point to new ideas or speak to a new vision.
Yes, they tried to paint a human face on the animatronic Romney, knowing that his elitist and privileged past is not winning any new votes. They tried to sell themselves as “just folks”, a bunch of up from the bootstraps heroes. Poor Mitt, slumming it by eating dinner on the ironing board.
But mostly their story is founded on negativity and hate. It is the culmination of four years of dedication to one thing and one thing only. The hell with any ground rules, the hell with the truth.
Just before Mitt’s closing arguments, their star prosecutor Clint Eastwood called the president to the stand. I haven’t seen an as inept a display of courtroom prowess since Austin Pendleton as the stuttering lawyer attempted to plead his client’s case in My Cousin Vinny.
Cut to Charlotte where the Democrats presented real evidence of progressive policy initiatives intended to provide health care for all Americans, lower taxes for the middle class while the super-rich pay their fair share, save millions of jobs while bringing the U.S. auto industry from the brink of bankruptcy to record profits, provide affordable loans to those trying to afford college, provide a legitimate pathway for immigrants to become productive citizens, eliminate discrimination of gays in the military while supporting marriage equality for all, establish equal pay for equal work regardless of gender and fight attempts to reduce woman’s rights to make decisions about their health.
And for good measure, the defense countered the attacks on President Obama’s character culminating with Michelle Obama’s incredible speech. She said “success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people.”
Michelle masterfully drew the distinctions between Barack and Mitt without even mentioning his name:
We learned about dignity and decency – that how hard you work matters more than how much you make…that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself. We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters…that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules…and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.
There’s a lot more campaigning and debating to go and of course the jury won’t convene until November 6. But when it boils down to hate vs. hope, the choice is clear.