Politics Explained: In Defense of Democrats saying “NO” to God

At this weeks Democratic National Convention, there was an unexpected hiccup in the adoption of the party platform which outlines the beliefs and goals of the party. In the drafting process, the only mention of the word “God” was removed from the party platform. Republicans latched on to this, knowing that their party, as well as a considerable chunk of Democrats have a strong belief in God and dislike removing Him from the public square. In an attempt to calm the angry masses, the Democratic Party decided to sneak in an amendment to their platform, not only adding “God” back into the platform, but also stating that it is their belief that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel. What happened when they brought it to an official vote was completely unexpected, go ahead and watch keeping in mind that this was live and on National Television.

Poor Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles didn’t quite no what to do. He was expecting to get up, pass the amendment, and sit down. I mean who’s going to argue with the party leaders? Well, lots of people it turns out.

People are surprised by this for a couple of reasons. 1) Because people three times clearly voted against the recognition of God and Jerusalem and 2) because the party accepted this as an official vote when it was not really clear if two thirds of the people were truly in favor.

Politics Explained: Peter Denies Christ three times, like democrats

Peter Denies Christ Three Times

Republicans have latched onto this as a denial of God by Democrats. The only thing that would have made this more perfect for them is if the cock crowed after the third denial. But I think the Republicans are being a little unfair with their criticism. People were not booing God. The Democrat Delegation was booing the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is something that Republicans are very adamant about as a means of supporting the Jews in Israel. The Palestinians in Israel, however, see Tel Aviv as the capital. By accepting Jerusalem as the capital is to remove legitamacy to the Palestinians which is not very popular among the Muslim and Arab world. You’ll notice that in the clip, they keep panning the camera to a man and woman who have a sign that reads, “Arab Americans for Obama.” After that, I wouldn’t be surprised if they stayed home this election.

But the point I’m trying to make is that the democrats were not denying God. Sure there may have been a few adamant Atheists in the crowd who really were upset about that, but I think that was the exception not the rule. I think that people were more upset that the party folded to pressures concerning the Jerusalem issue since many Democrats have a legitimate argument about the US giving too much credit to the Jews who they feel are oppressing the Palestinians in Israel.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Ignores People

Mayor Villaraigosa Ignores People

The real atrocity of the night was the manner in which it was all decided. Did you hear 2/3s of the people say “aye,”? I know I didn’t. But Mayor Villaraigosa knew that they needed to pass it, so without really having any way to know how many were for or against, he just pushed it through saying it passed. That’s when even more boos came. Again, not against God, but because he ignored the voice of the people.

Politics Explained: Romney and Obama’s Convention Speeches Compared

The national party conventions are the most prime opportunity for a candidate to make his/her case for the presidency. The national news networks are finally all tuned in and giving their undivided attention. For the first time, they have a national audience, and they, the candidates, get to set the agenda. This moment was very important for both the President and Governor Romney but for different reasons.

Politics explained: Romney vs. Obama

Different Conventions, Different Speeches, Similar Goals

President Obama needed to stand up and convince America that he deserves four more years. He needed to explain why his leadership, that we’ve all seen, will be good for another term and then go on to explain what he’d do with it.

Governor Romney on the other hand had the task of explaining why he, the man without four years of presidential experience, would be that much better than the current option. He needed to lay out his plan for America’s future and show that America is not currently on the right course.

We’ll start with looking at Romney’s speech since he gave his first, and part of Obama’s speech was in response to Romney’s.

In the most basic terms, Romney’s speech was a success. Something that I’ve been noticing about Romney recently is that he is making his case for the presidency by acting presidential. After being introduced, Romney walked in from the back of the hall. To many observers, it was very akin to the way in which the president enters the House of Representatives, from the back, just before delivering the State of the Union address. There was a lot of hand shaking, hugs to friends, and one slightly awkward moment when Romney had to ask a lady not to touch his face because he was afraid of her ruining his stage make-up (before you laugh about him wearing make up, remember it was stage make up that helped JFK win in the presidential debates against Nixon. The debates were televised for the first time, and Nixon refused to put on make up…JFK looked better).

Politics Explained: Romney at Convention

Romney delivering speech to RNC

Then once behind the podium, he spoke to his purpose. Remember, that purpose was to make his case for the presidency. He started by first making the case that people should be considering a change in leadership. He asked the country to really ask themselves, “are you better than you were 4 years ago?” He supplied evidence to the fact that they weren’t. After getting people to consider new leadership, he explained what that meant. He laid out a five point plan to economic and job recovery which included energy independence by 2020 and stronger trade relations abroad. He ended by expressing his love for America, and all that politician fluff.

Exactly one week later, Obama spoke to his party. His entrance was a lot different, instead of coming from the back of a well lit room, he came from back stage of a dark room under a spotlight to the tune of a Coldplay song. The Obama people are really good at theatrical drama and evoking the most emotional response from their audience. This is no exception.

Politics Explained: Obama at convention applauding supporters

Obama applauds supporters

The speech itself, again, should have been aimed at laying out his plan for his next term as a way of convincing people that he deserves more time. He started with an acknowledgement of the historic nature of this election. He then went on to attack the speeches given by the republicans, throwing in the word God at every opportunity, just in case people still remembered how the DNC almost removed all instances of God from their party platform. He then laid out a long list of democratic party principles. He said that they could add thousands of jobs in multiple areas, and the only thing that he needs in order to do that is our help.

So what do we learn from this? Well, we just get confirmation of what we already know. This is a fundamental difference, in my opinion, between the Romney campaign and Obama campaign. Romney speaks to the country as a whole and offers a plan to help the whole; Obama seeks to divide and conquer.

Romney Speaks to the NAACP

Romney Speaks to the NAACP

Another great example of Romney doing well what he did at the convention was during his speech to the NAACP. There is an organization which is made up almost entirely of Obama supporters, but Romney went to them anyway. He realized that if he is going to be President of the United States then he will be president of all Americans, not just Republicans. He went into that meeting with the NAACP, and gave a very similar speech to those he gives all over the country. He was even booed at one point for saying some unpopular things. But the thing is, Romney will not pander. He will not change his message because of the color of people’s skin or their social standing. He is to be a president of all Americans.

Politics explained: Obama campaigns with strategy of divide and conquer

Obama seeks to divide and conquer

But Obama knows that in a system of winner take all, he doesn’t need all of America to agree with him, heck he doesn’t even need half of America to agree with him. He just needs more people to agree with him than with Romney. And so how does he do it?  Obama’s strategy has been to divide the people then gather up enough groups to secure his victory and save the needy and oppressed, as he feels that he is doing. This is seen in his divisive rhetoric against the business class of the country. He rallies the poor and middle class around the idea that the rich Americans don’t really care about the country or people who are under them. He attacks the successful for the purpose of gaining the support of those who want a share of their profits.

That’s what he did at the convention. If you listen, you’ll hear that he was speaking directly to his base. He was preaching to the choir to get them to sing louder. This wasn’t a speech for the undecided voter, like Romney’s was. If it was, he would have given more concrete ideas, and not abstract hopes and dreams for the future.

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