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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Ann Romney Shows It’s OK to be Rich

Politics Explained: Ann Romney, Mrs. America

Mrs. America herself, Ann Romney

Ann Romney has been widely praised for her address at the recent Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. There have been posters, T-Shirts, even purses with her picture and the caption, “Mrs. America.” This hype is produced by Republicans who are excited to vote for her husband and make her the First Lady. However, I’ve been following this election close enough to know exactly what the opposition was thinking. For those liberals who were watching, many probably sat there and thought, “Don’t patronize me and talk like you understand me. How could someone in a fancy silk blouse that is worth a months pay check really care about me?” (people actually were making similar comments about the blouse on youtube).

The thing is, Ann Romney is not a middle class housewife…She’s a filthy rich housewife, and they’re not trying to fool anyone. The Romney’s don’t try to pretend like they are underprivileged. They don’t stretch the truth to make them seem like they’ve gone through more financial struggles than they have, like the opposing candidate has done (read about that here). They are honest with their circumstances past and present.

There has been a lot of encouragement for Romney to be forthright about his wealth. In all reality he has nothing to hide. Though his Father was a wealthy business man and governor, Romney did not get his wealth from his Dad. Instead, he took his inheritance and gave it all to charity. He didn’t need it because he was making it on his own.

But my point here is not to tell you about how the Romney’s know what it’s like to be poor and start their own business in order to possibly make ends meet. My point here is to say that it’s OK to be rich.

Because of Mitt’s financial success, he and his dear wife Ann are in a special position to help lift and inspire others, in this case, the American people and they are living up to that opportunity. There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon that Governor Romney has likely read multiple times. It reads, “And before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good – to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and afflicted.” (Jacob 2:18-19). I’m confident Mr. Romney has read that because he and his wife live it.

Politics Explained: Mitt and Ann Romney prove it's OK to be rich

Mitt and Ann as our advocates

Mitt and Ann Romney have dedicated their lives to helping others. Over 16% of his 2011 income was given to charities or other charitable organizations. Mitt and Ann are now advocates for those who wish the same success that they’ve seen in life.

When Ann Romney gets up to that large podium in Tampa, FL and says, “I’ve been around the country and heard your stories and feel your pain,” she is not being condescending, she is being sincere. She and her husband are advocates for all those who are struggling.

But they don’t understand my struggles, you may say. They don’t know what it’s like to be unemployed for 8 months or struggle from pay check to pay check…But let’s think about that. Does it really matter? First off, the Romneys have likely experienced more hardships than you are aware. Secondly, it doesn’t matter that they haven’t personally experienced every trial that every American now faces. Because the Romney’s and I share this belief that there is only One who could ever do that.

The fact of the matter is, the most important fact is that the Romneys care. The most important thing they could do to connect with the middle and lower classes is not to personally walk in their shoes, but to have an open mind and heart when hearing personal stories. I challenge all who read to find evidence pointing to the fact that Romney does not care about the success of all Americans from every walk of life. You just won’t find anything. You may find some fact that has been twisted by the Obama campaign that leads the misinformed to believe that the Romneys are heartless, but deep within that very fact will be the fact that the reason the Romneys have done what they have is because they love American and believe in its future. Mitt Romney’s entire campaign has been about believing in America and getting America back to work again. He has the skills and experiences necessary to get the job done. More importantly, he has the sincere desire to do so.

Politics Explained: Mitt and Ann Romney care about America

Mitt and Ann care about America

So next time you see Mrs. Romney wearing a fancy piece of Jewelry, or hear Gov. Romney refer to just how many cars he owns, don’t think that equates with not caring about the millions of Americans struggling under this economy. Because frankly, nothing could be further from the truth.

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Politics Explained: Romney/Ryan depicted as Mormon missionaries, political cartoon

Politics Explained: Romney and Ryan portrayed as Mormon Missionaries in political cartoon

Romney and Ryan portrayed as Mormon missionaries

You may have seen this before. This is not the first time that the media has poked at Romney because of his religion, but this is the first time that someone else has been roped into it.

My general reaction is, I would wish people would have the decency to not poke fun at religious beliefs, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t surprise me that they do.

Recently, I’ve spent some time going through political cartoons, trying to find ones worthy of passing along on this blog’s Facebook page. I’ve noticed that most political cartoons go for shock value. They want it to be something that people will talk about and share with the hopes that as it is passed around, people will come to agree with the message that is. This is no different, and obviously it worked as I am here talking about it.

However, just because people are talking about it, does not justify being insensitive to a person’s religion. However, what can you do in such a situation? Kick and scream and demand that it be rescinded? Nothing will come of it. All we can do is take the time to spread the truth.

The thing is, yes, Romney and Ryan do have some proselytizing to do, not for any religion, but for free market capitalism. And yes they are going to save the rich, but like most political cartoons, this fall short in its analysis. Not only are they going to save the rich, but they’re also going to save the poor and middle class. Unlike the left, Romney and Ryan want all Americans to succeed. They don’t have the mentality that “if everyone can’t be successful, then no one can,” like the Obama administration is perpetuating.

If they want to make fun of religion like kids in high school, let them. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about these little side distractions; it’s about getting America working again, and Romney and Ryan are the best companionship to make it happen.

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Politics Explained: Biden says Romney’s “going to put y’all back in chains”

This kind of rhetoric shouldn’t surprise me, but I am still taken aback by the divisiveness of this administration. Obama and Biden alike have taken to the streets to split America in two by engaging in class warfare.

The two of them, are going across America to rile up the poor against the rich. They are inciting anger and envy that will only subside once they get their way and have taxed the rich into oblivion and decreased everyone’s standard of living. To them, if everyone can’t be successful, no one should be, because that’s what’s “fair.” It was once said, if you want more success, you have to stop attacking success, and that is why Obama must be stopped.

Now about the politics of this all. I’m not sure if Biden was making a reference to the Civil War and slavery with his, “going to put y’all back in chains” comment. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one and just say his rhetoric was just a little extreme. Even so, even without an intentional reference to slavery and the Civil War, just listen to how that comment was received.

And another thing. From the way Biden was speaking, can you guess where he’s from? You guessed it…Pennsylvania. Wait, I didn’t know Pennsylvanians had a Southern drawl? I guess you learn something new every day. And did you hear how he let his grammar go? This man is pandering. He is playing up the crowd, and he’s going to change his message, his accent, and his vocabulary at the next campaign stop. Because that’s what Biden and Obama do. They do whatever is necessary to be elected; that is priority number one.

But doesn’t Romney do the same thing? Sure he’ll adjust his message from campaign stop to campaign stop based on what is important to that people, but I challenge you to find an instance of him changing so dramatically that he sounds like a different candidate. When Romney spoke to the civil rights organization, the NAACP, he didn’t pander to African Americans; he didn’t just tell them what they wanted to hear. He delivered the same message of economic recovery that he has been spreading across the United States.

That’s the difference between Romney/Ryan and Obama/Biden. Romney/Ryan are concerned with one thing, getting the country back on track. They are concerned, not with dividing the country, but unifying it and raising up everyone together. Obama/Biden just don’t want to leave their posh seats in the capital. Because if they were really concerned about putting the American public in chains, they would be taking a serious look at how they are creating a dependency on the government.

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Politics Explained: What picking Paul Ryan as VP says about Mitt Romney

I woke up very excited as I got a notification from my “Romney VP” smartphone app, telling me that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan was selected as Mitt Romney’s running mate. The thing is, this pick explains much and speaks volumes to the character and future presidency of Mitt Romney, and they’re only good things.

Politics Explained: The Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan VP Pick

Politics Explained: What picking Paul Ryan says about Mitt Romney

Before we can understand too much about what this says about Mitt, we need some background on the pick himself, namely Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan is an ideological leader of congressional republicans. As a member of the budget committee, he has presented bold and innovative ideas for balancing the budget and reigning in out-of-control government spending – ideas that I will be discussing in future posts. The most important thing to note, is that Paul Ryan is no passive voice in the government. Obama knows who this guy is and knows that he’s a threat.

So what does this say about Romney. It says for one that he’s serious. If you have ever heard someone say, “Romney just does things to get elected,” this should support the opposite. If Romney was worried solely about being elected, he  would have picked Condi Rice, an African-American woman. Or he would have picked Marco Rubio, a Latino from Florida. Or he would have picked someone with a more bland political record, someone who won’t draw much fire from the liberal media like Ryan already is. But no, he picks Ryan. And why? Because being elected for Romney is merely a means to an end. For Romney, the end result is putting America back on track. The goal is to make America unquestionably prosperous again.

Some critics are saying that this pick is political suicide and that it draws attention away from Obama’s first term. Nothing could be more wrong, and in fact, the reality is quite the opposite. This pick by Romney shines a bright spotlight on the failed policies of the last 4 years and will bring the economic issues that face our country to the forefront of public debate instead of having them swept aside by distractions from the Obama people.

This is also a testimonial to the fact that Romney has the great ability to surround himself with the best people. At Bain Capital, Romney built his company by surrounding himself with the best and brightest in the field, and it worked. He has shown how he can do that in his political career as well. He made his decision, not based on demographics or polls, but on merit. He found the brightest, most articulate and talented person who understands almost better than anyone else, just where this country is headed economically, and he put him on the team. Imagine what this will mean for the future White House Staff and Presidential cabinet? This means that he won’t look at these decisions with a political lens  trying to decide which appointment will make him most popular. He will judge people according to the content of their character and their merits instead of any other test.

Selecting Paul Ryan as VP was Romney’s first major presidential decision, and he passed with flying colors. We can expect more of this great leadership and decision making from Governor Romney if we elect him as President come November.

Politics Explained: America's comeback dream team

Politics Explained: Paul Ryan truly makes this a winning ticket for America

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Politics Explained: Negative Ads and Presidential Debates

Politics Explained: Negative Ads and Presidential Debates

The Great Debate

As the presidential builds up to its Autumn climax, we are bombarded with negative political ads as well as accusations being flung back and forth by various cable news organizations. As strange as this may sound, I want to take a moment to recognize the importance of these negative ads in the political process and give you hope for a more productive and constructive debate in the fall.

The purpose of a negative ad, also known as an attack ad, is to discredit your opponent’s ability to fulfill their promises or ability to even effectively function in the office they are running for. An incumbent, meaning the guy who already has the job, tends to use less of these simply because he can use his own successful past in the office to prove that he should be reelected. The challenger however needs to not only prove that not only is he qualified for the job, but that he can do it a lot better than the other guy. In this sense, a series of ads focusing on the incumbents weakness seem to make sense.

In the current presidential race, there is a lot of mud being flung from both sides. Obama’s campaign is noted for criticizing the allegedly incredible amount of attack ads coming from the Romney campaign. The Romney camp’s only real retort is, “hey, we’re not the only ones.”

Something like over 90% of advertising, from both sides, is negative. This frustrates Americans. However, if Romney is going to prove to the American people that it is worth cutting out President Obama after only one term, he’s going to have to have proof. He’s got to convince the American people that they are not better off than they were 4 years ago and they won’t be any better 4 years from now if Obama is re-elected. Obama on the other hand is responding by fighting fire with fire. He constantly attacks Romney’s business record, in a way trying to convince America that, “sure things aren’t great right now, but it could be worse with that guy.” I could write a whole separate article about that very mindset, but I’ll move on.

This myriad of  negative advertising, especially from the Romney side, has left a bad taste in people’s mouths. They’re asking, “Okay, so Obama is bad. But what are you going to do? What can you bring to the table to make this any better?” To those people, I say, hold out a little longer. Your answers will come. By that I mean that the substantive talk about more specific policy will come as we get closer to November. Now as our 44th President loves to say, “let me be clear,” and say that Romney has come out with specific plans. Obama is already criticizing those plans as proof to their existence. You can go to http://www.mittromney.com to read those plans. They exist. But they will become more apparent and the talk of more media organizations in the near future. Why is that?

That is because right now, Mitt Romney is working hard to convince America that this is possible, that it is possible to remove Obama from the White House. Especially after a typically brutal primary campaign and republican infighting, most American’s figured that Obama had it in the bag and that there’s really no hope for change. Americans have felt that if they have to choose between two evils, they would rather choose a known evil. This is why Romney has been working to hard to make a case for not only his election, but Obama’s removal. And with every attack on Obama, there is a rebuttal and an attack in return. It’s a nasty war that is being fought on the TV screens of unsuspecting residents of swing states.

But don’t worry, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That light is studio lights of red, white, and blue, lighting the stages that will hold the 2012 Presidential Debates. That is where the real progress will be made. As it stands now, we have the candidates and their supporters filling the air waves with accusations and attacks against their opponent. Every time, the accusation is supported by some sort of “fact.” But facts are a fickle thing since any number can be twisted to mean whatever you want. Don’t believe me? When the August jobs report comes out, just watch how the democrats use it as “proof” that Obama is succeeding and the republicans use the same report as undeniable “proof” that Obama has failed. Though slightly informative, this type of debate is extremely ineffective.

Politics Explained: Presidential Debate

Politics Explained: The ever important debate stage

On the debate stage, it becomes much more difficult to throw out some number or “fact” and have it be blindly accepted. Their opponent will be standing just feet away from them with their own “facts” which will also be examined and attacked. In such a manner we get closer to the heart and truth of the issue at hand. Yes it’s messy, yes sometimes it’s uncivilized, but it’s debate. This type of debate, without teleprompters and inspirational music in the background will finally show us what these candidates are made of.

At the debates, Romney will finally come out swinging and make his case for the presidency. He will remind us that it isn’t over ’till it’s over and that he is the man to replace Barack Obama and bring about the change that America needs. Obama is of course going to try and prove him wrong, but the only way he will be able to make a strong enough case is by running on his record. The American people are tired of excuses.

So the next time you hear an angry talk show host, or news anchor, or even candidate slinging mud to the other side, try to recognize its role in the process and remember that the debates aren’t far away.  We look forward to the debates, not because it’s another excuse for the candidates to yell at each other, but so that finally we can hear some actual substance that must be backed up by acceptable facts.

I would like to hear what you have to say. Leave a comment on, and be sure to LIKE, this blog’s Facebook page. You can find it by clicking here. You can also follow me on Twitter (@PPLvI ) by clicking here.