Sugar-Free Reflections of a Democratic Convention
Just as we watch the Democratic Convention nearing the culminating event of choosing John Kerry and John Edwards as the candidates to be our next president and vice president, the pundits and the Republicans, those compassionate ones, are on the prowl. Just as we feel the exuberance and excellence of Barack Obama, the power and enthusiasm of John Edwards, and say what you will about Bill Clinton, but he knows how to make a speech, the mongers on the right are working to pull us asunder.
As the energized Democratic populace emerges from their cocoon where everyone sees the light, where everyone is of one vision, where everyone has one goal, to the world beyond the Fleet Center, the swirling hatred and vile lies and half-truths slam them back to the reality that their task is far from over.
Political conventions have always been staged productions--some good, some bad, some just boring. They have long changed from my youth, when there was still a sense of bewilderment and wonder. Perhaps we were just more child-like and we bought the dog-and-pony show. Even so, sophisticated and intellectually wise as I like to think I am now, I have to admit Im still inspired by a poetic phrase, a magnanimous gesture, a promise of a better tomorrow.
I must admit Im surprised by the numbers of us who dont watch, who dont participate in our democracy. When I asked a professor acquaintance if he had heard the awesome speech by Barack Obama, he responded by saying, "I cant stand to hear Bill Clinton." His decision not to watch the Democratic Convention was based on his hatred for President Clinton. I admit, my repulsion for George W. Bush comes nearly as close as his for Bill Clinton, but I wouldnt think of missing the Republican Convention because I find Bush a despicable and horrible president. I want to know what they're saying. I want to hear their views. So should we all.
We know that the Bush campaign is a very rich campaign. Weve already seen their tactics. Their attack strategy speaks volumes to who and what this president is and how he conducts himself. We can surely anticipate a barrage of anti-Kerry, anti-wealth, anti-lawyers, anti-outspoken wives commercials. Hell, I even got an email telling me that John Kerry went back to his scenes of heroics during his Vietnam enlistment to re-enact his heroism and capture it on camera.
The right loves to vilify Teresa Heinz Kerry. Shes accused of being exorbitantly rich. Aah, yes, the sin of being wealthy and educated. Shes denounced for giving money to Ramsey Clarks International Action Center, as if that was a bad thing. Ramsey Clark--remember him?--he was that beacon of consciousness when we were so devoid of it. They point their spindly fingers and shout, "And shes contributed to The National Lawyers Guild," as if she should bow her head in shame. Oh, this wanton female! She supports the National Lawyers Guild, in a nation whose foundation is built on laws, not men.
In an ugly piece of slander, this 'she-devil' is denounced for supporting the Democratic Justice Fund in its endeavor to ease restrictions on Muslim immigration from "terrorist" states. Oh, if only such an organization had been around when the American Indians were defending their sovereign land from the Christian hordes.
Theres much more that is being circulated over the Internet and via email to malign and defile this woman of compassion, generosity, and a caring, giving heart. Why? Could it be because she is a woman of means who has managed to do meaningful deeds in her life? Could it be that Laura Bush would pale in comparison?
Of course, Ted was referred to as a "blow hard" and a "fat caricature of himself"; Al Sharpton was dismissed as a colloquial speaker, who couldn't touch the souls of "middle America"; ditto Jesse, and his tendency to rhyme. I have to admit, I think Jesse has worn out his welcome. Forty years is a long time, its time to pass the baton. But, when the conservative radio personalities attack the look of the delegates as if there is an acceptable look, we can see clearly where this contest is going.
I, for one, cant wait to hear George W. debate the educated, articulate John Kerry, and the sly, manipulative Cheney versus Edwards. Now, that will be a fair fight.
Speaking of fair, the Diebold fear is a considerable one. Election ballots are our precious personal right and no one, nor any manipulation of machinery, has the right to diminish our right to vote as we wish and to have our vote count as we intended. Each of us should pick up our telephone, take a pen in hand, and write our representatives, our Governors (especially if his name is Bush), and put them on notice that we will not accept anything short of perfection. No disenfranchisement. No "similar names with felons" withheld. No absentee ballots finding their way into an election employees pocket.
This election, folks, is just too important to squander. For those of you still on the fence: dont listen to anyone else. Read for yourself, listen for yourself. Make your decision a decision that came with effort and examination of the facts. And if perchance you happen to be one of the folks who still believes that George Bush is your man; I implore you to investigate further, for your eyes must be clouded over with the mist of illusion.
©Norma Sherry 2004. Norma Sherry is co-founder of TogetherForeverChanging.org, an organization devoted to educating, stimulating, and igniting personal responsibility particularly with regards to our diminishing civil liberties. She is also an award-winning writer/producer and host of television program, The Norma Sherry Show, on WQXT-TV, Florida.
Email Norma: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2004 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
This story was published on July 29, 2004.
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