Yes, DVR is a bad thing when it lets you watch the speech, which aired at a reasonable hour, at a ridiculously late hour. And my husband had the nerve to tell me that I couldn’t finish my post and insisted that we go to bed at 2 am. And then there’s Hanna coming up the coast, so I had to spend my free time this morning pulling potential flying objects out of the yard and into the garage and watching the Weather Channel (of course, while teaching the kids about hurricanes, radars, maps, etc.). Which is why I’m posting this the morning night after McCain’s speech.
To read the left-leaning blogs, you’d think the Republicans are awful, grumpy, bitter people.
Tonight, McCain was inspiring, gracious, and intense. If we could really do this, we could change the country.
Thoughts on McCain’s speech, following along:
Five interruptions by screaming protesters. Yes, there were protesters outside the Democratic convention. I think I remember one actually inside the convention center. But five? What good do you think you’re doing? Screaming loonies do not help your cause, Democrats. (And why did the anarchists only attack the Republicans? Those kinds of enemies make you look good.)
Repeated calls to “reach across the aisle” and looking for “any willing patriot” to help improve government. The Democrats don’t need help, apparently. Just a nice gesture or not, the McCain focused on it for several sentences and the Democrats didn’t.
Failure of Republicans elected to reform Washington. Yeah, too many promises got dropped, leading to disillusionment among the people who voted in reformers and got something much less. It’s good to acknowledge mistakes and failures (something that the Democrats did not seem willing to do; “It’s all Bush’s fault!” seems to be a big refrain).
Responsibility. Low taxes, “Work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law, judges who dispense justice impartially and don’t legislate from the bench.” Wow, what a concept. If we could get this list implemented, think how we could revive America. We’ve waffled too long in the “not my problem” cloaking field; it saps your soul.
Doubling the child tax exemption. Yes, I have kids, so I stand to benefit from a policy like that. Tax exemptions are supposed to encourage behavior that helps the country: starting businesses, investing, saving for retirement, and, yes, raising kids.
Rewrite unemployment assistance to help with long-term career improvements through re-training. People talk about reforming unemployment benefits, and Democrats counter with allegations of racism and not caring for the poor. Re-training is more of a practical, useful hand up than any vague “ladder to the middle class” that Obama kept talking about.
“What is the value of [equal] access to a failing school? We need to… empower parents with choice… I want schools to answer to parents and students.” Theoretically, this is what the PTA is supposed to do: help the parents and the school talk. Too often, though, I hear stories from people who joined the PTA to try to improve the school and were told to please keep their uninformed opinions to themselves and just make something for the bake sale. The teachers’ unions will scream over vouchers (again). If they’re so great, competition should be fine, shouldn’t it? The good teachers should be rewarded, and, yes, the bad ones really need to find another line of work.
Ending the “biggest transfer of wealth in human history.” I read recently that part of England’s interst in the American colonies was to grow tobacco. It seems that most of the tobacco was grown in Spain (England’s major enemy), and an atrocious amount of money was being sent to Spain to feed England’s tobacco habits. Why do our enemies so often hold the resources we want? Why the heck didn’t we actually say, “Enough!” during the oil crisis in the ’70’s?
Nuclear power, wind, tide, solar, natural gas, flex fuel, hybrid and electric autos, and drilling. Yep, do it all. Get to the point where we can keep getting greener and greener power, but don’t cut the electricity off tomorrow and wait ten years for solar to pick up.
Iran. The Russian invasion of Georgia. “I will negotiate to avoid a return to the Cold War… [But] We can’t turn a blind eye to agression…” No equivocating over both sides being to blame, or a plea to the UN (where Russia has veto power in the Security Council). The UN is a wonderful idea. Lately, though, it seems that all they can do is hurl non-binding resolutions. Yeah, that seems to work really well with the tough cases.
“I hate war. It’s terrible beyond imagination.” Spoken as only a veteran can speak it. Strangely, many people seem to think the military loves war or sees it as a great game. We don’t. We’re the ones sitting next to the spouse’s empty seat or spending yet another July 4th or Christmas overseas, far from our families. I check my alumni magazine first to see if anyone else I know has died in combat. We take pride in having done our jobs well and professionally. We know that what we do is critically important on the world stage. Do not mistake that for a love of war.
Share credit regardless of party, but make things work. Not an idea you heard at the Democratic convention, unfortunately. We don’t seem to remember how to work together on things we agree on while respectfully discussing things we don’t agree on. Look at the blogs; they aren’t exactly measured, “This is what I think and why, what do you think?” for the most part. They’re “BUSH IS THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER!!!!!!!!!!!” with a lot of, “Right on!” comments. That’s not discussion.
“I’ve been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I’ve been a servant first, last, and always.” Again, I appreciate humility. I like to see someone with a good sense of their limitations, but not a fear of them. A solid sense of the position of an elected official as the servant of the good of the people is an excellent point of recommendation, too.
“Nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.” McCain’s suggestions for those unhappy with the country’s course: become a teacher, feed the hungry, join the military, fight for the oppressed, teach an illiterate adult to read, etc. Echoes of JFK; stop asking what the government can give you (that it taxed out of someone else), and start asking what you can do to make the country better. Instead of yelling about what’s wrong and villifying your political opponents, do what you can to improve others’ lives.
“Fight for our children’s future!… Stand up! Stand up and fight! Nothing is inevitable here! We’re Americans! We never give up! We never quit! We don’t hide from history, we make history!”
There’s really nothing to add to that. Wow.