Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tommclaughlin@fairpoint.net

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Disturbing Democrats

Silly things, these national conventions are - part costume party, part Halloween. I enjoy political conferences like CPAC - the Conservative Political Action Conference - because there’s a lot of intelligent debate by informed participants, and without the silliness. Conventions seem more like masquerade parties at which people have too much to drink and behave accordingly.
I was unhappy with the Republican convention because it didn’t go after Democrats strongly enough on how they’re driving our country to bankruptcy. I expected Governor Chris Christie to do that, but he didn’t. I expected Congressman Paul Ryan to do it more vehemently, but he was way too easy on them. I was disappointed.

At the Democrat convention, people on the floor who were panned by TV cameras brought back memories from when I belonged to that party. They looked like hero-worshipers. There was something in their eyes that told me they were looking for someone to follow and were ready to abandon themselves in the process. They were people in whom feelings trumped thought. As they responded to different speakers, I saw envy and anger and grievance. They wore funny costumes with flags, stars and stripes, buttons. Funny hats too. It all seemed relatively harmless though until I saw some of them interviewed. One said Christians want to murder Jews. Another said corporate profits should be banned. Still another said says she wants to kill Romney. Talk about screwballs. What really troubled me though was how they reacted to the floor vote to put God back into their platform.

It’s not clear exactly who removed God’s name or why, but Republicans noticed it right away and pounced on it. The Mainstream Media tried to ignore it - as they always have when something reflects negatively on liberal Democrats - but conservative outlets like AM radio, the Drudge Report, the blogosphere, and Fox News are getting more and more audience share and the story went out so widely that the Dems had to do something. So, President Obama told convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa to fix it. "He wanted both God and Jerusalem back in the platform," said the chairman, who is also mayor of Los Angeles.

I don’t believe that. This is the President Obama who repeatedly leaves God out when quoting the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed (here he leaves out ‘by their Creator’) with certain unalienable rights . . .” Was he really upset that God was left out of the platform?
Villaraigosa did his best to fix the problem, but he inadvertently made it worse. The reaction from hundreds of rank-and-file delegates on the floor was downright scary. First, he asked that the change to be read aloud, and cameras focused on a dignified-looking man who read the amendment, which included language endorsing Jerusalem as capital of Israel and the following: “I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is essential to the American story and informs the values we’ve expressed in our party’s platform."Then Villaraigosa called for a voice vote to accept it. Many said yes, but when he asked who was opposed, many others shouted “NO!” Although it took a 2/3s majority to change the platform, it sounded like a majority were quite vehemently opposed. Villaraigosa looked very troubled up there on the podium. Because he knew what a public-relations disaster was unfolding before him? You’d have to ask him, but that’s the way it looked to this writer. Anyone watching with a belief in the Almighty had to be dismayed. No, not dismayed. Repulsed. They had to be asking themselves what kind of party Democrats had become.Twice more Villaraigosa asked how many were opposed. Each time, the anti-God and anti-Israel contingents shouted louder. It was bad, very bad, and one Republican took advantage of it immediately. Congressman Allen West, who is targeted by Democrat billionaire George Soros for defeat in his Florida district, edited it down to a 60-second commercial that is, in my opinion, the most effective political ad I’ve seen in decades. After depicting the above-described events, text appeared saying: “That’s [West’s opponent] Patrick Murphy’s party.” It then asked the question: “Who would have thought that the word ‘God’ would be that controversial?”
Allen West and me at CPAC 2009

As indicated, I used to belong to the Democrat party, but resigned twenty years ago. It had changed and so had I. It moved left even faster than I moved right. For decades, Democrats had been driving out anyone who didn’t support abortion, just as they’re now calling those who oppose so-called gay marriage “hateful.” They’re driving America off a fiscal cliff and blaming the “rich” for it.Then there's Democrat Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz . . .
Nah. Let's not go there.

Democrats and I became fundamentally incompatible. How many more have seen the events at their convention last week and came to the same conclusion? We’ll see in November.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

“Who would have thought that the word ‘God’ would be that controversial?” Right, because historically the word God engenders no passion at all, neither in the defense of it nor the rejection of it.

9/11/12, 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont fully endorse Tom's comments but totally fail to understand Steve's. Where has he been for the last 5,000 years?

9/11/12, 6:14 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Well, for the last 43 years, I bounced around New England. I took Rep. West's comment as sincere surprise at the controversy, and I responded with sarcasm.

9/11/12, 6:34 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

This was sent to me by email:

CAN'T GET ON YOUR COMMENT PAGE -
PROTEST WAS NOT ABOUT GOD, IT WAS
ABOUT THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL.

The author's initials are J.R.

As you can see by the first link attached to the words "he inadvertently made it worse" posted above, some of the reaction was about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel. That the camera focused on people holding "Arab American Democrat" or some such bears that out. It's hard to say how many of those shouting "NO!" were objecting to one part of the amendment or the other. Certainly there was some of both.

Notice that the woman holding the Arab American sign isn't voting. Was that because she's not allowed to by the angry, Arab-looking man next to her?

9/12/12, 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course the word "god" does not belong in a political platform in a country without an established religion and where the state is separate from religion.

9/16/12, 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Mick said...

Why do you feel you have to resort to putting up horrible looking images of people to make them look stupid? For example, that grotesque picture of that guy with Allen West.....do you search endlessly for photos like that making people look like the village idiot?

9/22/12, 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allen West??? Isn't he the McCarthy of his time? The lame dude that tried to make a moronic Chick-Fli-A joke? The guy that describes blacks that don't like him as being on a plantation?? Who but the village idiot WOULD pose with him?

lol

9/23/12, 2:42 PM  

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