The Republican National Convention is taking place as I write this post. It is a depressing and pathetic look into the realm of the American political system that should, in no way, inspire citizens to vote for one candidate or another.
Though the convention is (ostensibly) a rallying-call to registered Republicans, it is televised with the intention that those who are yet undecided will use the convention and its speeches as a deciding means. This is a nice idea. It is also, unfortunately, the worst possible venue from which a decision should be made.
Listed here are the main thrusts that Paul Ryan used in his acceptance speech last night (8.29).
(The excerpt below is taken from FactCheck.org. Full page is located here.)
- Accused President Obama’s health care law of funneling money away from Medicare “at the expense of the elderly.” In fact, Medicare’s chief actuary says the law “substantially improves” the system’s finances, and Ryan himself has embraced the same savings.
- Accused Obama of doing “exactly nothing” about recommendations of a bipartisan deficit commission — which Ryan himself helped scuttle.
- Claimed the American people were “cut out” of stimulus spending. Actually, more than a quarter of all stimulus dollars went for tax relief for workers.
- Faulted Obama for failing to deliver a 2008 campaign promise to keep a Wisconsin plant open. It closed less than a month before Obama took office.
- Blamed Obama for the loss of a AAA credit rating for the U.S. Actually, Standard & Poor’s blamed the downgrade on the uncompromising stands of both Republicans and Democrats.
How is this acceptable? Why are these outright lies not the leading stories on all news programs across the country tonight? Instead, the Republican stronghold overwhelmingly praised Ryan’s speech while the media accepted it with with minor admonishments and hand-slaps by stating that it may have used “factual shortcut” and “questionable claims.”
The standard should be higher. The vice president of the country must be held accountable for his words and assertions. Instead, however, we just let it go. We move on.
Our apathy is a result of an assertive effort by career politicians to blind us with one-liners and confused rhetoric. The truth isn’t sexy — it doesn’t get headlines. Who cares that the Ryan’s poor hometown plant closed a few months before Obama was elected? That doesn’t create a good story.
So let’s bend the truth around correlation — this is, in essence, what the RNC has been doing over the past few days. Although we all know (when thinking logically) that correlation does not equal causation, the RNC is not seeking to appeal to logic at all. They are seeking to appeal with the emotional core of their base, and it is this base that responds so positively to the key phrases and one-liners that comprise the convention.
Preaching to the choir, while effective from a populist standpoint, will not promote new growth in the Romney/Ryan sector. They must distance themselves from the bickering and move onto substantive debate about real issues and offer ideas, not just reject opposing ones.
If this happens, we may have an election on ours hands.
If not — par for the course.