When I was a young boy Dwight Eisenhower was president.
"Ike" was seen as a highly capable, intelligent, lead-from-the-front president who looked like what he was – a successful, wise elder, the universal grandfather who commanded American armies in Europe, defeated Nazi Germany, and still headed the family firm. When he spoke it was direct, to the point, and there was no misunderstanding the meaning of his words.
Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower
What we got instead was a fatherly talking to, as one could envision Eisenhower delivering, or even a fireside chat reminiscent of Franklin Roosevelt. Mitt in fact, came across as the universal Father Knows Best, the man you can go to when things get out of hand, who will have answers based on the wisdom of his years.
Mitt Romney gave a speech reassuring Americans that he can and will use all of his strength, his intellect and his experience to right the wrongs currently plaguing our country and I loved it! So did the delegates in the hall, audiences across the nation and those gathered before the television in my home.
I am not the least bit sorry that the media didn't get its soaring rhetoric, but they should have learned from the speech that the outgoing president made four years ago – soaring rhetoric in this case equals empty promises.
Greek columns and "soaring rhetoric" increased the national debt by an unheard of $4 trillion, resulted in millions of workers losing their jobs, millions of homeowners losing their homes, millions of retirees losing their savings, millions of college graduates losing their dreams, and America losing its world-class status and our sense of security.
Soaring rhetoric produced only more soaring rhetoric and excuses – "it wasn’t my fault, he did it, he did it, he did it!" And the pundits wanted more of the same? Shame on them.
Even many pundits who say they are supporters of the GOP ticket seem afraid to voice anything except criticism of Romney's speech, apparently because they are walking a self-imposed tightrope. They have been reading and believing their own bogus polls - that routinely have to over-sample Democratic voters by double digits to keep the outgoing president in the running - for so long that now they are terrified of reporting the obvious.
That line of thinking requires everything to be in line with a vision of perfection that they created – but doesn't play well in the rest of America.
Americans are afraid; afraid of what might happen to us if Obama is elected again, afraid of the country being run by an inexperienced, incompetent shadow of a man who gets his management advice from an even more obscure group of advisers whose total history is defined by animosity toward the free market system in general and America in particular.
As Mitt Romney noted "President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet."
Romney by contrast said, "My promise is to help you and your family." I am far more impressed with Romney's promise; and it affects me far more directly than the pie in the sky promises from the outgoing president.
Americans don't need more "soaring rhetoric," they need a capable, competent leader. Mitt Romney is totally capable of soaring rhetoric and perhaps we will hear some of it in the 2014 State of the Union address, which I predict will be his first, and in which he will be able to tout a year of solid accomplishments and provide a vision for more of the same.
But first he must become the next President of the United States of America.
And while we're on the subject of media expectations and total control of the message, let me weigh in on the feeding frenzy over Clint Eastwood's appearance. Yes, it was irreverent, yes it projected a totally different mood than what we were hearing during the rest of the convention, and yes it probably did make Ann Romney squirm in her seat in a couple of places.
But what I think is great, is that it did NOT go off-message, it reinforced the message, from a completely unlikely source, that the outgoing president made a bunch of grandiose promises but delivered on nothing of substance. The best line in my opinion was "Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party. Kind of a grin with a body behind it."
Clint Eastwood is an 82-year-old Hollywood icon, who unlike the drug addled mindless stars of the modern era, was a businessman who did physical labor before he was discovered as the quintessential cowboy – and later cop, loveable jewel thief, aging veteran and federal agent among many other roles. Eastwood did a hilarious skit in which he talked to an empty chair standing in for Obama, pointing out the vast failures of the current administration.
Of all the reactions, the one I saw that would have made the skit even better was if Eastwood put an empty suit on the empty chair to truly symbolize Obama. That is creative thinking at its best!
If you watch a video of Eastwood's performance you'll see an old man who doesn’t speak quite as glibly as he did 40 years ago when he was Dirty Harry, but who still has a quick wit – he ad-libbed the entire skit for God's sake – a mind like a trap, and a great sense of humor. If you want to know if Eastwood was successful all you have to do is check out the vicious reaction from the media and the rest of the national "leadership" of the Democratic machine - questioning Eastwood's sanity, and questioning whether he is demented for instance.
Once again, as with the current president's vicious attack ads lying about Romney's past, the "leadership" of the Democratic Party is protesting way, way too much. Clint Eastwood was credible, the Democratic media propaganda stooges are not.
Overall the Republican convention was a shining example of the wide appeal of the GOP to the spectrum of American voters. Romney and Paul Ryan presented themselves as inclusive, likeable and most important – capable.
They are about to enter the fight not just of their lives, but of our lives, so it was understandable when Romney got a bit emotional remembering what it was like in supposedly simpler times when he was merely carving out a career and providing for five children who were being raised under the expert tutelage of his wife Ann.
I knew exactly what he meant when he said he wished he could break up just one more fight between the kids, or wake in the morning and find a pile of them asleep in their parents' bedroom.
But Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the rest of us who still believe in America are now facing the most important battle in America's survival since the Revolution. This is it; this is Armageddon, the final battle between good and evil.
We can win it; that is if we elect Romney and Ryan, if we stand solidly behind them, and with them, and vote them in on Election Day. We can do it, but we all have to stand together, forget the blatherings of people who live in what one pundit called a "media bubble," and remember Clint Eastwood's closing line just before the audience roared "Go Ahead, Make My Day."
We, the people, own this country, he said, and politicians don't rule us, they are our employees.
Saturday, September 01, 2012