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Friday, September 7, 2012

Convention Recap: Three Speeches

For reasons I'll explain in a later post, I missed watching the convention this week, but overnight here I've been catching up with the major speeches and things. Probly all you boys have seen these already, but in case you missed them too, here's my three favorite speeches from the convention.

1. Zach Wahls pays a short but fervent tribute to gay families and "My Two Moms":

Money quote:
Mr. Romney, my family is just as real as yours.

2. Bill Clinton demonstrates that he still has the golden tongue when it comes to oratory, and teaches the Republicans a little something about arithmetic:

Money quote:
Don’t you ever forget, when you hear them talking about this, that Republican economic policies quadrupled the national debt before I took office, in the 12 years before I took office, and doubled the debt in the eight years after I left, because it defied arithmetic.

It was a highly inconvenient thing for them in our debates that I was just a country boy from Arkansas and I came from a place where people still thought two and two was four.

It’s arithmetic. We simply cannot afford to give the reins of government to someone who will double-down on trickle-down.

Now, think about this. President Obama’s plan cuts the debt, honors our values, brightens the future of our children, our families, and our nation. It’s a heck of a lot better. It passes the arithmetic test and, far more important, it passes the values test.

My fellow Americans, all of us in this grand hall and everybody watching at home, when we vote in this election, we’ll be deciding what kind of country we want to live in. If you want a winner-take- all, you’re-on-your-own society, you should support the Republican ticket. But if you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibility, a we’re-all-in-this-together society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

3. The honeymoon being long over now, there's not the same excitement about Obama's campaign this time around - but he still had your Head Trucker in happy tears by the time he finished:

The money quote, which references the gays three times, among other things:
We don’t think the government can solve all our problems. But we don’t think that the government is the source of all our problems, any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles.

Because, America, we understand that this democracy is ours.

We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which asks only what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.

As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That’s what we believe.

So you see, the election four years ago wasn’t about me.

It was about you. My fellow citizens, you were the change.

You’re the reason there’s a little girl with a heart disorder in Phoenix who’ll get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can’t limit her coverage.

You did that.

You’re the reason a young man in Colorado who never thought he’d be able to afford his dream of earning a medical degree is about to get that chance.

You made that possible.

You’re the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she’s ever called home, why selfless soldiers won’t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love; why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely: “Welcome home, welcome home.”

You did that. You did that.

If you turn away now--if you turn away now, if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible, well, change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: the lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election, and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves.

Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen. Only you have the power to move us forward

Those of you who watched the convention live will recall that after the President and his family took their bows, they were joined onstage by the Vice-President and his family - and the song playing at that time was this one by another pair of your Head Trucker's favorites, Brooks and Dunn. This song sums up all that America means to me in these two simple lines:
We all get a chance,
Everybody gets to dance
I hope it means something to you fellas, too.


Harper's Keeper said...

Good post - thanks

Stan said...

The folks attending the DNC looked a lot like the folks I see everyday in my streets. Men in Turbans, Muslim women with head covering Black, White, Brown.
The RNC looked like a businesss convention. There were some great speeched at the DNC in Charlotte.

Russ Manley said...

HK - glad you liked.

Stan - Yup, a great visual difference between the parties, even if you haven't read a word of their platforms. The GOP should just go ahead and put up a sign over the front door like the ones I remember from my childhood: Whites Only. And then a little Colored Entrance around at the back next to the garbage cans.

And a big ol' sign that says No Furriners, Faggots, or Dogs Allowed.

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