Democratic Convention 2008 Part 2
As promised, some thoughts regarding the conventions speeches so far. Or rather, the same thought expressed in my last post, but with less satric intent.
I’m a newcomer to watching political conventions. When I was a child they were just an interruption to the T.V. shows I wanted to watch, and not a lot has changed. While I’m far more interested in politics now then I ever have been — partly because this election is just so bizarre to me, which I’ll have to explain at another time — I just can’t handle listening to what is essentially the same speech repeated over and over again, especially when that speech is full of points even I can refute.
For example, a few of the points that have had more than their fifteen minutes:
- Bush is a bad president. We can’t have four more years of the same.
- “John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound.” In reality the economy is doing very badly.
- Oil companies are bad. Oil drilling is bad. Alternative power is good.
- The world is coming to an end and only the Democrats can save it from the evil galactic Republicans.
(Okay, so that last one is a little facetious, but not much.)
We can’t have four more years of the same: McCain is not George W. Bush. McCain’s been regarded as an outsider to the Republican party for a long time because of his views on issues such as immigration and global warming and his criticism of how the Bush administration has handled post-war Iraq.
The economy is fundamentally sound: The economy is fundamentally sound if one understands what it means to have a fundamentally sound economy. The U.S GDP is growing and has been since the late 70s. No other country in the world has had the sustained growth that we have. We’ve had a few quarters of negative growth in that time, but the overall average is about 3% positive growth annually with only 5% of the population below the poverty line. Is there room for improvement? Heck, yes! But the economy is not falling apart, regardless of how the DNC or the nightly news may portray the situation.
Oil companies are bad, alternative power is good: Oil companies are making record profits, but they’re also paying record taxes — somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3 times the amount of profit they make. I don’t fault them for making money in those circumstances.
Alternative power sources are a good idea. Of course, in the meantime, we need oil. Even if the United States couldn’t produce a single drop of oil in 5-10 years, just announcing that drilling was going to start would drive gas prices down considerably, making the wait for a viable alternative easier to bear.
Evil Galactic Republicans: While I was pretty much joking here, I’m surprised at how much a convention is like a high school pep rally. I’m also surprised at how much time is wasted in preaching to the choir. Note to Democratic Party candidates: the people in the audience are already voting for you — that’s why they’re in the audience.
I’m hoping the Republican convention next week has a bit more of a message to it, though I’m not holding my breath.
Update: Ed Morrisey comments on the Bush-is-Bad meme: “George Bush isn’t running for President again.”