Confessions of a Would-Be Democrat
After totally dismissing the Republican’s tall tale of how decreased taxes and deregulation will magically create jobs, I turned my full attention to the Democratic National Convention and its centerpiece, President Obama’s nomination acceptance speech. So there I sat, just as the President wanted me – full of hope. Against the Republican’s tale of great fiction, all he had to do to win me over was lay out a realistic roadmap with achievable gates that would set the country on a course for Full Employmentville. But as the 39 plus minutes wore on, I watched my hopes wither and decay, finally tossing them onto the compost heap of political rhetoric that we’ve not only come to expect from today’s candidates, but for some reason, to accept.
First let’s examine what the president did say. How he attempted to energize his base and inspire a nation. To begin with, the President said that he wanted an American where everyone plays by the same rules, from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington DC. Really Mr. President? If the last several decades have taught us anything, it’s that while Wall Street and Washington DC play by the same self-serving rules, most of us on Main Street can’t even afford a copy of rule book – let alone to get into the game.
Next up came the Democrat’s plan to jump-start the economy and get Americans back to work. And what was this grand scheme? According to President Obama, the plan is to create one million new manufacturing jobs over four years over four years. Woo hoo! One million manufacturing job over four years. . . As the excitement died down in my head, the questions mounted up; so, in an attempt to allay my fears I decided to catch up with the President during the after-speech press conference and clarify a few of the points he had made.
Excuse me Mr. President. Dan Aronson, Party Recon News here. I have a few follow up questions.
- According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are 12.5 million people currently unemployed. What would you like to say to the 11.5 million Americans who will still be unemployed four years from now?
- How about to the 8.0 million individuals now working part time because their hours have been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job? How will you their prospects improve during a second Obama term?
- And what of the 9 million plus unemployed white collar workers, the majority of whom are 45 years of age or older? Will they be given the training and physical conditioning needed to qualify for one of these new manufacturing jobs?
- Actually Mr. President, if you total the unemployed, all persons marginally attached to the labor force, and those under-employed you will find the real number of people suffering in this economy is 22.5 million, or 14.7% of the civilian labor force. Is there going to be a lottery to decide who will get those 1 million middle class manufacturing jobs Mr. President?
- On another topic Sir, you claimed to have “reinvented” the US Auto industry? How exactly did you do that? Did you create better working conditions? Create more efficient automotive designs? Improve manufacturing processes? Isn’t it true that all you did was to give car companies big, low-interest loans and implement the cash for clunkers program?
- Mr. President, you said that you didn’t want to bail out banks that broke the rules, yet you fully supported and pushed for a bailout of banks that did just that. How do you reconcile your words against your actions?
In the end, the President said that our problems could be solved and our challenges met; but according to his best-case figures, we won’t even come close to doing either. Shame on you Mr. President! You stated at the beginning of your speech that America elected you to tell the truth. But instead, you spun a fancy tale of fiction, just as Governor Romney did. Even if we took you at your word Sir, only a tiny fraction of those who are suffering today would benefit from your second term.
But wait! Now let’s turn our attention to what the President didn’t say. What about enhancing banking regulations Mr. President? With details of the LIBOR scandal unfolding daily, threatening to make the derivatives scam look like child’s play, there was not one word in the President’s speech about implementing tougher regulations on our financial institutions. Sure, he took several sarcastic shots at the Republican’s notion of increased deregulation, but the President made no promises whatsoever to enhance protection against those “too big to fail” institutions. Not one word about the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, which almost everyone now agrees was a mistake to repeal. Nothing at all about giving teeth to Elizabeth Warren’s U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Forget it folks; you’re on your own. Shouldn’t he at least have explained why those responsible for the Crash of 2008 received massive bonuses instead of prison sentences; bonuses, paid for by the very people that they ripped off? Or is it just that he can’tbecause one-third of the money Obama’s elite fund-raising corps raised on behalf of his re-election* has come from the financial sector?
Which brings us to the next unmentioned issue — Campaign Finance Reform. During the 2010 midterm election cycle, the President noted that we suffered with a broken political system “where special interests drown out the voices of the American people”. Yet even now he raises millions from special interests, corporations, and wealthy individuals. This is the very definition of hypocrisy.
And what of the closing of Guantanamo Bay; yet another broken promise? One speaker after another at your convention sang you’re your praises for killing Osama Bin Laden; yet you continue to wage your war on terror unethically, inhumanely, and quite possibly illegally after promising to not to do so.
So, here we sit after two weeks of posturing, half-truths, outright lies, and con games with two candidates representing two parties, neither of which has offered up any reasonable solutions to our current economic woes, let alone explained away their grossly negligent behavior. Is this the America we are doomed to live in? An America in which politicians have utter disregard for the truth and no respect for The People? If this election proves only one thing, it is that we so desperately need a new party; one with a new direction fashioned by a new set of goals based on the notion that everyone who wants to should be able to succeed in America. OK, perhaps that isn’t really a new direction. But old or new, it is one worth focusing on and striving for.