By Larry Gordon
First Lady Michelle Obama performed stunningly on Tuesday evening at the Democratic National Convention that got underway in Charlotte, North Carolina. The news media’s reaction to the presentation was that it was incredible, even sensational. And I agree, however with a number of reservations about her speech and the overall proceedings.
Many of the remarks on the first night of the convention were filled with contradictory messages as well as confusion. One wouldn’t know that from the raucous applause and hooting almost every catch phrase evoked from the Obama for President cheering section that lines the arena.
The Democrats got off to a bad start with changes in their platform statement that was presented with two glaring omissions. One was the excision of the mention of G-d in parts of the platform where it was mentioned in previous years. And the other is the removal of any mention of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. While the U.S. does a great deal of backtracking on this issue in particular, we need to bear in mind that it is a law passed by Congress that the U.S. recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.
Prior to Mrs. Obama, we were privileged to hear from one of the rising starts of the Democratic Party, the 37-year-old mayor of San Antonio, Texas, Julian Castro. Castro’s job was to both tell his story as the product of a poor immigrant family that lifted themselves up and also accomplished great things. He’s obviously a successful young man with a great future ahead of him.
Mr. Castro left me curious and even puzzled as he repeatedly paid tribute to the efforts and sacrifices of his grandmother and mother who worked hard and struggled to help advance the professional lives of their two sons. I listened intently but was struck by his omission of any mention of a grandfather or father. Wait a second—how did these two men, Julian and his twin brother Wakeem, a candidate for Congress—happen to get into this world? No grandfather? No father? I don’t think that’s possible.
And then Michelle dazzled with some well-prepared and presented oration that was received with a rousing ovation. But the speech—her shining moment—contained glaring contradictions. First and foremost is that it doesn’t seem that the man she knows and loves—the President—is perceived quite the same way as she sees him in Washington. On the contrary, he is a man who refuses to work in a bipartisan fashion with Congress the way other presidents have. And when he doesn’t like someone, you kind of get the message loud and clear.
And then Michelle talked about working hard and becoming prosperous as she and Mr. Obama have over these last few years. But we have to pause again for a second. According to the Democrats, the biggest shortcoming of Mr. Romney’s is that he was prosperous, successful, and managed to amass some wealth. So what happens if you become successful? You place yourself in a position as being referred to by the president as one of those, “millionaires and billionaires who are not paying their fair share of taxes.”
So which one is it? Work to become successful so that you can be vilified and told that, “You didn’t build that; someone did it for you”?
A lot of misdirection and questions.
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