I still wonder why we all believe the president has much power at all? Whatever his ideas are, they must pass Congress' approval. Conventions remind me of how much money it takes for each party to toot its horn. Show me results of a government with integrity and we'll all see a turn around in the economy. Not sure I'll live long enough! Teach our children that conventions won't save their future, just say no.
-- SANDY STROBEN, Kennewick
The times: Obama v. Romney
I know both candidates may be right about historic decision times. It's like Dickens said: "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." If the times are ever such, one sense is to just ride the times out; they will eventually get better on their own. A view: Now we have a responsible, progressive and happy president, let's just ride the times through. Things will get better and we can enjoy the companionship of our fellows going through these times together. It's a time for slowing us down again. It's a time of togetherness.
On the other hand and view, if the times are really in God's hands and if we can actually be the instruments of world change, perhaps the times may incline us to do responsible private business enterprise intervention. In that choice, the groups of Americans making up private enterprises would then be called upon to provide safety nets for others (with government only supplementing the safety net). I don't know.
Thus candidates may be right: like us in a Dickens' era, living in the best and the worst. Either way voters have a default situation, "the times;" are they intervene-able or are they to be ridden through?
-- RON WEED, Kennewick
Having watched both political conventions, I felt totally underwhelmed by each of them. They were simply well orchestrated and choreographed displays of hot air and hoopla. Both sides told half-truths that unfortunately fool a large segment of the electorate, but do nothing to unite the electorate and lead with positive goals and objectives (for a change).
We have a major economic problem that should take center stage for both parties. Whoever we decide to vote for in November needs to receive a strong message that positive corrective action is expected now. The most effective way to convey this message is to oust every incumbent legislator who happens to be up for re-election in November. We need a fresh slate of legislators who can look beyond their party loyalties and re-election posturing to help us out of this economic morass.
-- RICHARD A. MOEN, Richland
The amazing Mrs. Romney
I watched some of both conventions and was so impressed by this amazing woman who introduced her husband with such love and devotion. Anne Romney demonstrated such grace and courage and love for America and family and faith. I was very impressed with her and share her values. I also share Mitt Romney's values. I believe he is a man called for this time. We need a person of convictions and personal faith in the White House. We need a leader.
I believe America needs to get back to the basics of morality, convictions, courage and strength. We need an America we can have faith in once more. We need jobs, and I believe Mitt Romney is the leader for this. We need a leader that can lead. I respect his faith in God and love for his family and desire to help America get back on track. I found a kindred spirit with Anne Romney, like her I am proud of my family and am very family oriented and believe in the values that make our country the greatest in the world. After all, are we not the land of the free and the home of the brave?
-- DIANA ELLIOTT, Richland
Something for nothing
One of the parties offers the moon to the voters to gain more votes. The other party offers just a slice of the moon for the sake of votes. And those who are gullible believe they will gain something for nothing. It doesn't work that way. What one receives is taken away from someone else. And more of our freedoms vanish in the process. The moon is not theirs to give! Folks, America is doomed unless we halt this giveaway craze.
I am affected as always, saddened. I am saddened that the American people have continually become more gullible over the years. I am saddened that this once-great nation's condition has deteriorated so much. If you can't see what I am referring to, then you are a part of the problem.
-- JOHN FAULKNER, Richland
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There were several things that struck me about the national conventions. One was the composition of the delegates and other attendees. The Republican Convention was a sea of white faces. By contrast, the Democratic Convention showcased the party's diverse, sometimes odd, and often contentious base. The RNC tried to show it was inclusive by parading people of color to the podium, but the effort seemed forced, especially in light of Republican initiatives to make voting by minorities more difficult.
There was no mention at the Republican Convention of George W. Bush, not even as close as it was to the anniversary of 9/11; no claim about Bush's policies, such as the Patriot Act, keeping the nation safe. There was nothing about Bush's massive Medicare drug bill, and nothing about his tax cuts. It was as if the first eight years of the 3rd millennium never happened.
By contrast, the featured speaker at the Democratic Convention was former Democratic President Bill Clinton, whose ringing endorsement of President Obama was by all accounts, the highlight of the convention. For Republicans, the highlight seemed to be Clint Eastwood's rambling, sometimes incoherently, and often off-message talk to a chair.
Republicans delegates were enthusiastic about VP pick Paul Ryan's speech, but the media picked up on numerous false or misleading statements and in retrospect, Ryan's stretching of the truth is liable to be the impression that a lot of voters are left with, even as a Romney staffer huffed, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers."
But what stood out most for me was what was not in either convention -- a public recognition of the big money donors that since the Citizens United decision have poured untold hundreds of millions of dollars into getting their preferred candidates elected. At the very least, convention organizers could have arranged an on-stage gathering of their respective donors and asked the audience to give these people a big round of applause. They are after all, the people paying for the conventions, and making every effort to buy the election.
-- RICHARD BADALAMENTE,Kennewick
A third choice
The political theater of the Democrat and Republican national conventions strengthened my lack of faith in both of the dominant political parties. Watching chairs at each convention conduct so-called "voice votes" for which the results were predetermined was a great reminder that in these parties, the number one concern is consolidation and protection of party power. It was a great reminder of why more voters need to look at so-called "third party" candidates, two of whom (Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein) are receiving federal matching funds and are expected to be printed on enough states' ballots to potentially secure 270 electoral votes, and yet neither of whom will be invited to the upcoming presidential "debates." The DNC and RNC reinforced my belief that it's long past time for some fresh ideas to break out of the constant two-party stalemate.
-- RICK RIENSCHE, West Richland
Ready for a change
How was I affected? Well I had hoped that Mr. "Hope and Change" would have some good ideas on how to clean up our $16 trillion national debt or how to keep Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net social programs from going under, but all I heard was more oratory and little substance. It was pretty much what he promised in 2008, and look where we are now. I had hoped to hear some fine speeches from his supporters on these same subjects but all I heard was that I had to pay for someone else's birth control; it's a "right" after all
Well, since birth control is a "right" that should be paid by all of us so some 30-year-old college student can sleep around safely, then how about our Second Amendment rights actually enumerated in our Constitution and re-affirmed by the Supreme Court. Every one should pay for my fire arms and ammunition so I can "Protect myself" according to my "lifestyle" choice.
The Republican Convention was a bit more inspiring in as much as their candidates and supporters actually talked about tackling the weighty issues of our day in a practical adult manner. They want to actually save us from bankruptcy and make our safety nets secure for my great-grandkids, of whom I have a growing number, without the kids having to live a reduced life style from trying to pay down the money we have borrowed from China.
I must say that I was impressed with the fine women who spoke at the Republican Convention. They were intelligent, lucid, inspiring and talked about really weighty issues rather than the so called "War on Women." What war?
I think I will take a chance on Romney/Ryan. I've had enough of amateur leaders who don't seem to be able to grow into the job. Another four years of this? Give me a break!
-- ROGER LAHTI, Kennewick
After watching the conventions (revival meetings), politics appears to becoming more and more like a "primitive" religion.
Each party has its own savior, devil (the others' candidate), damnation (and hence salvation), and dogma.
The clergy, and priests are various political pundits, who proceed to "teach the Truth," but actually to proselytize. Blasphemy is the voice of disagreement.
Party platforms and the Constitution are the "holy writ," often interpreted and parts reprioritized.
The wealthy, and big business are those most blessed by God (i.e., the Invisible Hand) for their arduous study and faithful work. Their opinion and welfare is the most important, and because of this, we should reduce their taxes, and regulations (financial and other).
Conservative "dogma" includes: Government is bad, competition is good (cooperation is bad?), the debt (and deficit) are bad, media, unions, and gun-control are also, and reducing taxes is good (even though taxes are the least they've been in over 50 years). Liberals have their own dogma.
And, how long will each remain true? "Even unto the end of the world. Amen"
Some remember when we were not as doctrinaire. When voters could agree (and disagree) with several points each candidate offered. Today, candidates in order to avoid disagreement, say little that can be disagreed with. People were confident of candidates intentions (on both sides).
That neither was trying to destroy America, "taxing and spending" every opportunity they had, or held very little similarity to Hitler (internally, or externally). Bribes (now blessed by PACs, and called "anonymous campaign contributions") were rarer, and usually a matter of some embarrassment.
Like "drinking and driving," let's "keep religion and politics separate."
-- D. L. (ANDY) ANDERSON, Richland