Black Americans assess impacts of GOP’s nominating convention
By Derek Joy
The long wait is finally over.
After a tense period of anticipation wrought by the rather untimely visit of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac, the Republican National Convention ended in Tampa and the Democratic National Convention has begun in Charlotte, North Carolina. Black Americans, by and large, have a greater interest in the Democratic Party. It has historically been that way since President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected in 1932, when the Great Depression was crippling the American economy.
Never the less, contrary to the beliefs of some, people of color did pay attention to Republicans, who descended on Tampa with 50,000 delegates despite the disruptive and potentially destructive threats of Tropical Storm Isaac. And so, Republicans, as a matter of formality, officially named former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney its 2012 Presidential Nominee and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan the Vice Presidential running mate.
“I watched it,” said the Rev. Dr. James D. Bush III, associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church of Brownsville. “From the standpoint of a convention, they pulled off a professional event, very nice as far as participants are concerned. “It was a typical convention. Speak well of themselves, their policies and speak badly of the other Party. They strategize real well to make the public like them and their platform. That’s what political strategists do. Democrats do the same thing.”
Bush, while noting the absence of several Republicans Governors, who stayed at home attending to emergencies created by Isaac, wouldn’t speculate on the impacts of those absences.
Curiously, the conspicuous absence of George W. Bush (Bush 41), the two-term Republican President who preceded President Barack Obama, created quite a stir on both sides of the political fence. Some Republicans, including Bush’s brother, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, defended the absence as a matter of not wanting to be a distraction. The distraction that Bush would have created by his appearance at the Convention, as some speculated, would have forced Romney and Ryan to answer questions they preferred not to address.
“They’re like Heckle and Jeckle,” said Charles Cutler, a long time community activist and Veterans advocate. “They’re doing the same thing the cartoon magpies did. Getting, over like fat rats. “They talking about tax cuts and creating 14-million jobs. The tax cuts are for the wealthy and the jobs are minimum wage, fast food jobs. They’re talking about cutting every-thing but their salaries and benefits.”
“How can Romney talk about creating jobs when he out-sourced jobs to foreign countries?” Cutler asked. Therein lies a small portion of a distraction that would have resulted by Bush’s presence. Other distractions would have put Romney in a position to explain how and why Bush exhausted the budget surplus Bill Clinton left when he exited The White House.
“The only thought I have about the Convention is that it gave Blacks a reason to vote,” said Rodney Harris, a candidate for the Miami Gardens City Council, who is locked in a run-off battle with former Miami Gardens Councilman Ulysses “Buck” Harvard.
“There should be no more ‘I don’t feel like it, ain’t got time to vote’. These people are trying to take us back to slavery, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” Harris added.
Such thoughts merit attention as valid issues of concerns that Republicans, as well as Democrats, should address with the clarity of specifics. Both Parties must also address issues of importance to women in America. Republicans may believe that Ann Romney, among others, accomplished as much, and more, with their speeches. However, Maxine Austin, a healthcare professional and breast cancer survivor, offered a caution.
“They (Republicans) are so disorganized,” said Austin. “Their speeches had no substance. They put Romney’s wife on to try to impress women voters and show him as a family man. Michelle Obama will eat her up.
“I thought it would be better. And Governor Chris Christy did little more than promote himself. He used “I” and “Me” too much. He only said Romney at the end. And that was bad, selfish.” Another point of view that is very intriguing was offered by Linda Hill Mangaroo, a Miami native and long time Orange County resident.
“I did not watch the RNC at all,” said Hill Mangaroo. “I am going to vote for President Obama again. Trust me on this. Dr. Rice (Condoleeza) may have been a guest speaker. But she, like many other registered Republicans, is going to vote for President Obama.”