LJWorld.com weblogs Vantage Point
As I watched the Democratic National Convention, I was eager to learn why the conventions are held and what would the speakers say to entice me to become a Democrat. I have never watched a convention before, so I made it a point to catch all the coverage available on prime time television. I was impressed with the presentation of the convention and the energy there. I watched with anticipation to learn more about the Democratic Party and its values. I wanted information about what the party stands for and why the thousands of delegates made the trip to Denver at their own expense. I may have been in the minority, but I thought at some point in the convention someone would have reiterated what the Democrat Party stood for and celebrated its cause. I never got that.I did learn that the main reason for the conventions was for Obama to be nominated as the party's candidate for the presidency. I guess there is a roll call that finalizes his nominations. The convention culminated with Obama accepting the nomination with a speech. While his eloquence was commendable, I was left feeling somewhat puzzled.Here was an opportunity for Obama to win my vote and that of others by explaining what he would do as president and his ideas for change that he talks about. But for the first three-quarters of this speech he blasted McCain and why he would not be the right person to be president. I learned more about McCain's shortcomings than Obama's master plan. By the time Obama got to his ideas and why he should be elected president, I had lost some interest. He did make some great promises regarding what he would do as president. But how serious is he? Will he follow through? Obama and McCain can say anything they want at this stage, but what will they do when they have to perform the duties and deliver on the promise? I don't know much of the history or context of previous conventions, but what kept coming to mind as Obama made the promises was "read my lips, no new taxes." One of the recurring themes with all the speakers was how tough their lives were or how tough it is for the middle class today with the economy being so anemic. This is what I don't get. If they really cared about how tough life is for the average man, then why spend $15 million in putting on the convention? In an age where "American Idol" can handle millions of vote via phone lines and Web site, couldn't the delegates have exercised their votes in a similar manner? As for the acceptance speech, it took Obama all of 10 seconds to say that he accepts the nomination. Did the DNC have to spend $15 million for him to do that?Before anyone thinks that I'm biased, I understand that the Republican Party would probably follow the same game plan and spend just as much. I'm not critical of the candidates, but the purpose of the convention. With the talk of change and being environmentally conscious, is it not time to maybe revamp the nomination process? Imagine if either candidate decided to break tradition and asked the delegates to call in their votes or vote online. The candidate then could accept the nomination at the next campaign stop. Imagine the euphoria when he tells the nation that as president, he would use the $15 million to help people instead of having a convention. Now, that would be change; not more of the same.