Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Tale of Two Conventions

September 8, 2012
By Saeed Qureshi

The American democratic culture is simply laudable. A candidate for the presidency has to toil very hard round the year to reach that most coveted and powerful position. The marathon race for winning the presidency in United States is beset with numerous hurdles that have to be crossed with distinction in order to convince the American electorates that their choice was going to be absolutely best.

The elections to be held every four years are traditionally a colossal contest between two main parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The entire country is gripped with a kind of formidable frenzy and profound fever that demonstrates the deep involvement of the citizens in choosing their president. The American people are extremely conscientious and possess acute sense of judgment about the fielded candidates whose number finally shrinks to two from a bunch of several candidates.

In 2012 elections the incumbent president Barack Obama is running for the second term while Mitt Romney is a nominee of the Republic party and a kind of challenger to the former. Both are reputed for upholding commendable family traditions as husbands and fathers. Nevertheless, both hail from different economic, social and ethnic background.

The holding of national conventions by both the parties towards the end of the campaigning and canvassing period is the most thrilling, glaring and rigorous tradition of political bouts between the two parties. The underlying objective of these conventions is to nominate and confirm their candidates by these two parties for the top political positions of the President and Vice President. Another vital goal is to give vent to the party’s manifesto for the next four years and to bring party cadres together.

The Republican held their conventions from august 27-30 at Tampa, Florida. The Democratic convention commenced on September 4 and ended on September 6. In these conventions, both the parties and specifically the two candidates place their programs and agenda before the whole nation through excellent articulation and rhetorical speeches. 

The auditoriums where these conventions take place are filled by the delegates from various states and caucuses. With a visible bias and enthusiasm, the participants and workers of the respective parties are highly motivated, fired and exude a high degree of excitement and enthusiasm and also approbation and support for their Party and its candidate.

The vision and outlook of the two parties in steering the country both internally and in foreign affairs is candidly distinct and as if between two markedly wide and irreconcilable isles of  philosophy and outlook. Briefly the Republicans are known to be the representatives of the wealthy classes, the special interest groups and powerful lobbies that are in control of and own the big corporations and businesses.

The Democrats speak in favor of the middle and lower classes. The paramount and core issues usually deliberated in these conventions invariably are the state of economy, the jobs, social welfare programs, the American security and the taxation. In 2012 conventions, the Medicare floated by Obama administration as a package of enhanced relief measures for the low income Americans has also been overly, hotly debated issue and was one of the main bones of contention between the two parties.

The health care domain in America takes away whopping portion of the national budget every year. The health insurance companies are the backdoor beneficiaries of the huge spending on the health care. If the government would offer free or subsidized health care to its citizens then that would be at the cost of earnings of the huge private insurance companies run mostly by the most affluent families and individuals in United States. 

The private health insurance is also known as a rip off corporate sector.  Since the rich sections are mostly inclined towards the Republican Party and are allies of the powerful propaganda lobbies, they would resist any plan, howsoever in the public interest, that could slash their fabulous incomes.

Romney claims that he is a kind of a maverick manager of economy by virtue of his success in his private business. He denounces Obama for mismanagement of the economy and not doing enough on the creation of jobs. At the same time he wants to do away with the so called "Obamacare" and replace it with the “voucher system”. He also attacks him on withdrawing the American forces from abroad, not pressing Iran enough on nuclear issue, and cutting down the defense budget.

But as one can figure out from these conventions, he and other republican luminaries were lacking in the quality and veracity of their speeches and claims. But Romney certainly has an upper edge on Obama in the field of raising funds for the elections. The Republican super duper business magnates are pouring money into Romney’s election funds by millions.

Obama and his Democratic Party colleagues have less inflow of funds because their donors are mostly the common Americans, the working classes, low income groups or individuals. But his rhetorical skills and oratorical finesse stand in good stead for him. He moves the crowds with his stunning and eloquent speeches that drive his programs and plans more succinctly and emphatically into the minds of the listeners than his counterpart. Let us paraphrase it like this that he looks less affluent in money but rich in dissemination, intellectual capacity and knowledge.

In this debate he had one added advantage over Mitt Romney. That advantage is to claim the  right of being re-elected on his sterling accomplishments of the past four years. Those enumerated among others were killing of Osama Ben Laden, reviving the sinking auto industry, creating millions of jobs despite a thoroughly shattered economy bequeathed to him by his Republican predecessor. His implementation of the stalled Dream Act by stopping deportation of the young undocumented immigrants, who match certain criteria, has brought him sizable chunk of the Latino vote.

The middle class that stands benefited from his health care plan and other special benefits seems to be more supportive of him. The recalling of the American troops from both Afghanistan and Iraq has endeared him to the families whose members are serving in the army. His practical measures and decisions to rehabilitate and rescue the forsaken war veterans and those maimed or killed in wars popularize him also among a section of the American society. 

But what distinguishes him most is his sincerity, sobriety, a dignified posture, a tinge of profound humility, a rancor-free disposition and a constructive and positive attitude. He possesses a steeled determination and an unflinching commitment to reconstruct America and revive and maintain the supremacy of this mighty country as an economic and military power. 

It is also to create as large a middle class as is possible for better life for the Americans. Obama’s inclination and attitude is to bring peace and to craft a role for America as a just and honest arbiter in the international disputes. But he would not hesitate for a moment to retaliate with full force if America’s security is at stake.

In his convention speech he appealed to the American people to reelect him for another term so that he can continue his sublime mission of realizing the American Dream. And what is the American dream? The “Declaration of Independence” proclaims it in these indelible words “In which all men are created equal" and that they are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

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