Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Take A Flying Leap

While we're trying to stay away from much of the over-saturated coverage of the Democratic National Convention, it was somewhat difficult on Tuesday - and not just because of some of the personal political leanings of our staff.

Unlike the angry and aggressive tone we heard so much last week in Tampa from the Republicans, the atmosphere of the DNC this week has so far been positive. Much of the day's remarks focused on the topics and the details of the many positive changes that have occurred during President Obama's first term. Speakers tended to energize as they talked about policy details they'd like to see happen in a second Obama term, possibly with a Democratic-led Congress.

So far, the DNC is showing and telling in an optimistic way, what they've done to help Americans over the last four years - and the Democratic approach appears to have been a huge hit. Democrats are asking - not demanding - that Americans give them more time to fix the disaster they were handed in 2008. In short, they're asking Americans to trust them - and providing facts to support their claims.

Last week, much of what we heard was Republicans angrily demanding their fellow Americans - especially Middle Class Americans - jump off a cliff, as they presented parts of vague plans with no significant details. What facts Republicans did provide last week were mostly misstatements of fact - lies, in other words - that kept many members of the media busy fact checking all day, every day. Unlike the Republicans, Democrats seem to have no problem mentioning either the name of their chosen presidential candidate, or previous Democratic presidential office holders at this year's convention.

In fact, the real comparison between the two parties' positions already has become clear.

This isn't the comparison based on the false question of "Are you better off" - a question that we and others dispatched swiftly and firmly with facts on Tuesday. This isn't the false comparison to President Carter, either - one that has also been soundly dispatched with facts.

The Democratic Party is obviously taking an optimistic course at their convention this year. They are saying "This is what we need to do!" Then they are telling their crowd, and those watching at home, what steps must be taken to achieve those goals - and what's at stake if they fail to achieve those goals. Much of what we saw and heard from Republicans last week could be most charitably categorized as emotionally driven, anger-laced, ineffective bashing.

It's true that the Democrats have also been comparatively bringing up what their opposition has or hasn't done, or what their opposition has been proposing. Some of those critiques have even been sharp. That hasn't been the main focus of their convention though.

Democrats so far have been focusing on Democrats; what they should do, what they need to do, what they haven't done - what America can do as a nation. There's been no one asking Americans to take a leap of faith into the wild unknown of ideas, without past proof of concept. There hasn't been attack after attack, and lie after lie, either.

So far, those leading the Democratic convention don't seem to have been asking Americans to do much of anything they haven't been willing to first do themselves.

If this positive atmosphere carries through the rest of the week, and the rest of the campaign? To us, the choice will be obvious, on tone alone.

Americans don't want to take a flying leap into the unknown, demanded by someone they don't trust. They want to soar into a real future, led by those they can trust.

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