A reflection on those RNC 'hard times' and 'self-made' stories
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On Tuesday night I watched the Republican National Convention, and, I must say, I was greatly moved. When Ann Romney said she would talk about love, I went warm and oozy all over.
She told a heart-warming story about her life with Mitt. It agreed with much of what Mitt said once, that they had such hard times at times that they had to sell some of their stocks.
Then Chris Christie said he was going to talk about love and respect, and he insisted that it was much better to be respected. His statement is a variant of Machiavelli's advice to the Prince: It is better to be feared than loved.
In telling his genealogy, Gov. Christie told about his father, who served his country and then came home to take the benefits of the GI bill. For a moment I thought he was praising one of those damned government spending projects. And one of the speakers mentioned that one of his offspring -- either a child or grandchild -- was a cadet at the Citadel. And I realized how prone the Republicans are to praise the military, but do not do much service themselves. I think of Dick Cheney, who always managed not to do military service because he had "other things to do."
Not one of these candidates served.
The impression I got from listening to the speakers -- with whom I often agreed -- was that if you had a grandfather (immigrant or not) who had a job and helped raise a family, and a father and mother who stayed married and put you through college, you could be a self-made man.
The only guy who didn't have a solid white family background, who was raised by a single parent (woman) and had to make his own way in the world wasn't even there: Barack Obama.
First Published August 31, 2012 12:00 am