Posted by politicalpartypooper on September 5, 2008

As I have watched these last two weeks, the proceedings of the two political party conventions, I was struck by the subtlety of a simple statement.

I listened to the talking heads and spin doctors as they told me, time after time, that the Democrats spoke to the Independents and undecided’s at their convention, while all this week, it’s been reported that the Republicans have spoken only to their base.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I listened, both weeks, as I waited for the words that tell me I am part of something bigger than myself.  I remember them best when I remember Ronald Reagan speaking them at his first nomination acceptance speech.

“My fellow Americans…”

There’s just something about those words that includes everybody.

I heard that phrase often this week, during the Republican convention.  I did not hear it once at the Democratic convention.  Instead, repeatedly, I heard the words, “My fellow Democrats”.

I know, it’s such a small thing.  It’s subtle.

But an Independent like me notices subtle things like that.  I don’t know what the media was listening to these last two weeks, but I am certain of what I heard.

The Democrats are speaking to themselves, and to an Independent like me, it sounds sort of elitist; sounds like something I am not a part of, like something they don’t want to include me in.  I’m an Independent, but I’m not a Democrat.

I don’t know what the Republicans are saying, but because of that phrase, I’m listening.  I’m an Independent, but I’m an American first.

The subleties of language seem so insignificant at the time, except to those who are listening, hoping to be included and welcomed.  We are the people who are Independent because we don’t trust either party to change.  We are the people who are only paid attention to when those two parties need votes.

Both parties had a chance to grab our attention these last two weeks.  Only one party tried, and it wasn’t the party that cares about our feelings, or is known for tolerance and liberalism.

And the party that didn’t will wonder this year again why so many states look so red.


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