Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Texas Campus Carry — Legislation Taking Affect

When it comes to the Second Amendment, views and beliefs are strongly held and can even be polarizing at times. A couple years back when Texas first passed the legislation for campus carry, I wrote a post about the negative, unfounded overreaction by some Texas college professors.

Fast forward to this week when the policy was implemented, and apparently there are still Texas college professors upset over the legislation. A news article described a professor who showed up to class in a helmet and body armor. He claimed not to feel safe knowing there were so many more guns being carried around campus. He used the same logic as those professors who protested previously, that a student who was upset could use force immediately against him or any other professor. This is insane, uninformed, ill-conceived logic.

A study last year, as reported, found that concealed permit holders are some of the most law abiding citizens in the nation.  In fact, they rank above police officers. Generally speaking, violent felonies attributed to allegedly being committed by concealed permit holders were less then 1% of all violent crimes committed, while violent felonies committed by police officers were just over 1%.

Most states allowing for concealed carry of a firearm require a permit to carry, including Texas. In order to obtain such a permit, a person must be eligible by meeting certain requirements. Because of these requirement, people who obtain the permit are already law abiding citizens. Someone who has always obeyed the law their entire life is not all of a sudden going to become a violent felon just because they now carry a weapon. Rather, they comprehend the responsibility that comes with carrying a firearm and take it seriously. A concealed permit holder values their right to be able to carry and guards against losing that right. They are not the type of individual who will get mad and use their weapon at a professor. Honestly, the type of person who would do this would most likely be ineligible for a concealed carry permit in the first place, and if they did use a firearm against a professor, it would have been illegally concealed and brought onto campus regardless of whatever law is in place.

Bad guys are smart. They want to succeed in their unlawful quest. They will take the path of least resistance or abstain if the risks are too great. Laws don't stop bad guys, that is why they become criminals because they did not obey the laws and thus are held accountable. Gun laws placing restrictions on where weapons can be carried only detrimentally affect the law abiding citizen. The law abiding citizen will follow the law and refrain from carrying and thus being able to protect themselves or others from harm.

Bad guys go where they will not be stopped. A gun free zone is exactly the kind of place bad guys seek out. They know there is no one to stop them, or at least quickly. However, an area that encourages or even just allows law abiding citizens to carry will not be a favorite spot of bad guys. Why? Because the law makes provision for self-defense of oneself or others, meaning — the good guy can stop the bad guy!

The Texas college professor should be ecstatic about the new policy because in fact, he is far safer. Even IF a student should get mad and draw a weapon (which I hold would be illegally concealed), there would be other students, or even the professor himself, who could stop the mad student. Under the old law, that same mad student would still have brought in a weapon, but there would be no one to stop him from using it. Simply have the policy in place is a deterrent to bad guys because the bad guy will never know who, if anyone, is actually carry (it's called concealed for a reason). At any moment, any single person on campus could have the capability to stop a bad guy before the bad guy succeeds at his ill-conceived plan.

Arguably, crime rates will go down, not rise, on the Texas college campuses where guns now legally can be carried concealed. The professors, students, and others, regardless of how they feel, are in fact safer today then before the policy went into effect.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Politics Doesn't Belong in Sports But Patriotism Does

Sports has always been a diversion transcending politics. It has brought people together, allowing them to focus on rest and relaxation, spend time with friends and family, or forget what else is going on in their lives or even the world for a few hours. Sports have always been patriotic; teams play the National Anthem before games, along with the occasional unfurling of the American flag on a field. For patriotic holidays, there is additional recognition through pre-game ceremonies, uniform changes, or breaks during the game. Following the attacks on 9/11, "God Bless America" was sung at many sporting events. In fact, the New York Yankees continue to play the song during the 7th inning stretch at home games. Patriotism, nonetheless, is slowly becoming political, and therefore, sports are becoming political. However, these acts are not symbols of politics, but of patriotism.

Patriotism and politics are two separate things. It is possible to be patriotic without being political, just as it is possible to be political and still be patriotic. Patriotism is the recognition and support of a person's country of birth, citizenship, or residence, while politics is the views and beliefs of different parties or individuals on certain issues.

The last few years have seen these distinguishments blurred. Many individuals seem to believe that to be patriotic is synonymous with being political. Thus, simply because someone is standing in honor of the National Anthem or saluting a flag implies they espouse to certain political views and beliefs. Just this week, a sports writer claimed the unfurling of an American flag at a baseball game was a political statement which did not belong in sports.

Every nation has moments in its history that its citizens would like to forget, but it is part of who that nation is. Individuals have periods in their life they would like to forget, but for better or worse, those moments make them into the person they become. The same is true with nations. Just because there was a certain event or time period in a nation's history that was not its' finest moment, does not mean that for the rest of eternity, the citizens should be repulsed at the notion of respecting and honoring the nation.

Simply standing for the National Anthem or saluting the American flag does not mean that that individual condones everything in our nation's history, every decision ever made by a president, or every law passed by Congress, rather it is a sign of respect. In fact, the United States Code actually requires each and every individual to stand at attention when the flag is being presented. (4 U.S.C. § 9.)

Sports are a time when people from all backgrounds and walks can come together to root for (or against) a certain team. It is not about democrats versus republicans, conservative versus liberal, black versus white, wealthy versus poor, or any other numerous political and social divides. It is about the enjoyment of watching players compete in a sport they love and for a team whose name they wear on their jersey.

Sports rising above politics is also exhibited in the purchase and ownership of a sports team. Currently, the Florida Marlins franchise is up for sale. There are reported at present two main potential buyers or partnerships. One such buyer is Tagg Romney. The other partnership is Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter.

This is a prime example of sports going beyond party lines and politics. Simply put, ownership of a franchise is a big deal! For one, it costs a lot of money to purchase a professional sports team. Furthermore, the owner(s) have great influence in how the franchise operates, the end goals, and the type of players they draw.

For example, George Steinbrenner, the late owner of the New York Yankees, was famous for his desire to win and draw the best players possible. He would do whatever in took to win. During the first twenty-three years of owning the Yankees, he hired and fired twenty-one managers, including Billy Martin five times. Steinbrenner also was well-known for specific requirements regarding appearances—ball players could not have any facial hair except for a mustache, and the length of their hair could be no longer than their shirt collar. However, above all was Steinbrenner's demand for excellence. Anything less than winning the Worlds Series was considered a failure. As owner, he set the tone for the organization from top to bottom. While playing in New York is demanding, ball players want to play for the Yankees because of the high standards expected. This tradition and mentality continues even today under the ownership of his immediate family.

Derek Jeter's political affiliations are not well known; he has always kept his personal life private. He did tell President George W. Bush to throw a strike and not bounce the ball when President Bush threw out the opening pitch during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium. However, Jeter has also interviewed President Barak Obama for his website, The Player's Tribune.

Tagg Romney is the son of Mitt Romney. Mitt was the 2012 Republican presidential candidate. He was also a republican governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Of course Jeb Bush is the son of the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush, and brother of the 43rd president, George W. Bush. He himself was a republican governor of the state of Florida. Baseball ownership does run in the family as George W. was at one time a partner owner of the Texas Rangers.

However, none of the political background of these potential buyers really matters when it comes to the ownership of the Florida Marlins because ownership of a team goes beyond politics. What matters is that they all obviously love baseball. Jeter, having played his entire career with the Yankees, will bring the drive and commitment of always winning to the table. (On a personal level, it would be strange to see Jeter affiliated with any team other than the Yankees.) Each potential buyer is a patriotic American who loves baseball.

The fans who come to sporting games, come to hang out with friends, relax, enjoy watching their team play. They do not come for politics. I believe though it is safe to say that the overwhelming majority of spectators are patriotic Americans.

Baseball in a way is as representative of America as the American Flag or the National Anthem. The sport is often referred to as America's Pastime. Baseball, in my opinion, is as American as apple pie, hamburgers, and fireworks.

Many might argue football is more American. After all we are the only country in the world to play football the way we do. What other countries call "football," we call soccer.

Regardless of the sport though, sports in general is part of American culture. Often the team a person roots for is because of who their dad or mom or grandparent or uncle or some other family member supports. For some, it is based on the region they live. Whatever the reason, sports is part of our heritage just like the American flag or National Anthem.

While each and every player does have a Constitutional right to express his political beliefs publicly, those beliefs do not belong on the field while the player is representing his team and at times his country. It is not okay to kneel or sit down while the National Anthem is played. Politics ought to be left in the locker room, while patriotism is embraced on the field. The American Flag must continue to be unfurled on baseball fields. This is America, land of the free, home of the brave. Patriotism is always in season and should be on display in every stadium and ballpark across this great nation.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day but NOT Happy 4th of July

I know I'm on the late side with a 4th of July post, but I couldn't let the holiday, my favorite of the year, pass without some recognition. 

I recently saw an article titled something along the lines of why the 4th of July should not be celebrated. Obviously, the title intrigued me so I read it. The author distinguished how with all but one holiday, we say the name of the holiday we are celebrating (i.e. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day), not the date. He pointed out though how Americans have become lax in recognizing what we are truly celebrating by referring to this most special holiday by its date only, the 4th of July. Rather, it should be called by its proper name, Independence Day, as a reminder of what we are celebrating. He made an excellent point which caused me much thought and consideration. 

When Memorial Day or Veterans Day comes each year, I always see posts and articles explaining the differences between the two holidays, as well as reminding people what each holiday is actually about. I see the most reminders with Memorial Day that it is not just about picnics and barbecues, but about recognizing the lives sacrificed for our nation. In some ways, I think the same thing has happened with our most patriotic of all holidays, Independence Day. 

We use the phrases 4th of July and Independence Day interchangeable and everyone knows we are referring to the same monumental event, our declaration of independence from Great Britain. Yet even when we use the proper title of Independence Day, I fear just as with Memorial Day, we have forgotten the real meaning of what Independence Day is all about. Sure we know it's a rememberence of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and of course we follow John Adams' admonishment to celebrate it with fireworks and festivities. But how many individuals take the time to read the historic document sharing the same title or ponder the possible peril these men we now call our Founding Fathers put themselves in through their actions. 

240 years ago, when 56 men penned their name on a piece of parchment, they were in reality signed their possible death warrant for treason. These men were willing to stand up against the greatest, strongest, most powerful nation on earth at that time. They were principled, moral men who understood the great injustices being committed by a tyrannical government. They didn't just roll over to let someone fight the battle another day, they didn't just be silent because it would have been politically incorrect to speak up, they didn't just comply with the king's edicts because it would have caused too much discontent among one another to do otherwise. No, they were willing to take a stand, knowing full well the reprercussions their actions would and could have, both for good and bad. We, with a small, raggle taggle of a army, stood up against the most powerful nation and fought for what we knew was right. We proclaimed for all the world and succeeding generations to hear that there are certain unalienable rights given to man by his Creator, that government derives its power from the people, and when a government seeks to deprive these people of their God-given rights, it is the right of the people to alter the government. These words penned that hot July, 240 years ago, are just as applicable today as they were then. 

I hear people talk about how discouraged the way our country and society is going; about the absence of courageous, God-fearing leaders; and the desire to see how our country as it once was. Yet, a short engagement of conversation will often reveal a lack of understanding events surrounding the founding of our nation, a lack of knowledge of our founding documents, and/or a lack of knowing what our Founding Fathers' beliefs and accomplishments. To be able to constitute change, there must be a comprehension of the past. 

We need to remember the true meaning of Independence Day, what those men so long ago were fighting for and standing up against, the sacrifices they were willing to suffer so that they and their families could live in a nation that recognized God-given, inalienable rights. We still live in the greatest nation on earth. When asked what type of government we have, John Adams replied, "A republic if you can keep it." It is not being kept very well currently, yet remembering what Independence Day truly is about will cause the republic to live another day. 

Long may Old Glory wave while Lady Liberty stands watch. Happy Independence Day!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Independence Day

As the 4th of July rolls around again, I am excited but also filled with sadness this year. It has always been my favorite holiday. I love the music, the patriotism, and especially the fireworks.  It is also a time to reflect on our nation's founding and history. This is what causes me sorrow, to see how far our country has digressed since 1776. 

Over the years, Americans have been known to have a backbone, to be independent, and to stand up to tyranny. At times, we are referred to as the world's police force. I do not support the level of involvement we have in foreign affairs. However, the underlying philosophy of why we become involved in foreign affairs indicative of our culture, that we hate to see humans suffering or repressed. We are a country of liberty and freedom.  We do not want dictators that have the potential for world dominance. When we have been attacked ourself, our resolve for freedom and justice has been awaken. 

Our Founding Fathers desired to not live under an oppressive power that restricted God given rights and freedoms. They designed a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The Constitution begins with the words, "We the People." It is not a government of elected officials, appointments, individuals, or special interests group.  America has been a melting pot, opening our doors to all with welcoming arms. 

With recent events, I feel for the first time, it is no longer as popular to be patriotic or celebrate what our country stands for. This saddens me. Despite all our problems, I have always had the belief that we are still the greatest nation in the world. But now I wonder. It seems as if anyone who is bothered or offended by something can remove that offensive item or policy if they just speak up. We have become a hypersensitive culture. This is wrong. It is impossible to appease and please every single person. Someone will always react to something. 

Our past leaders and Founding Fathers were men and women of integrity, honor, and they had a back bone. They stood up for what they believed was right and did not cave to others, no matter what the cost. They are the reason why we are the nation we are today. Those who do not know or understand history are likely to repeat it. 

So this Fourth of July, I will still proudly show my patriotism because I still believe somewhere, there is something left of the principles and freedoms our country was founded upon. I cannot and will not believe that the courage our Founding Fathers displayed is completely gone. I pray and hope for better days to come. With all its flaws, I still love my country. I am a proud American. Let us never forget the sacrifices of those who have gone before us. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Is Life Unfair?

We so often say that something is unfair or hear others commenting about how unfair something is. It seems we often conclude that life is unfair. But is it really? From our human perspective, yes, it is. One might miss out on a job promotion, or not get the desired grades in school. Or maybe someone is misunderstood, their reputation is possible affected, and no matter how much they may want change that, nothing can be done about it. Then what? Sit and have a pity party, complaining about how unfair life is?  Eat some ice cream? Watch a movie? Sounds about right, or does it?

How about being falsely accused for a crime that was never committed and being sentenced to death for it? Unfair? Most definitely! And yet, that is exactly what happened to Christ. He was falsely accused of blaspheme, a crime punishable by death. When we think life is unfair to us, well, there is no comparison to Christ’s death. If there ever was an unfair situation, it was Christ’s death. That was truly unfair. Yet, it was all in God’s infinite plan because through Christ’s death, we can have life.

So what about our “unfair” life? Well, I’m not suggesting life is all rose colored and happy. It is not. But there is a difference between hardship and unfairness. That difference is how we view things. God brings hard times and trials in our life. Without them, we would never grow. Precious metals are refined by turning up the heat, melting them, and then skimming the impurities off the top. If the heat was never turned up, the impurities would always remain. We should accept hard times and trials as refining times in our life when God, the Master Craftsman, is purifying us. Human nature would look at these times as unfair. But through the lens of God, it is His perfect plan. The issue is not the actual circumstance, but how we view the circumstance. Losing a job, failing a course, or being misunderstood are all part of God’s plan. God brings these things into our life to purify us.

So when life is “unfair” or “throws me a curveball” what should I do? Is life easier because the event is a “trial” versus simple being “unfair?” No. Often I complain and grumble when instead I need to relax, trust God. and have faith. He knows what He is doing. He can see what I cannot. His plan is perfect and He is in control of everything. It is not easy though to let go. In the flesh, I want to be in control, I want to fix things, I want to blame someone or something for the problems. It is a constant struggle at times to sit back and not worry. But oh the peace and contentment that comes when I am able to give all that seems unfair over to God and rest in Him, knowing He is in control. I may never understand the reason for some of the specific trials or hardships God has brought into my life. I like to guess and try and figure it out, but that is because I don’t like the uncertainty of not understanding what is going on around me. All I need to know is that God is in control and His ways are better than my ways.

Is life unfair? From a human perspective, yes. But from God’s perspective, no. What seems unfair to me, is God’s way of refining me.

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

Friday, June 5, 2015

Campus Carry: Will It Improve Grades or Not?

Skimming the news today, a headline caught my eye "Gunpoint Average: Texas prof claims campus carry law will improve grades." Of course as a proud supporter of the Second Amendment, my curiosity immediately spiked. From a quick glance, I saw campus carry plus improved grades. I was thinking, well sure, that could makes sense — campus carry makes for a safer environment, which leads to less worry about safety, which leads to less stressed students, which leads to better grades. Right? WRONG! At least according to this Texas professor.

The professor ultimately is claiming better grades through fear and intimidation. This is the argument: because professors know that students may be carrying a gun, the professor will give an A for fear of their safety. How illogical is that. The premise is that a student with a gun may go to a professor and use it in an intimidating manner if he or she does not receive the grade he or she thought was deserved. Thus, to avoid this happening, a professor will give higher grades (i.e. A) just to protect themselves from students who lawfully carry guns.

This is a bizarre, illogical argument. First off, numerous campuses across the United States already allow campus carry, such as Liberty University in Virginia. And I know for a fact at Liberty, no professor gives a high grade because they are afraid a student lawfully carrying a weapon will walk into their office and intimidate them into giving a higher grade. Campus carry creates a safer environment for all the students who attend, not just those who carry. Bad guys are not stupid, generally speaking. Part of the beauty of concealed carry is that it is not known who is armed versus unarmed just by looking at a person. Most individuals committing a crime do not want to be caught, let alone shot. So for instance, a would be assailant, why would they enter a campus to commit a crime knowing there was a chance that the person they attack could be armed and would defend themselves? They probably are not going to do that. Just the fact that there are individuals lawfully carrying a weapon will make others around them feel safer. Even campus police often are supportive of students lawfully carrying a concealed weapon.

Second, most crimes involving guns are not committed by those individuals who carry lawfully, but rather those who carry illegally obtained weapons. When news stories break about crimes involving guns, rarely is the criminal using a gun that he lawfully carries concealed. Most likely any campus that allows for concealed carry, like Liberty, will have some time of application process and background check before giving out a campus carry permit. It is not that much different than what it takes to obtain a state concealed carry permit. If a person were to attempt to intimidate their professor through the use of a firearm, that person would most likely do it regardless of whether or not the campus allowed concealed carry.

Finally, if a student is so immature and stupid as to think they can get a better grade by brandishing a weapon at a professor, maybe they are not deserving of the opportunity to obtain higher education. College is a privilege, not a right. Granted there are many immature college students. However, many of those students do not graduate or succeed after graduation. And yes, I said stupid. Grades are based on the student's performance not intimidation. I do not know how many times I have heard grades are not given but earned. If a student wants an A, they can achieve it through hard work and determination. This is not that difficult in undergrad.

If, campus carry were to affect grades, it would be along the lines of what first popped into my mind upon reading the headline. Students who are highly stressed typically do not perform as well in their studies. Granted, college itself is stressful at times, but the more compounded stress in a person's life, the more their performance will decline. If a person does not feel safe, it can be stressful. Now a person may not automatically feel unsafe, but they are quite aware when they do feel safe, particularly females. Stress also often affects females more than males. So a student, and especially a female, who feels safe has one less stress upon them and will relax more. As already discussed, campus carry makes for a safer environment. So the student who feels safer will relax and by relaxing can focus better on their studying which typically equates to better grades.

I am grateful to attend a university that allows for concealed campus carry and I wish all universities and schools had the same policy. If campus carry leads to higher grades, it will not be because some idiot student tried to intimidate a professor.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Picture of Freedom - My America

Triumph. Freedom. Victory. Resolve. Liberty. Independence. 
Undefeated. Future. Greatest Nation. America.

The old saying that "a picture is worth a thousand words" rings true. 

I am back after a long hiatus (more on that another time). This weekend I was in New York City for one of my close friend's wedding. New York embodies the American Spirit in so many ways. Passing by Ellis Island is a reminder of all the immigrants, including my great grandmother, who came to our shores seeking the American Dream. In the middle of the New York Harbor stands the Statue of Liberty, tall and proud, as she welcomes to her shores all seeking a new beginning. New York is not just about tall buildings, great food and shopping. Those things are because of the people who built New York. Each group of immigrants (Jews, Irish, Italian, Germans, etc) brought their traditions and expertise with them. Many, if not most, came with nothing, except a will and determination to work hard and make a new beginning. And a new beginning they made.

The new Freedom Tower is the ultimate embodiment of the American Spirit. Its official address is One World Trade Center. Yes, One World Trade Center. It has risen up from the ashes of the Twin Towers. The 9/11 Memorial lies in the shadows of the Freedom Tower as a reminder of those who lost their lives and why we must fight for our freedom. The Freedom Tower is a picture of American resolve and triumph. One World Trade Center stands in direct defiance to those terrorists who sought to crush the American Spirit.

We Will Never Forget. 

God Bless America.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Final Evening of the RNC

This is a few days late in coming due to the holiday weekend, but better late then never, right.

The conclusion of the Republican National Convention brought several more great speeches and a surprise appearance by Clint Eastwood.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) took the stage to discuss education. However, he first proclaimed that it was time for the current administration to stop blaming his brother, President George W. Bush, for the economic problems our nation is dealing with. He stated that "a real leader would accept responsibility for his actions, and you haven't done it."

Governor Mitt Romney was introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) who gave a rousing speech. He talked about his family and how they immigrated from Cuba so that their children could have a better life. One of the best lines of the whole convention was when Senator Rubio, referring to his father and the sacrifices he made, said "he stood behind the ball [in the back of the room] all those years so that one day I
could stand  behind a podium, in the front of a room." Senator Rubio is the America Dream and I eagerly look forward to the day he runs for president of the United States of America.

I felt that Governor Romney's speech was the best I had ever heard him give. He was personable and able to relate to, yet commanded attention and respect as a president should. He embraced his success as he should, because he too as lived the America Dream. Governor Romney did an excellent job of broadly outlining President Obama's failed policies and what a Romney/Ryan administration would look like. My favorite line was when he said, "But Paul, I still like the playlist on my Ipod better than yours" in reference to the comment by Paul Ryan the night before about how their respective playlists are reflections of their age. Romney's best line was he stated that "My promise is to help you and your family."

I eagerly look forward to voting for Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan November 6, and on November 7th being able to refer to them as President-Elect and Vice-President-Elect.

This week is the Democrats turn to re-nominate their chosen leader and spew all types of personal attacks at their opponents, while the repetitive drown of falsehoods blares across the TV waves.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

VP Nomination Acceptance

Wednesday at Republican Convention brought another evening of speeches. Overall, not as many impressive speeches, but those that were brought the house down.

Several of the speeches appeared blah, not stirring, and even scripted such as Governor Pawlenty. I am tired of listening to speakers read off their political talking stump points. I want to hear from the heart, from the person, not what others think that individual should say. And that is why the first speech that stood out to me was Governor Mike Huckabee. He words were those of warmth, feeling, knowledge, and from the heart, and he spoke as one who genuinely cared about what he was sharing. The highlight was when he said that he does not care what church Mitt Romney goes to, he just cares that Governor Romney is a man of faith. As Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. said regarding the presidential election, we are not electing a pastor, we are electing a political leader.

My favorite speech was that of Condoleezza Rice. She is a brilliant, articulate woman whom as a side note, I would love to have as a college professor. It was stated afterwards that she spoke from notes, not a telepromter--amazing!!! She had many excellent points. Her personal reflection at the end was the perfect example of the American Dream. She shared as a little girl in Birmingham, Alabama, how she could not eat the Woolworth counter, yet her parents told her she could become president and she became Secretary of State. My personal favorite was when she stated that "it does not matter where you came from, it matters where you are going."

The highlight of the evening which brought the house down was the much anticipated speech of the soon to be next Vice President of the United States, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Governor Romney made a fabulous choice in Congressman Ryan. He brings youth and vigor, and unites the Tea Party and the old guard, all with a mature demeanor. The best line of the evening which resonated with me was when he stated that "College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life." Congressman Ryan was able to talk directly to every single American both in the convention center, as well as every individual watching across America.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Night One of RNC Speeches...

My first thought is where do I begin, whose speech do I start discussing first. Sadly due to work, I missed about the first hour and a half of speeches. However, those that I heard amply invigorated and inspired me. There was not a single bad one.

The first one I watched was Governor John Kasich (R-OH). He had such fire and was able to invigorate the crowd. The figures he quoted of where Ohio was when he became governor compared to today were staggering.

Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) roused the crowd with her speech. She appeared completely at ease and relaxed, speaking from her heart. I appreciated the warmth in her demeanor. She came across as if she was just talking to a group of friends versus giving a speech at the Republican convention.

My least favorite speeches, though not bad, were those of Senator Rick Santorum and Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ). I felt Senator Santorum's speech was heart felt and well meant, but that he was rehashing a lot of his campaign points. They were good points about strong family values, yet delivered a campaign manner. Listening to commentators today, they either loved or disliked Governor Christie. I am in the middle. I agree that he spent a good deal of time talking about his background, his family, and his state. However, many of the speakers have done the same, and that is refreshing, listening to personal aspects of the individuals. Governor Christie's mistake was that unlike, others, he did not do a good job of tying his personal life and his state into the broader aspect of all Americans and the federal government. And in that regards he failed. I would not say it was a bad speech, but it was not a excellent either.

The three speakers that stood out the most to me were Ann Romney, Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA), and former Congressman Artur Davis.

A delightful surprise with his eloquence of speech, his articulation, and his political insight was Congressman Davis. Four years ago in Denver at the Democratic convention, he seconded the motion to nominated President Barak Obama and gave one of the key speeches. Last night, he stood before Americans and explained why he was wrong in his support for President Obama.

My first impression of Governor McDonnell was that of a Southern Virginia gentleman of yesteryear, posed, dignified, and just the right amount of mystique about him. He did an excellent job of comparing and contrast his state, run by a Republican, with Democrat control governors. The best line was when he state that "the EPA is now the Employment Prevention Agency."

The highlight of the evening was Ann Romney. She is a beautiful, elegant lady who will bring grace and dignity back to the position of First Lady. It was pure pleasure watching her. Mrs. Romney was perfect describing her husband and their early life, how she fell in love with her dance partner, and how the country can fall in love with him too. Her personality seems to be semi-reserved and appeared nervous, but in a endearing, complimentary way that said "I am not use to making speeches like this but I love my country, and more important, I love my husband and am willing to do anything to help him." And it could not have had a more fitting conclusion than Governor Mitt Romney appearing on stage with her. His comment to her summed up the speech perfectly -- "You were fabulous."

I eagerly look forward to another night of great speeches.