Good luck America

Most Dewbies probably know that I’m an Australian, so they may understand my bogglement upon viewing for the first time a teevee broadcast of a US political party’s convention. Well that’s not exactly the truth; back in Australia news broadcasts will be showing clips of the proceedings as part of the coverage of the US elections and no doubt Australians will be shaking their heads and muttering “Bloody hell – only in America.” And even that is not exactly true.

For a little while there, back in the 80s as I remember, some PR-wallah had a rush of blood to the head and decided it would be great if an Australian political campaign featured funny hats and pom-pom girls and stuff like that. He thought it would be a good idea, but a lot of his fellow Australians didn’t and the reaction sort of toned it back down again from then on, though I will admit Australian political rallies are now as choreographed as their US counterparts seem to be – only supporters show up and any hecklers that do sneak in are removed. But back to my intro – there’s that bloody Celtic widdershins again – it’s the first time I’ve seen bits of a US convention from only a few hundred miles away and live on teevee.

RNC 2012 Speakers Paul Davis Ryan, Jr., aka Paul Ryan, is the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district and was selected by Mitt Romney to be his Vice Presidential running mate.  Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr. aka Mitch McConnell is the senior U.S. Senator from Kentucky and the Republican Minority Leader.  John Randolph Thune aka John Thune is a Senator from South Dakota and Republican Policy Committee Chair.  Randal Howard Paul, aka Rand Paul, is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky.  Condoleezza Rice served as the 66th United States Secretary of State in the adminstration of George W. Bush.  The source image for this caricature of Paul Ryan is a photo in the public domain available via Wikimedia.  The source image for this caricature of Mitch McConnell is a Creative Commons licensed photo from Gage Skidmore's Flickr photostream.  The source image for this caricature is an image in the public domain from the United States Senate via Wikimedia.  The source image for this caricature is a Creative Commons licensed photo taken by Gage Skidmore available via Flickr Mind you, I can’t watch much of it. In the almost four years I have been here I seem to have been exposed to almost constant bombardment by teevee, newspaper and roadside advertisements from would be saviors of humankind (if only we’d elect them); saviors in the guise of sheriffs, magistrates, congresspersons, senatori – the list is endless. So forgive me if I can only take just a few minutes of the televisual feast that is the convention each night, even if it is on public television.

What I have seen though, is pretty enlightening. For instance, Mrs Romney – I’m sure she’d prefer Mrs over Ms – seems not to much value women who aren’t Moms. According to the woman who would be the First Lady of the USA, it’s Moms who hold this country together. She included single Moms  – very brave – but not women who are (gasp) unmarried and childless or married but (oh, horrors) without issue.

One of the pundits told me that the opening speeches were to give me an idea of what Romney, the man, was like. He expressed surprise that  I hadn’t been given more information on the largesse that the candidate bestowed on charity, namely his church. Since when has a multi-billion dollar operation such as that – and Mr Romney’s church is not alone in this category – been considered a charity?

However, it was early in last night’s proceedings that I received a real shock. I discovered that Mitch McConnell is possessed of a demon. Was anyone else terrified by his icy, bone-chilling stare? Or perhaps he’s not possessed, but a closet Scientoligist who last night attempted mass hypnosis on a nationwide scale? I’m not sure if I really want to know. I’ve never liked the man, nor his so-called solutions to problems, but he has never until now terrified me.

Will the Democratic convention be as enlightening? I’m sure it will and I only hope I have enough courage and stamina left to watch it

Good luck America – you’re going to need it.

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Illustration of RNC 2012 Speakers: By DonkeyHotey from his flickr photostream and used under creative commons license.
Frank Povah

Frank Povah

Arriving in the USA in late 2008, Frank Povah moved to Stamping Ground, Kentucky in mid 2009. Passionate about the written and spoken word and constantly bewildered by non-verbs and neo-nouns, Frank trained as a typesetter - though he has worked at many things - and later branched out into proofreading, writing and editing. For many years he has been copy editor, consultant and columnist with a prestigious Australian quarterly along with running his own editorial and typesetting business. His other interests are many and include traditional music, especially that of the south, folklore, natural history, and pigeons.