Hail to the Chief: The Convention's Final Day

Charlie Daniels sings a song called “It’s not a Rag, It’s a Flag”. Well ladies and gentlemen, the Star Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States of America, the greatest country on Earth. It is not a pop song, it isn’t R&B and it ain’t country. The piece has a proper score, and those who are asked to perform it should follow that score—to the letter and the note. What brings about this rant is that a very talented singer by the name of Nicole Mullen last night attempted to make herself the next Whitney Houston by singing a rousing R&B version of the anthem that was about as equally offensive to me as the version Rosanne belted out in the ballpark a few years back. Sing the song people--as it is written—and pay attention to the bold music and the significant lyrics. It is pretty and moving on its own. Attempts to embellish with vocal runs and catchy beats imply that it is somehow inferior. This piece is better than anything you “arteests” can do to it. Sing it as written, or don’t sing it at all.

On to convention matters…I liked the set alteration for the final night of festivities , the big round presidential seal in the center of the arena was a very nice touch; kind of makes me want one. The podium is still ugly. I still loathe the podium. I hope it is burned as scrap. I am grateful that I will never again have to look at it.

I have come to the conclusion that my definition of a good speaker apparently doesn’t meet the same criteria as others. I have read countless analyses of Dick Cheney’s so called weak oration, and today read more regarding the eloquent delivery by Tommy Franks and the subsequent inability of Governor Pataki. I think my views on Vice President Cheney have been made abundantly clear, so I won’t waste another post about my deep admiration for the man. I thought that General Franks’ speech was well written and choppily delivered, while Governor Pataki’s speech was very thoughtful and humorous with an easy style. So, hey, what do I know? I mean, other than Zell Miller’s entire speech, Pataki had one of the better lines of the entire convention when he said, “You know, as Republicans we're lucky. This fall we're going to win one for the Gipper. But our opponents - they're going lose one with the Flipper.” Amen to that.

I was very impressed with the video narrated by Fred Thompson, and thought President Bush’s entry to the stage was one of the best I had ever seen, and I have sat though a few of these in my lifetime. Yes, I admit it, I am one of the geeks who watches old convention speeches on CSPAN, so THPPPT!!!! But President Bush’s entry was very understated and very cool. The glittering flag screens floating across the silent stage, that crossed and parted to reveal the President. My reaction was wow…just wow…

President Bush did, in my opinion, exactly what he needed to do last night; he reminded the average, non-politics following American why he or she genuinely likes President Bush. With all of the beating the President has taken in the media lately, I honestly believe that people had forgotten…but no more. He talked a little about his history, about the accomplishments of his administration, about what he wanted to do at home and abroad, and about his opponent. It was a very well written, well delivered speech.

Here are my complaints…oh now, you know they were coming. First, it did run a little long. That’s OK though, he’s the President, so he can do that and screw me if I don’t like it. Second, I will always get a little hinky when he starts promising to throw around American dollars on some new government program. I would have preferred that he promised to abolish the department of education, eliminate the tax code, and tell the UN to starve and go to hell. I also realize that I am only one of about 25-30% of the American voters who believe this way, and that no matter how you play the game, 30% of the vote gets you nothing but creamed. So, I patiently hold my nose while he plays the “new government program” game to appeal to the quasi-socialist political middle.

He did promise to overhaul the tax code, allow younger people to privatize a portion of their social security, and expand medical savings accounts; so I can make it through without screaming obscenities at the television. Hey Mr. Bush, if we’re not going all the way for the NST, I sure would be OK with another tax cut. My biggest satisfaction was his promise to continue his military doctrine and troop support; and in the grand scheme of life, that is really the only thing that matters this year anyway. Both sides of the aisle can debate whatever issues they want, but if one drooling idiot Islamofascist gets his hands on a nuke and sets it off in this country, it is all over but the crying. Everything else goes away, and we’re all dead.

In sum, I believe the Republican Convention was the vast success that the Democrat Convention was not. I watched all I could, came away from the Democrat affair feeling not particularly worried, and finished off the Republican event feeling absolutely energized…even if it meant sleep depravation in the interim. I can say with a smile that I’m glad this four year part of the ordeal is over, and am happier still to return to our regularly scheduled blogging program.


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