Friday, January 30, 2004

Session One is in the books

Session One of the W&L Mock Democratic Convention is in the books.

The opening comments were given by Thomas Menino, the mayor of Boston. This was the typical guilty, New Englander type of speech.

The first address of the day was given by the Democratic governor of Virginia, Mark Warner. Admittedly, Mr. Warner is fiscally conservative. As such, Mr. Warner spent a good deal of his address harping on the current administration's "borrow and spend" financial policies. I whole-heartedly agree that President Bush has been too willing to spend the people's money. However, no major candidate is running on a "spend less" platform. That being the case, I believe that "borrow and spend" is far better than the "tax and spend" policies that all Democratic candidates are putting forth. Mr. Warner did not endorse a particular candidate.

The second address was given by Ronnie Dugger, a writer who has contributed to such periodicals as Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker and The Nation. Mr. Dugger gave a speech to endorse Rep. Dennis Kucinich. While I thoroughly disagreed with Dugger's political views, I did admire his idealism. Dugger is what he is, and he is clearly an admirer of the social ideals of the far left. I can always at least respect a true believer.

The final address of the afternoon was given by the former governor and senator from Oklahoma, David Boren. Boren was an engaging speaker with excellent delivery. I thought that Boren made some excellent points about the importance of understanding history. I was also pleased to hear him remind the audience that no nation that has ever existed has used its military and financial power so selflessly for the good of so many as the United States has post-Cold War. However, Boren dulled that message by spreading the mistruth that our nation currently makes a policy of going it alone (I doubt Tony Blair, John Howard and the leaders of approximately 50 other nations would agree with that assessment). Then Mr. Boren went on to advocate caring more for our nation's children who are lost in foster care or are abandoned at hospitals. However, I think that it is woth noting that Mr. Boren did not mention caring for our nation's unborn by allowing them to live. Then Mr. Boren wrapped up his address by putting forth some deceptive statistics about how much wealth that the wealthy control in our nation (see Quote of the Day from 1/25/04). But Mr. Boren did not make it clear that the wealthy did not take that money out of the pockets of the poorest third of our society. Further, Boren did not inform the audience that the poorest segment of our society is also richer now than they were twenty years ago. But who needs truth when the rhetoric sounds so good?

All in all, Session One was an interesting and worthwhile experience.