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Different senses of life

September 2, 2008 - Lee Smith
Watching some of the Democratic National Convention recently, and particularly Barack Obama's speech, I was struck by the familiarity of the rhetoric. Obama is supposed to be the agent of change, but his speech was boilerplate Democrat. It could have just as easily have been given by Al Gore or John Kerry.

What Democrats, or their presidential candidates anyway, have in common, seems to be a sour view of life. They're pessimistic on the economy, the exertion of military force, environmental issues. They see crises and dangers in health care, in civil liberties. It almost seems as if this is an emotional conspiracy. Many people in life are negative or worriers. Democrats tap into this angst.

I contrast this with the rhetoric of someone like Ronald Reagan, who was positive and saw the good in life and in America. The emotional outlook was hopeful. I think Bill Clinton learned a lot from this. I remember him saying something to the effect of, "Whatever is wrong with America can be fixed by what is right with America." That's pretty strong praise — and a pretty optimistic view — of this country coming from the left. Bill Clinton won two terms as president.

Looking through recent newspapers, I noticed quite a bit of good news: Crude oil and gasoline prices are down; gross domestic product grew at 3.3 percent in the April through June quarter; 1 million fewer people lack health coverage; U.S. exports have been soaring; existing home sales were up in July; orders to factories for durable goods such as appliances and machinery were up in July. The United States did not suffer a recent recession, nor are we in one now. Oh, and the U.S. has prevailed in Iraq.

I didn't hear any of this listening to Barack Obama. I think that is strange and dishonest on his part.


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