Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Being Real

The response that Cindy McCain received at the opening of the Republican National Convention was reminiscent to those of Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore. But what has she done? There Cindy McCain stood before a seemingly admiring crowd all decked out in a CoCo Channel-like gold dress with collar starched to the ears and strings of pearls as if she was at a Hollywood gala among not the likes of the impressive Meryl Streep or Glen Close but of the wonderfully coiffured yet fading Faye Dunaway--no disrespect intended.

Cindy McCain, by the way, spoke of Gustav relief (remember the images of Katrina?) while decked out in finery with a bit of aloofness. The image was a tad bit confusing. I guess it may be difficult to consider others when priviledged and when the image of a more youthful formidable "rival" looms in comparison. Age, however, has nothing to do with anything necessarily, except, of course, if you're in your early 70's, have had battles with cancer, and have selected a seemingly un-vetted vice-presidential candidate. Women...proudly bring America your years, your wisdom, your beauty, your good intentions. You have much to offer and the universe will respond favorably to this no matter your age.

But getting back to the thunderous seemingly adoring applause of the Republican National Convention audience. There was one major difference about Cindy McCain's appearance and the others mentioned above. The missing component was hope. There were no hopeful tearful eyes, no eagerness for change in the eyes of the attendees, as was the case upon the mere appearance of Barack, Michelle, President Clinton, Hillary or Vice-President Gore. In comparison, all of the noise, all the hoopla, in response to the coiffured dame seemed quite hollow indeed. (If you're thinking, "Well, of course not. She did not give a speech. Then why such applause? You have gotten the point exactly. We have not even heard her speak much besides to occassionally introduce her husband.) The air was stifled and staid; the claps were parched. Why?

Well, we don't even really know Cindy McCain. What has she done that would sincerely spontaneously prompt such thunderous applause to replies of "thank you, please sit down, thank you, thank you?" Yes, she may indeed be a nice lady and admired by her family and friends. There is no doubt about this. She may even have a foundation or two. But do we really know her? Probably not. Why then would she be deserving of such applause? Would someone please tell those in the audience at the Republican National Convention that the viewers will not be hood winked on even the smallest of details, but will insist on truth and reality at every turn. Perception is not necessarily reality.

Yes, as the wife of a major political candidate, Cindy McCain is deserving of respect, especially considering the possibility of her husband becoming the President of the United States. Her role as first spouse to assist her husband will be very important indeed. We will honor her role should she become the first spouse. But to go on and on with such applause, as was the case in the arena yesterday, was simply not believable. It struck me as odd and insincere. But, hey, I'm not given to high praise of just anyone anyway.

There must have been many discussions on how the Republican National Convention would be received after last week's near pitch perfect Democratic National Convention. Many of those in attendance yesterday was undoubtedly among the 38 plus million viewers who watched the convention last week. Those gathering this week are undoubtedly trying to put on the best possible face, especially with a truncated convention. This is a given. But overall we are weary of phony partisan political gestures, even the littlest ones, such as giving a 10 minute applause to one who has done little to my knowledge, save being the daughter of wealth (no inherent disrespect here) and appearing on stage adorned like a celebrity herself, well coiffured and tight.

Personally, among the two women standing, I appreciated Laura Bush's demeanor and dress and value the work she has done with education and children. (Maybe the applause was for her?) I also value what appeared to be Mrs. Bush's silent strength in handling storms relating to her husband and young daughters as they made their mistakes as first daughters. In the midst of a big political storm, Mrs. Bush een came to the assistance of Michelle Obama after she got heat for her comment about being proud to be an American for the "first" time. (I've written here about what that "first" time more than likely meant, as actually one of pride and not disrespect.) If the Republican National Convention crowd was applauding Cindy McCain for her great work we would sincerely like to know what she has done to make a difference. We'd all like to stand up and applaud too.

Whatever we do America, whatever our political beleifs, let's be real out of which will come the real change we need!

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