5 Positive Things You Won’t See at the Democratic Convention

Quote from George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”


Freedom demands empowered and informed thinking. Following is a list of five positive things you could, but will not see at this week’s Democratic National Convention. While the balloons are falling for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, much more is really going on.

I’m not picking on the Democrats. We will the same missed opportunity for positive change at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in a couple of weeks.

  1. Democracy – there has been a lot of talk of a last-minute Hillary coup at the convention. I’m not saying that would be a good or a bad thing. I’m just saying it’s not going to happen.
  2. Pro-Peace Speeches – wasn’t one of Mr. Obama’s original appeals his opposition to the war? Now he seems to be doing a bait and switch on the war. Afghanistan is a good war and Iraq is a bad war. There will be no questioning of whether or not the U.S. should cease pursuing war around the world.
  3. A Call to Undo Domestic Spying – Mr. Obama could pledge to undo the abusive expansion of the internal spy apparatus, but he will not. He put crazy talk like that to rest with his vote on FISA reauthorization.
  4. Freedom of Speech – the practice of setting up free speech zones far from cameras and politicians continues. The premise here is you can have your First Amendment as long as it is where no one can hear you. It seems vaguely reminiscent of what the Chinese did at the Olympics for protestors.
  5. Lower Taxes – you’re not going to see calls to lower taxes on ordinary Americans dealing with high fuel prices, high food prices, and high healthcare costs.

I bring up these things not to be negative, but to point out that we have a lot of room for positive change in the American political system. We have slowly drifted from our core values of freedom and there is no place like the political party conventions to be reminded of it.

In a couple of months, we will see the power of the two major parties again. They will deny third, fourth, and fifth parties (parties that may receive hundreds of thousands to millions of votes in November) from standing on the same stage and engaging Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain in open debate. Open debate and discussion, isn’t that what freedom is all about? Why are they so against it?

Maybe this year more people will want an answer to that question.

Ultimately, I’m optimistic. I believe the American people are becoming aware of what they have lost and are going to demand it back soon.

As this empowered thinking and tide of wisdom grows, I can only wonder if the Democrat and Republican parties will adapt to a more open system or become historical relics.

Stay inspired!
Ray

Obama Nomination Fulfills American Dream – But Will He Live Up to Promised Change? – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday June 4, 2008

 

This morning all Americans can take pride in the fact that we have taken a step forward. The promise of the American political system has been, for the moment, realized.

With the apparent nomination of Democratic Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States, America has finally moved beyond a past filled with hypocrisy on such issues.

Change is a wonderful, positive thing. Promised, but unrealized, change can be very demoralizing. The American people (and the world) are eager for an American President to bring the former right now, but are understandably wary of more unfulfilled promises and false hopes. 

So which kind of president would Barack Obama be?

He says the right things.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

BARACK OBAMA, speech, Feb. 5, 2008

 

We are at an historic moment. For better or worse, Barack Obama stands at the center of that moment. What Barack Obama decides to do with his historic opportunity remains to be seen.

He swept through the primary season calling for change, change, and more change. Given the status quo on many topics, it’s not hard to see why people are clamoring for change.

Obama’s challenge is to demonstrate that his brand of change goes beyond WHO he is and translates to what he will DO. While his milestone victory is exciting, what he will do for this country is of much more lasting concern. Does he truly recognize the issues of the day and is he willing to transcend political orthodoxy to address them?

Among the questions Mr. Obama will have to answer:

  • Does he understand that Americans want energy options that empower them to make smarter energy choices for the environment? They do not want an environmental nanny state that monitors and taxes every out breath.
  • Does he understand that Americans want to work with our neighbors while maintaining the integrity of our borders?
  • Does  he understand that Americans are willing participants in a global economy, but that the benefits must flow both ways?
  • Does he truly understand the folly that has been U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere or does he think he can just implement in a “smarter” way ala John Kerry in 2004?
  • Will he hold to his promise to use meaningful dialogue to resolve world issues or will he bullied by his advisors into “acting presidential” and continuing the easy use of the marines to solve all problems?
  • Does he plan to abruptly reverse The USA Patriot Act and other unconstitutional directions that the nation has been going or will he remain silent and allow them to continue?
  • Does he have a strategy for bringing monetary policy back into the control of the American people, our representatives, and The Constitution?
  • Will he give the American people a say in multinational agreements now in process that impact our lives? Will he implement a transparent process for these discussions?
  • Is there really any difference in electing him over John McCain? Is there really any difference between the two major parties or have they merged into a kind of two-headed establishment party?
  • In two years, will we be able to tell the difference between his policies and George W. Bush’s? Will they be making a positive difference in our lives?

These are REAL questions and the jury is clearly out on these and many more issues important to the American people.

The American people want a real change in direction and not just a change in the messenger. We want action not lip service on those changes. We want specifics not broad generalities.

The voters’ challenge, especially those who have helped create the Obama tsunami, is to test the level of change he truly represents. It is the American voters’ responsibility to demand substance and commitment to that change. “Better than McCain” is not an acceptable measure for our next leader. We have gone down that road before and we have found only disappointment. 

Congratulations, Mr. Obama! Today you can take pride in your accomplishment and we in ours. Tomorrow the proving begins. Are you an agent for change or just the appearance of it? We are all looking forward to finding out.

Stay inspired!

Ray

Giving Barack Obama His Due – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday February 26, 2008


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A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club, Selection 61)




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obama.gifBarack Obama. His name seems to be on everyone’s lips these days. He has definitely been successful in (ugly marketing phrase coming) “creating buzz”.

Four years ago when he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention there was talk that he might one day be a strong presidential candidate. No one anticipated it coming in this election cycle.

Afterall, Hillary Clinton was to be the next Democratic nominee and nothing in heaven or earth was going to stop her, if you listened to all the experts.

The experts did not anticipate Barack Obama. Mr. Obama is an outstanding orator. He is one of those rare speakers who can take a crowd and lift their spirits and raise their hopes. As he sweeps across the country like a Spring twister, he is doing just that to audience after audience.

What now seems inevitable is that Hillary Clinton has run into a buzzsaw of hope and optimism. The people are demanding something new and Senator Clinton only has more of the old to offer. Obama has taken 11 primaries and caucuses in a row and seems poised to leap Hillary Clinton’s Ohio-Texas firewall on his way to an historic nomination.

In previous posts, I have made clear my support for Ron Paul in this election cycle. His no nonsense and truthful description of the problems facing the United States are, in my mind, the best way forward. The Democratic big-government prescription proposed by both Obama and Clinton (as well as the big empire prescription proposed by McCain and mainline Republicans) seems to defy the Federal Reserves’ ability to print the money fast enough.

Still, I’ve listened and watched Mr. Obama with growing interest. He really does have some highly admirable characteristics as a speaker and a motivator. Many of us working in the field of human motivation and inspiration could take master lessons from him.

As Obama is now famous for saying, “Words really do matter.” People do need more voices out there offering the promise of a better tomorrow. Obama is filling a need for our nation right now. We have been desperate in recent years for a voice of hope and he is delivering. We’ve been existing on a steady diet of fear and more fear. That is toxic for a person and toxic for a nation.

Obama’s latest transgression, that has the establishment in both parties grimacing, is that he might actually talk to people on our “no talk” list. On this count, I am cheering. You cannot have peace or prosperity in the world when there are people you refuse to converse with. It is a ridiculous old line stance and Obama is rightly promising a new approach.

Barack Obama’s success, I believe, can be attributed to the fact that he is spreading rays of hope across the countryside. Even many Republicans now regard the Bush administration as years spent in the proverbial wilderness. Bringing hope in this envrionment is no small feat and deserves tremendous thanks. People are responding to Obama – the man – like flowers to the coming of Spring.

It is unfortunate that Barack believes government is the source of that hope. But for that one flaw, he might be the real deal. If we had a cabinet level position for motivation or inspiration, I think Barack Obama should be confirmed 100-0 by the Senate. There’s an idea – Secretary of Inspiration.

I wish Barack Obama only well. There is an increasing possibility that he could be the next President of the United States. From a domestic policy standpoint, that worries me. He seems a little nebulous on his position to undue the Constitutional damage created in the last few years. His spending proposals simply are not realistic given our monetary situation.

He does offer hope of a new direction in foreign policy. That is a positive that brings hope to millions. I hope he will follow through on those commitments.

However, I want to give him his due. He has added a positive perspective to this year’s election. For that, I salute him and offer my gratitude.

Be peaceful Be positive!

Ray

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Positive Political Poll Update – The Affirmation Spot

campaign08.jpgAbout four weeks ago, I began taking an unscientific poll asking readers a political question not being posed in the myriad of professional political polls being conducted right now.

The question was:

Which major presidential candidate do you believe has the most positive message for America in 2008 and why?

 Here are the results to-date. Please note that I began the poll before the slew of recent withdrawls. Nonetheless, the results are somewhat surprising for two of the five candidates still in this race.

Candidate with the most positive message:

  1. Barack Obama          43%
  2. Ron Paul                 21%
  3. Mike Huckabee        12%
  4. Hillary Clinton            6%
  5. John Edwards            6%
  6. Mitt Romney              6%
  7. John McCain              3%
  8. Rudy Guiliani              0%

As to the question of why the selected candidate is the most positive in this year’s campaign.

  1. Believability            18%
  2. Integrity                15%
  3. Hope                     15%
  4. Policies                  12%
  5. Truthfulness           12%
  6. Vision                    12%
  7. Principles                 9%
  8. Faith                       3%

If you’d like to add your voice to this discussion, click the following link to take the poll.

Take the positive presidential poll


Take a hypothetical presidential election poll




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Who Is The Most Positive Presidential Candidate in 2008? – The Affirmation Spot for January 26, 2008


copy-of-ray_hawaii1.jpgWhat Ray’s reading right now:

Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place




campaign08.jpgToday’s post is short and sweet.I want to know who you believe is the most positive major presidential candidate in this year’s race. I’m trying to get a sense of who people believe is the most positive (not necessarily who they plan to vote for) presidential candidate in 2008.






Quick two-question poll. Who is the most positive candidate remaining in the race? Why do you believe this person is the most positive candidate?

  • Mitt Romney
  • John McCain
  • Barack Obama
  • Ron Paul
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Mike Huckabee
  • John Edwards
  • Rudy Guiliani
  • None of the Above (write in your own candidate)



Cast your vote by leaving your comment here.

Be Peaceful Be prosperous!

Ray

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