By Lou Aronson
We just returned from attending both the Republican and Democratic conventions in Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina. Both cities were very hospitable and overall the trips were exciting and eye opening.
What did we learn?
- There are a good number of people who care about the future of our country. They truly and deeply care.
- Both cities know how to have a good time
- The protesters were more visible in Charlotte than in Tampa; probably because Mr. Obama is the incumbent and not a nominee. We do wonder though if the protests are a sign of a Get Out The Vote problem for the Democrats.
- As for the protesters I would suggest maybe locating in areas where they aren’t diffusing their brand by standing near good people:
- Lastly we think that the fried chicken in Charlotte is better. So if in town please try out the King’s Kitchen
No sooner did the pols return from their quadrennial self-love fest that Congress got back to the business of doing absolutely nothing. This morning’s Politico Playbook reads like a bad Seinfeld episode, or, even worse a politico remix of Groundhog Day:
With the convention pomp and pageantry over, another production now begins on Capitol Hill - this one featuring meaningless show votes and theatrical hearings. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) will hold an oversight hearing this week titled: The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power. House GOP leaders will try to pass a bill to roll back automatic defense cuts - a bid to undo a law many of them supported in the first place. And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will continue to push a central plank of the Romney-Ryan campaign: a vote to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law.
I was struck by one other sad thought today. We have lost our way. We fight over small stuff and ignore big stuff. I wonder if we as a nation have the stomach to challenge ourselves to accomplish huge things and overcome extraordinary challenges. What caused this? Certainly I took little pleasure in the endless bloviations of self-promoting television personalities on jumboscreens scattered around watch party venues. It wasn’t listening to Al Sharpton or the other name droppers and blame givers. Rather it came from an obituary I read about a beach master.
Beach Master. What is a Beach Master? These guys were basically the traffic cops at Normandy on D-Day. Pretty thankless job in our view. I read today about Joe Vaghi a Beachmaster and decorated war hero from WWII who died on August 25at the age of 92.
- Joe led a D-Day invasion
- Joe was awarded a Bronze Star
- Joe saved lives
- Joe served in the reserves until 1959
- Joe started an architecture firm and raised a family in Bethesda
Joe did not ask to accomplish great things and never sought accolades for his accomplishments. I wonder if we, as a nation, can ever return to this state of character to do great things without being asked? And, when we do this to then not seek a statue for doing what we are supposed to do.