The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of channel-flipping for me. Baseball, football and political conventions all happening at the same time nearly every night have just about done me in. I mean, how can I concentrate on sports when there’s so much free entertainment going on elsewhere?
Since I mostly watch cable rather than network news programs, I probably see and hear a lot more politics than I would otherwise. I know, for example, that the Democrats first took the words “God” and “Jerusalem” out of their party platform on Tuesday. Something about Americans using their “God-given potential” was deleted by the platform committee. And Jerusalem being recognized as the capital of Israel was also removed, because Jerusalem maybe isn’t really the capital of Israel.
By Wednesday, however, the words had been reinstated to reflect the president’s preference and to keep the platform’s language consistent with its 2008 version, we’re told. Israel says Jerusalem is its capital, but almost the entire rest of the world considers Tel Aviv to be its capital and that’s where they put their embassies.
Although I recognize the volatility of the issue for Israelis and Palestinians who also lay claim to Jerusalem, I guess I’d come down on the side of letting the majority of citizens of a particular country decide what they want to call their capital. That one’s an easier do than the other platform plank.
Is the American people’s potential really “God-given?”
Evidently, that was the only reference to “God” in the whole document (the Republicans had 12) and apparently without it, it was feared that people might assume and believe that Democrats don’t believe in God. That is, some people might assume and believe that Democrats don’t believe in Allah or Buddha or Vishnu.
And that would be pretty damaging to Democrats, it must have been determined.
I saw a cartoon recently. I think it might have been in The New Yorker magazine. Anyway, it depicted “God” telling His assistant not to bother Him just then because, “I’ve got to help this guy make an 8-foot putt.”
Painting the “other” political party as God-less or inhumane has been fairly popular among top speakers in both conventions. It’s often been the conclusion to an otherwise positive sounding statement.
“Gov. Romney seems like a pretty nice guy, but you know… (he and Paul Ryan would sell your daughter to a heathen Chinese sex-slaver to make a 10 cent profit.)”
“President Obama is a really solid family man, but you know… (he hates America, and he wants four more years to complete the sale of this great country to an international, godless Marxist cartel.)”
It’s next to impossible to know, to really know, whose side God is on. But I’ll keep paying attention to the ads and the speeches and the debates over the next two months, and I’m sure I’ll be enlightened eventually.
Chris Daley is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. His column appears each Friday.