Home Featured Who Built It? Rice and Ryan Deliver Blows at the GOP Convention

Who Built It? Rice and Ryan Deliver Blows at the GOP Convention


What Did You Build?

“We Built It. We Built It. We Built It.” That has been the mantra and or rally cry for the past two days at this year’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. While that one-liner is overly pretentious and downright arrogant, it has shown that the Republican Party still doesn’t understand how this country really works. This country has been built through what I call a collective suffering on the backs of many. So when I hear “We Built It,” my mind instantly takes me back to the suffering of those black slaves, who crossed oceans unwillingly and then worked on plantations day and night amidst intense brutality. “We Built It” makes me think of Chinese men being forced to build transcontinental railroads so that America could finally complete its manifest destiny. “We Built It” makes me think of women marching down the streets of Washington declaring vociferously that they deserve the ballot too. “We Built It” makes me think of men, women and children being hosed, beaten with clubs and attacked by vicious police dogs just so that America might be fulfill its original intent of all men being created equal. So to hear the cacophonous cries of “We Built It” coming from Tampa so boldly is a bit disconcerting.  And, I am still waiting to hear what exactly those at the GOP convention would like to take sole ownership of having built. The rest of America will wait.

Rice the Rhetorician

My feelings for Condoleezza Rice have been nothing short of seesaw-ish since 2003. Let’s not forget that she was one of the chief architects of our colossal misjudgment with regards to Iraq. She defended and promoted our involvement in that nation as both National Security Advisor (2003-05) and then later as Secretary of State (2005-09). However, last night I can say was one of the moments that allowed me to remember some of the reasons that I truly admire Dr. Rice. That being because she exerts grace, poise, intelligence and articulation that is just simply amazing. She’s living proof of the American dream, and none of us can deny that no matter how much we differ politically with her.

I must admit that Dr. Rice delivered the speech of the night. Her address was one that truly galvanized a somewhat dull convention full of empty and inflammatory rhetoric. In fact it was so good that I felt it would be almost impossible for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to follow her and deliver his acceptance speech. The aspect that I liked so much about Dr. Rice’s address to the convention was that it was truly genuine from beginning to end and effective. In fact so much so that if I had known nothing about politics or this election I would have thought she was the person running to replace President Barack Obama. Her commanding presence showed strength and her words provided comfort it seems for many in the room and across the nation alike. She sought to heal some of the wounds that her party has seemingly inflicted with their vitriolic rhetoric and policies over the years when she mentioned immigration stating that:

“We must continue to welcome the world’s most ambitious people to be a part of us.  In that way, we stay young and optimistic and determined.  We need immigration laws that protect our borders, meet our economic needs, and yet show that we are a compassionate nation of immigrants.”

With that statement, Dr. Rice showed signs of true compassionate conservatism, one that her party has lacked since the election of Ronald Reagan. She also spoke to the educational woes that our nation faces when she passionately stated:

“And we need to give parents greater choice, particularly, particularly poor parents whose kids, very often minorities, are trapped in failing neighborhood schools.  This is the civil rights issue of our day.”

While I am not a huge proponent of charter schools taking away from our public schools systems of which I am product, I do believe that she was right when about this being the major civil rights issue of our day. A society that produces great thinkers and skilled workers leads the way; this is the way America reached the top and is the way she shall stay at the top.

Overall, Dr. Rice had a unifying tone in her remarks. While she did contrast the differences between President Obama and Governor Romney, she did so humanely and in a way that is becoming of a statesman. She spoke to ALL Americans last night, which should be the goal of every person who comes to that microphone. However, we know that is not the case. These conventions as a good friend put it are all “over hyped pageantry.” She accomplished what Paul Ryan should have sought to, had the voice and sounding board to, but chose not to do.

Stand Down Mr. Ryan, Stand Down

Paul Ryan was formally anointed as the Republican Party’s nominee last night as he accepted their nomination to be Mitt Romney’s running mate. Now, Paul Ryan pretty much fits the bill for everything you’d want from your parties Vice Presidential nominee. He’s young, intelligent, likeable and most importantly he’s the future of the party. I can almost undoubtedly say that should Mitt Romney lose this election to President Barack Obama in November that the mantle will be quickly passed to Rep. Ryan to lead the party back to victory in 2016.

However, for all the good the Rep. Ryan possesses, there is something worth pointing out as a fault and that is his inability to tell the truth. He lied on a few issues, specifically the Health Care Act (ObamaCare) as well as on Medicare. He claims that government runs the Health Care system when in fact that is false. President Obama’s plan provided subsidies to private insurance companies. That portion is what caused a lot of members of the President’s own party to scoff at the law because they wanted a public option since they couldn’t get the single-payer option that they so desperately wanted and rightfully so.

Rep. Ryan also lied on Medicare. I felt this was his woefully wrong to play politics with people, especially when he claims that the President does too much of that already. Ryan stated: “The biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly.” Here he is unfairly trying to paint the picture that the President has taken money out of Medicare to pay for his Healthcare plan, when this isn’t true. In fact, what Ryan should have said and what would have been true is that President Obama has cut all NEW spending on Medicare, which means that spending will remain at its current levels. However, this is what Ryan must do to paint the picture of President Obama as this evil socialist who doesn’t care about the plight of the elderly, when that is the furthest thing from the truth.

In his role as attack dog, Ryan embraced it openly in his address to his party last night. I say address to his party because that is exactly what it was, an address to his party. In that effort it was a good speech. It was effective in painting the picture of President Obama that Team Romney wants to paint. It was effective in galvanizing the party. It was effective in showing that he is a much more formidable candidate to go head to head with Vice President Joe Biden in any debate. Lastly, it was effective in really introducing Paul Ryan to all those that he had been relatively obscure to before last night. In all of this it was a good speech. However, Paul Ryan had the opportunity to do something much more and he balked terribly. He had the chance to speak in a more unifying voice that he is sometimes known for. He didn’t take the high road and allowed party politics to dictate the outcome. This was a time to heal the wounds that Mr. Ryan claims President Obama has inflicted on this nation, but he simply chose to use divisive and inflammatory rhetoric to further drive a wedge between those who wear blue and those who were red. By doing that he most certainly in my humble opinion alienated those who are stuck in the middle. Was he effective in bringing in independents is what we should base the merits of this speech on? And, if I were an independent I’d still be undecided after hearing Mr. Ryan attempt to make the case.

As a final thought, something that made me cringe was the fact that all of the speakers consistently claimed that somehow others are jealous of Mitt Romney’s success. Dr. Rice and Rep. Ryan both tried to make it seem as this is what the Obama campaign is doing when in fact that is NOT true either. What troubles many Americans and what I believe President Obama is alluding to when speaks of Governor Romney’s business background is that he is speaking in a way in which he wants to protect his wealth and those who have wealth already virtually leaving everyone out. This goes against the basic fabric of everything that America stands for. We all seek upward mobility and if the man who wants to be the leader of our nation speaks in a way in which seems he wants to block then yeah, a lot of Americans have the right to be jealous and angry. We can do better. We must do better.



  1. All I'm really concerned about is the fact that all of what you said in the introduction is true yet for whatever reason, the people who built this country have not transcended the mindframe that they own this country because of it. I can do anything I want to do. I can go anywhere I want to go. If I want to completely own this entire country than I'm going to own this entire country. I will never consider myself or the modern generation a slave nor do I pigeonhold myself to the bitterness of my ancestors being brought here involuntarily. I cherish those old customs and I cherish the culture I derived from and I want it part of my life and to always be part of my life, but in remembering those struggles and the beauty, I don't ever allow myself to view the world as still that way. There is entirely too much progress amongst black people for us to not be the quintessential Republican — someone stereotyped as wealthy, well off, conservative, stuck up, and a bit proud. If I spent my whole life working for something I'm going to have pride I'm going to feel good about myself and I'm not going to let anyone tear me down for it.

    1. Black people and immigrants built this country we shouldn't be so quick to insult someone who embraces the opportunities and success. Join the celebration if you built it. That's how I feel. I built something, a whole lot of stuff. I have a right to cheer. I'm not about to be sitting in the corny salty because I haven't built anything worth cheering for or because I don't look at myself and my people as having overcome struggle after struggle, tasted victory after victory. Dr. Rice is an awesome representative of that. Black people can have that life too. It's rather trivial to mention in a political forum but one of my favorite movies is Jumping the Broom with Paula Patton and Angela Basset. That wealthy black family is comforting. It's nothing to be ashamed of and it's not a cause or reason to hate someone or spite someone. You have bootstraps too.

      1. I don’t think most ppl are mad at condeleza for being rich and successful. If anything my of the articles I have read in regards of her speech, actually gave her props on her achievements and her familes participation in the civil rights movement . What ppl are giving her the -___- face for is that she’s backing candidates who are actively pushing agendas that technically go against who she is a black women.

        While I don’t live by the ” the man is keeping us down theory” I won’t ignore the injustices, opportunity gaps and discrimination that can affect the potential success of a certain groups. It’s easy for us to tell certain ppl to ” pull up their bootstraps” when we haven’t taken their situation into consideration. I believe in self accountability but I also believe in circumstance and enviornmental influence. To me decent black folks are mad at at other black folks getting rich, they’re mad that when certain ppl move on up, they act like the ppl beneath them are poor on purpose.

        1. I actually don't care. I really don't. My parents come from deep Alabama. Lynchtown. Racism. beat, broke, poverty, abandoned, abused, suffering, hardship. There is nothing anyone can tell me about their middle class struggle that makes me look at them sympathetically. and when I do attempt to empathize or speak from a perspective of having been there it's anger and rage and disrespect and insult after insult after insult after insult after insult. and not as an expression of 'yeah that's how I feel and what I'm going through!' it's TOWARDS me as a person for knowing how it feels and offering a word of kindness or wisdom or encouragement. Personal attacks. Unwarranted personal attacks. and being well aware of the struggle, having spent my entire life laboring with the men and women who are on their last leg and limb, having burnt myself out to help everyone but myself, I look at the average black person a certain way because the way I'm treated is completely undeserved and I'm tired of people's bull. You wanna treat me like I'm not a human being or intentionally look for one flaw to ride on as if I'm a bad person.

        2. "She knows she's awesome" is not a flaw. Stating my reality isn't boastful. I worked harder, I struggled more, I thought more deeply, I retained a better character and I whined about it significantly less than you did. I took myself seriously. I didn't squander my opportunities. That's why I think you're complacently middle class on purpose. and the few times I made the mistake of thinking 'oh we're all black so I can tell you how I really feel and there's a sense of camraderie' it turns out I'm being judged and acknowledged for every wrong thing ever known to man — regardless of it's true or not — and the obvious good of me goes inhumanely neglected. I will not be the scapegoat of your middle class problems. I'm smart enough to know you're stuck on purpose and no I will not create the falsehood of equality. but when you can treat me like you've got some sense and you can show me you're capable of greatness, I MIGHT be a sweetheart with a soft spot. but you aren't. so I'm not.

        3. Dr. Rice and even Michelle Obama have mastered, absolutely mastered making people feel equal to them while retaining respect. It's a mark of maturity. I don't wanna be that mature. You insult me I insult you harder. Maybe when I'm like 35 I can inspire people the way they do but for now, my hairs tied up and my sweats are pulled tight. I do believe Mrs. Romney knows what I'm talking about. and to me, I'm upper middle class and I will blow the top off the world when I'm able to. I look up and forward. Mid-middle class, lower middle class black people just wanna navigate middle class and make it easier to be there. That's how I feel about it. Cool with you if that's your thing but stop throwing salt rocks at me for searching for people who have the same aspirations as I do. You ever see the way people treat a black Republican? You could be canonized as a saint and still be a butt for it.

        4. I don't (and I don't think the previous poster) begrudges you, personally, your success nor that of Ms. Rice. I don't think it's either selfish or unwise to strive for the best and to keep on striving, nor to believe that everyone has the ability to achieve.

          I agree with your first post. I believe individually, we are all capable of owning this country. I am another example of someone who has risen despite starting off at a low place. My level of success may not compare to yours, but I feel relatively accomplished. I had to work hard, and take advantage of opportunities given. A lot of people don't do that- either purposely, or maybe they have given up. I wish that wasn't the case.

          On the other hand, there are systematic disparities experienced by people of color that I do not deny as I climb my way up. I've seen it and I desire to do something about it to help those that are coming behind me. You sound like you are trying to do the same. Which is great. I'm sorry that folks seem to not appreciate you for who you are and throw salt on your game. Don't allow it. Brush your shoulders and keep it movin.

          Where we differ I suppose is how we perceive the GOP and the poor/middle class. The GOP in my opinion is great in terms of inspiring people to accomplish as individuals, yet doesn't see the benefit of helping groups of people who experience discrimination or hardship. I also don't agree that the majority of middle class are lazy, or want to just take advantage and 'make it easier to be there'.

          I think there can be a great middle ground achieved..yet sometimes ppl within both parties are so fixated on being right all the time that they aren't willing to work together so that everyone is happy. The author of the blog was trying to allude to that with Ryan's speech. He missed a great opportunity..

        5. = )

          I appreciate that, a lot.

          "Where we differ I suppose is how we perceive the GOP and the poor/middle class. The GOP in my opinion is great in terms of inspiring people to accomplish as individuals, yet doesn't see the benefit of helping groups of people who experience discrimination or hardship. I also don't agree that the majority of middle class are lazy, or want to just take advantage and 'make it easier to be there'."

        6. I agree with you about that. I think there's a very, I won't say isolationist way of thinking but I do think it's very protective of those who have achieved certain levels of success while being 'every man for himself' towards other people. and I feel that way. People don't appreciate what I'm trying to do or how difficult it is they just make knee jerk assumptions and treat me accordingly. So after awhile of that I'm like…every man for himself. No. You can't be around me. No I won't help you. but for people who make the effort than I'm like oh cool, you're "one of me". It isn't even about your success matching mine it's about your effort and your understanding of mine. and I also agree that bickering amongst parties stagnates growt potential, the collective rise. That's why I like having black people in the Republican party. I would think it would inspire people to be in that circle they look out for.

  2. I didn't watch. But I enjoyed the post. You saved me some times by putting the bulk of what I missed here, lol.

    I loathe this time of year…cause I really hate politics and all the crap that comes with it.

  3. I can't say I've watched a second of the RNC. The most I've seen was on the televisions at the gym, on mute. Obviously I'm not missing anything.

    I still can't explain why Republicans are excited over a presidential candidate, known for achieving a perception of success by indebting companies, taking his cut, then leaving the company to hire someone else to pay the bills. Or the VP candidate, whose his plan balances the budget…in 2050.

    1. I'm not too sure about Romney but like how most people felt about Obama's charm, I find him funny. He actually makes me laugh and has a very polarizing, black and white way of speech — not that I follow the race with an Eagle's eye. I didn't go into politics as a career for a reason. The bickering and name calling is like….please stfu and make a decision. Thanks. but from what I have gathered from it he's very…how do I sugarcoat this. Unpopular in his opinion and I like that it polarizes. It makes decisions easier. That's why I believe Ryan got the VP position and even though it's going to take awhile, isn't the country like 4.7819 gazillion dollars in the wrong direction? Have you ever worked your way out of debt? It takes mad long.

      1. Not to mention the hundreds of millions of people who have to adhere to the plan and the thousands of differentiating opinions. That's a lot. It's going to take some time. Apparently, Romney has so much experience in accumulating debt he makes for a good President. and I'm only slightly being sarcastic about that. I don't think he's meant to be the President I think Ryan is when Obama's out of office. At least that's what I'd do in terms of strategy. Follow Obama up with a young guy with a plan. Condy for VP. She has a way with words and can get everyone on the same page.


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