Opinion

Republicans fail to deliver diversity

The Democratic and Republican National Conventions are more than quadrennial cheer fests where each party’s presidential candidate officially accepts his or her nomination.

The conventions give each party the chance to showcase why its agenda is the best choice for America. Expectedly, each party only speaks highly of itself, meanwhile mudslinging the opposing party – unbiased truths are fallacies at best.

However, each party may use its respective convention to define its image heading into the election season, and the Democrats did the job of painting themselves in a favorable light among the average American this year. By utilizing an array of diverse speakers, the Democrats marketed themselves to the greater American public better than the Republicans.

The Republicans did not put together a diverse display of keynote speakers. The First Lady of Puerto Rico, Luce Vela Fortuna, introduced Ann Romney before her speech and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introduced Mitt Romney before his address, but the Republicans largely failed to deliver speakers and speeches that would resonate well with middle-class Americans.

To his credit, Gov. Chris Christie, a man known for his bold and fearless public speaking, tried to connect to the greater public through his tale of a humble beginnings as he was born to a low income and hardworking, Irish father and Sicilian mother. But, Christie’s address was regarded by many as a self-serving and self-promoting monologue that did not speak to the greater Republican Party’s commonality or the subsequent dedication to the average American.

Ann Romney was also a bit off-key in her address. Earlier this year she was criticized for being out of touch with reality when she said that she and Romney had to sell stocks in college to “make ends meet.”

Rather than attempt to enhance her favorability with a public that seemingly regards her as a housewife who does not understand the hardworking American’s story, Mrs.Romney opted to play to her housewife status and speak of the love she shares with her husband and family as pictures of them filled the screen behind her.

The Democrat speakers did their job in reaching out to a diverse American public. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro reached out to immigrants as he spoke of being from a grandmother who held menial jobs in order to give her daughter a better life.

First Lady Michelle Obama, spoke well about education, healthcare and jobs which resonated with the majority of middle class individuals and families. Former President Bill Clinton responded directly to Paul Ryan’s accusation of the Democrats silence about their record as Clinton spoke of how the Democrats are responsible for 18 million more American jobs than Republicans over the past 52 years.

Perhaps, strategically, more non-white elderly attendees were caught by cameras throughout the DNC than the RNC.

With election day around the corner, the Republican Party did not do a good job omarketing themselves to a diverse American population.

Christopher Ivory is a second year law student.

September 12, 2012

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Christopher Ivory


3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Republicans fail to deliver diversity”

  1. Chris Ivory says:

    @Madi, thank you very much.
    @Jahneille, I think the “middle” is broader than you’re defining it and it includes a big working class, which is why addressing the middle class is usually at the top of presidential candidates’ agendas. You have to think that over the last 30 years the average CEO went from making 30 times as much as the average employee to 300 times as much today. There will always be a poor and upper class, but the movement, or stagnation, of the middle class, which is the driving force and majority of our economy, is what has been the difference in our economic woes lately. That is why prioritizing the middle is of so much importance, though I don’t disagree that the needs of the poor and super wealthy are important as well.

  2. Jahneille says:

    Good article. I agree that the democrats were more convincing and sincere in their broader public appeal. However, I do not believe that the plight of the middle class should be the standard of judgement. People mistakenly believe that middle class concerns are all encompassing since they are by definition “in the middle.” This is not true. Working class citizens have needs as well, and theirs are inevitably distinct from those of the middle class. While the democrats are closer to addressing these issues, I believe that neither party has sufficiently done so.

  3. Madi Rodriguez says:

    Great article. I couldn’t have said it better myself. We seem to have the same point of view regarding the conventions.

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