Noted author and Columbia University professor Farah Jasmine Griffin officially brings our convention coverage to a close.
Convention season is over. Both conventions were historic. The Democrats presented the nation with its first black nominee for president. The Republicans gave us our second woman vice presidential nominee.
Now the real work begins. I fear it is going to be nasty.
If their convention is any indication, the Republicans are going to fuel fear and resentment. They warn Americans against so-called "Eastern elites," the media, the educated, those who live in cities and community organizers. They insist that a Democratic administration will guarantee an attack by terrorist extremists.
The unemployment rate has reached a five-year high of 6.1 percent under a Republican administration; they assert that you will lose your job if the Democrats win. In spite of their rhetoric of change, in spite of nominating a talented woman and a "maverick" man, this seems to be the same old party. This is the party of Richard Nixon, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove; it is not the Party of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.
This is not change. This is more of the same, only worse.
The 2008 Republican Party platform is against a woman's right to chose and gun control. It defends the Bush tax cuts. While finally acknowledging global warming, the platform doesn't see a role for government in addressing the crisis.
(Sarah Palin wants to take polar bears off of the endangered species list!) It sees immigration as a national security issue and treats undocumented workers as criminals.
Those who hoped McCain would be different ought to be disappointed.
Even if he were holding true to his maverick identity he still presents major problems. Given his own compelling autobiography, one would expect him to support measures that benefit our veterans. He has voted against increased funding for veterans and military families. He has voted against efforts to improve medical care for veterans or to provide mental health services to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
In an effort to appeal to disaffected supporters of Clinton, Republicans make note that women are not single-issue voters. By this, they mean Clinton supporters care about more than abortion rights.
They are correct. In fact, believe it or not, some Clinton supporters and a number of Democrats who support Obama are pro-life. However, beyond abortion, both McCain and Palin favor abstinence-only sex education. He doesn't think women need equal party protection, they simply need "education and training." That's not change we can believe in.
Perhaps some of those "hardworking, blue collar" Americans who supported the shot-drinking, hunting Hillary Clinton will be drawn to the McCain-Palin ticket. But those who care about the progressive issues for which Clinton has fought most of her life have to think twice. Their anger at their candidate's treatment is certainly justifiable.
Handing our country over to the retrograde politics of the current Republican Party is not.