What Do Americans Want?

September 3, 2008 Updated: October 1, 2015

A message board at Denver's Invesco Field during the Democratic National Convention on August 28. (Mary Silver/Epoch Times)
A message board at Denver's Invesco Field during the Democratic National Convention on August 28. (Mary Silver/Epoch Times)
As I was packing to leave Denver, I picked through the toys in my AT&T/Coca Cola DNC 2008 souvenir gift bag with a faint echo of the emotion a child feels sorting through his Christmas stocking. What do the American people want most, I thought, as I attached the Ford Escape hybrid compass key ring to my MacBook laptop case?

Is it immediate oil drilling? Better transportation infrastructure? Or developing alternative sources as the gift bag windmill lapel pin from an energy company suggests?

Is it responsibly ending the war, winning the war, free universal health care, affordable college, jobs, lower taxes, higher taxes, paying down the national debt, an end to partisan rancor?

We had been to the mountaintop at Invesco/Mile High stadium.

Seeing Barack Obama accept the nomination 45 years after Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream Speech was truly moving.

His refusal to question John McCain’s patriotism was moving. Again and again, speakers said they honor McCain’s service and sacrifice, but disagree with his proposals for the country.

That is one of the things we want. We want courtesy. We want respect. It was one of the reasons George Bush was elected, you may remember. He promised to restore respect to the White House.

One of the reasons people support Senator McCain is his military background, a background that represents courtesy, courage, dignity, and keeping promises.  He is said to be a maverick, doing what he thinks is right without toeing the party line. He says he is solid, honest, not like that silver tongued charmer from the Democrats. He says the soldiers in Iraq have asked him to let them win, just let them win.

One of the reasons people support Senator Obama is his promise to listen, to use reason, to make fair policies. He says his mighty fund raising is from small donors, individuals who want change. He says he is not hostage to corporations and lobbyists like the candidates of the Republican Party.

As I listened to speeches in the Pepsi Center, or used the Qwest communications network to file my reports, I knew what we want most of all. We want our choices to be real.

Jello Biafra put it best at a protest at the University of Colorado. ‘I won’t be Clintoned again,’ he said, claiming that Bill Clinton promised to look out for workers, for ordinary people and for human rights, then completely sold out to corporate wishes. On President Clinton’s watch, a punitive welfare reform bill, NAFTA, and allowing China to join the World Trade Organization, undercut everything he had campaigned on.

Whether Mr. Biafra is your cup of political tea or not, you know job losses overseas and our debt to China accelerated since China joined the WTO. So did media silence about the persecution of Falun Gong. Not what Clinton promised when campaigning.

Corporate control of the political process is what the American people do not want. “Big corporations are a far worse master than big government, and far more difficult to influence,’ said Robert Roten said in a review of The Corporation. The 2004 documentary said corporations are sociopathic entities, bent solely on profit. Not all politicians are in their pockets, but their influence is big, and it can make all the things we think we are voting for empty.

The corporate presence was clear at the convention. Yet there was hope. As the tears dried on my cheeks after hearing Congressman John Lewis speak, an image flashed on the jumbo screen.

To learn about Obama’s education proposal, text to NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND.FOR REAL, it said.

That is what the American people want.

Please Be For Real, Senator Obama. Please Be For Real, Senator McCain.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Mary Silver
Mary Silver
Mary Silver writes columns, grows herbs, hikes, and admires the sky. She likes critters, and thinks the best part of being a journalist is learning new stuff all the time. She has a Masters from Emory University, serves on the board of the Georgia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and belongs to the Association of Health Care Journalists.