The RNC: a Treat

Bill Neinast

Treats are generally fleeting.  Take a Blue Bell ice cream cone as an example.  The treat lasts only until the last bite is swallowed.

An exception to this short life rule occurred last week.  No one has mentioned it so far.  Pundits are churning out words on who said what at the Republican National Convention.

The treat from the convention that is being ignored is the subliminal theme still echoing from Tampa.  Only the most jaded class warriors can avoid savoring that treat.

Undergirding the rhetoric is the picture of what this great nation was, can be, and should be.  All the words from all the sources added a bit more detail to the picture.

What is depicted is a capitalist nation of freedom energized by a stream of hard working entrepreneurs and immigrants.

Start with Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina.  Ignore her words.  Consider her life story.

Haley’s parents immigrated from India and started a business from their own home.  Their Exotica International, an upscale clothing firm, is now a multi-million dollar company. 

She earned an accounting degree at Clemson University and then worked in the private business sector with FCR Corporation, a waste management and recycling firm.   The title of her book, Can't Is Not an Option, says it all.

Consider next the story, not the words, of the first female governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez.  According to her profile on the governor’s web page, she “comes from a hard-working, middle-class family. Her father and mother started a security guard business with $400 in their pockets, building their business with Susana’s mother doing paperwork in the family kitchen and Susana working as a security guard while attending college during the day.”  That company now has 120 employees in several states.


She won a number of awards as an outstanding prosecutor while serving as an assistant district attorney in her home county.  When she was fired for testifying against her new boss in an investigation, she claimed to be a Democrat. When she decided to run for the office of District Attorney, however, she filed as a Republican.

In her words, the reason for the party switch was, “It was more about being true to who I was and my values than anything else."

Two other stars in the Republican Party who cannot be overlooked in this painting are Condoleezza Rice and Marco Rubio.  Some of their words have to be considered in putting the finishing touches on this treat of a picture.

Anyone who was not moved by Rice’s notes about her background will never understand America.  She was reared in Birmingham, Alabama, the most segregated city in the U.S.  Her mother could not take her for an ice cream cone in the leading stores of that city, but she was always told that she could become President of the United States.  Here she is today, the first female Black American to serve as Secretary of State, the highest unelected position in the government.

Rubio is another first-born American of Cuban immigrants.  His parents came to this country for the freedom and opportunities available.  Among other jobs, his father worked as a bartender.

He summed up that background by noting that this father had served bar in the back of halls like the one the delegates were currently in so that he, Marco,  could stand at a podium in the front of the hall as a United States Senator.

White kids painting this picture were definitely in the minority.  One of those was Paul Ryan, the Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States.

Consider his background.  He worked the grill at a McDonald’s and mowed lawns for money as a teenager and never thought of himself as disadvantaged. 

His father died when he was 16 and his mother, Betty, was 50.  Betty then went back to school to get certification as an interior designer and established her own interior design business to support the family.

His early career involved serving as interns and aides with various congressional staffers and Congressmen. Through these experiences he has developed into one of the leading experts on federal budgets.

So here’s the perspective.

Last week’s Republican National Convention proved that the class warriors’ assertion that the Republican Party is the party of rich white men is a lie.  Nearly all on the Republican stage last week were minorities--Black, Hispanic, and Indian from modest backgrounds.

The most important part of the picture coming out of that convention, however, was that Republicans do not put individuals into classes and pit those classes against each other.  Instead, they admire individuals for their work ethic and desire to move ahead.

That personal responsibility is the foundation of a free capitalistic America. 

Unfortunately, that foundation is being chipped away by programs that attempt to divide the wealth of the nation equally between workers and shirkers. 

If the federal deficit is not reduced and the budget is not balanced by reigning in runaway entitlements designed to share the wealth, the treat mentioned in the first paragraphs will be as fleeting as that of a Blue Bell ice cream cone.


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