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Delegates' radicalization

Op-ed: Democratic, Republican conventions exposed sociopolitical phenomenon that threatens US stability

Published: 09.10.12, 10:38 / Israel Opinion

Mitt Romney's speech in Tampa has been called one of the worst in the history of the Republican National Convention. The same has been said of Barak Obama's speech in Charlotte, which was a lackluster version of the great speeches he has delivered in the past. The president, once a master orator, did not make any inspirational statements. Pundits from both the Left and Right have dubbed the speech an "epic flop" and said it was "devoid of any substance" and "disappointing."

 

Remember the "Yes we can" slogan from the 2008 election campaign? This time Obama did not discuss change or hope. Instead he pleaded for an opportunity to continue what he started. Realistic, but lacking in passion.

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Both Obama and Romney remained vague on a number of key issues. Addressing the Iranian crisis, Obama said the Islamic Republic "must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions." This short sentence seems to mean that the US is committed to preventing a nuclear Iran, but actually it is a call for those countries who oppose a nuclear Iran to remain united. The statement can also be interpreted as an appeal to China and Russia not to undermine the sanctions, and it can also be viewed as a warning to Israel not to launch a solo strike that would damage this unity. The statement does not contain any threat against the regime in Tehran.

 

However, the two conventions did expose a new sociopolitical phenomenon. The cheering activists did not represent their parties' leadership or the candidates themselves. The Democratic activists have shifted to the left, the Republicans moved to the right, while Romney and Obama made every effort to position themselves in the center of their respective political movements.

 

The opposition to the addition of language calling Jerusalem Israel’s capital to the Democratic Party's platform accentuated the radical line of the party's delegates, most of whom are young, enthusiastic activists from the field. Their worldview is similar to that of the "Occupy Wall Street" protest movement, while the young delegates who attended the RNC are closer to the rightist "Tea Party" movement in their outlook. Between them lies a vast, dangerous chasm which threatens America's stability.

 

 

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