The Case For Government Will Be Presented At Democratic National Convention

This presidential election is one of those well-defined match-ups between Democrats who understand the role government can have in the lives of people so to ensure social progress is attained, and Republicans who thrive on Ayn Rand and social Darwinism as a political roadmap.

Starting tonight in speech after speech there will be an attempt to underscore the rationale and purpose of government.  Too often those who continually deride government from the local level to the White House fail to understand the ways that program after program has assisted and benefited their lives.

For too many conservatives it is far easier to bitch then be reflective.

There is a most remarkable, and to the point column, that deals with the message Democrats must present to the nation this week from their convention about the role of government.

But some of the ammunition Mr Obama will need to fire back at his opponents – and to make the case for government – could be found at the Republican  convention itself. The first night was staged against the backdrop of a huge  portrait of Neil Armstrong, who had died on the eve of the meeting. But  Armstrong made it to the moon not because he “followed his dream” and founded a  small business – but because the federal government put him there. What is the  difference between Nasa, the revered space agency, and the dreaded “central  planners” derided by Mr Ryan?

The would-be vice-president argued that Mr Obama had embraced alien European  ideas that individuals are limited by their social circumstances. “I never  thought of myself as stuck in some station in life,” he boasted. But then both  Mr Ryan and (even more so) Mr Romney were born into comfortable circumstances – although both men did their best to emphasise anything resembling a struggle in  their lives.

By contrast Condoleezza  Rice, the former secretary of state, who was born a black girl in segregated  Alabama, made much less fuss of her much more remarkable story. Perhaps because  she really has made it from the toughest of backgrounds, Ms Rice was prepared to  accept an idea that Mr Ryan derided – that social circumstances make a  difference. Now a professor at Stanford University, she asked: “When I can look  at your zip code and tell whether you are going to get a good education, can I  really say it doesn’t matter where you come from?” Correcting this inequality of  opportunity, said Ms Rice, was the “civil rights issue of our time”. It is hard  to see how it can be done without some form of government intervention or  reform.



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