Help is on the way, I think

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 31, 2004

For the first time in a long time I skipped the majority of the Democratic National Convention.

I’ll skip the Republican National Convention next month as well.

I’ll be the first to admit that I lean towards the Democratic Party more than any other group.

I have always considered myself a Democrat, but I was a Ronald Reagan fan as well.

I can’t say that party leaders have always left me feeling proud, but unlike some,

my party loyalty never changes so that I can advance in any way.

I was recently amazed that this one guy changed from being a George W. Bush fan to suddenly wanting to vote Democrat.

It’s not about what the two parties stand for, but rather who he hangs out with on the town.

Don’t you just really love a good speech that galvanizes people.

I recall Sen. Ted Kennedy’s speech from 1980 when he conceded defeat to President Jimmy Carter.

His voice breaking through most of the speech, near the end, he began to find the voice that served him and his brothers so well. And by the time he finished, his words had become part of the American mainstream.

They were: &uot;&uot;the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.&uot;

Even today, I still get chill bumps when I see a tape of this speech.

And please remember that at the time it was given, I was a mere 10- years-old.

Another speech I studied in American Rhetoric in college was a speech by Congresswoman Barbara Jordan who also made her mark at the conventions.

One of the greatest passages from a speech I’ve seen were the following words: &uot;That we will cease to be one nation and become instead a collection of interest groups: city against suburb, region against region, individual against individual. Each seeking to satisfy private wants.

If that happens, who then will speak for America?

Who then will speak for the common good?&uot;

So I guess what was true in 1976 is true today.

This presidential election is not about who can spend the most money or who has the better hair.

When we enter the voting booth in November, we will have to consider everything that tears us apart and what it will take to build us up.

It’s a dangerous world and since the Soviet Union crashed and burned, let’s face it, the U.S. is now the one nation on the planet that everyone else either loves or hates.

Yes, we are a diverse nation, but sadly with each passing day there are more people who are trying to tear us apart rather than build us up.

So this November I will vote for the man I believe will answer these questions:

Who will speak for us? Who will speak for you? Who will speak for me?

Who will work tirelessly for the cause of ALL the American people and not just those deemed as worthy?

And who will work to make sure that no matter how dark the hour, how horrible the scenario, that hope does indeed survive and that our American way of life truly lives on.

Jay Thomas is the managing editor of the Greenville Advocate.

He can be reached by phone at 334-383-9302, ext. 136 or via email at jay.thomas@greenvilleadvocate.com.