A DIFFERENT PRESCRIPTION
Maybe it's just me, but the DNC Convention speech that was more interesting to me last night was given by Keynoter and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, not the much anticipated speech by Hillary Clinton.
The latter speech of course got most of the media attention, given the national obsession with the Clinton/Obama Presidential soap opera. And while it was well-delivered, with all the calculated nuances, it just didn't say anything new for this moderate Republican's taste.
So what did we do? Working together — a Democratic governor with a two-to-one Republican legislature and a whole lot of good folks who didn’t see themselves as either Democrats or Republicans, but as Virginians — we closed the budget gap, and Virginia was named the best managed state in the nation.
We made record investments in education and in job training. We got 98% of eligible kids enrolled in our children’s health care program."
Here's where it got interesting for me:
"We delivered broadband to the most remote areas of our state, because if you can send a job to Bangalore, India, you sure as heck can send one to Danville, VA and Flint, MI, and Scranton, PA, and Peoria, IL..."
Rather than just focusing on the same old, tired economic "solutions" that politicians from both sides of the aisle are fussing with, especially on the "to tax or not to tax" "rich people" question, it'd be useful if the national debate turned to the broader question of making domestic and foreign investment in the U.S. a lot more palatable than global alternatives.
We need it in so many areas, including manufacturing, infrastructure, technology, energy, education, agriculture, and services. And there are so many parts of the country that are well-suited for these investments and initiatives.
If these initiatives involve short and long-term corporate tax incentives, special development zones and other globally tried and true approaches, so be it. If it involves out of the box elements like taking a page from Canada's book and providing business and permanent visas to overseas investors who commit to make meaningful long-term investments in America, so be it.
We need to figure out how to turn the current negative of a weaker dollar into a positive, and leverage the natural attention that a relatively weak dollar attracts from overseas investors on it's own.
Encouraging investments in America, from investors everywhere would be a great step in the right direction. And a refreshing change of pace from the standard political fare this season from either side of the aisle.
Mark Warner also hits it on the head with his quoting former Virginia Governor and U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, towards the end of the speech:
"Towards the end of his life, Thomas Jefferson — the founder of our party — wrote one of his frequent letters to his old rival, John Adams. He complained about the aches of getting old, but what was on his mind was what life would be like for the next generation of Americans.
As Jefferson was ready to go to sleep, he closed his letter by writing: “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”"
And while Mark's ending of his speech following that quote was good, here's how my mind was going with that terrific quote and ending his speech:
"My fellow Americans, as dark as things may look today, we can indeed make the dreams of our future better than the history of the past seven years.
But it can only be done if we stop dreaming of how good things used to be, stop fighting amongst ourselves over woulda, coulda, shoulda, and start doing the things we need to be doing together to make a better future a reality.
Americans have made more unrealistic dreams a reality for more people than any nation on earth, and we can uniquely do it in this new century as well."
And then I woke up to watch the rest of the Convention proceedings.