Gordon: Democrats must do more than criticize Republicans at convention

By Oakley Gordon, College Democrats Chair

This week, Denver is hosting one of the most important and exciting political conventions in American history. As Democrats from around the nation gather to officially nominate Senator Barack Obama as their candidate in the 2008 race for the presidency, America moves one step closer to restoring the national security and economic stability which has been so severely jeopardized in the last seven and a half years.

There is little doubt in my mind that the convention will go very well. While some worry (or perhaps hope) that the proceedings will break down into a riot between the victorious Obama delegates and the defeated Hilary Clinton delegates, I believe that the convention will ultimately prove to be triumphant moment of unity for the Democratic Party. All but the most bitter Clinton delegates will realize that this election is an opportunity to begin undoing all of the harm that the Bush administration and congressional Republicans have done to our country this decade. Sen. Clinton and the vast majority of her delegates will not jeopardize this chance to get America back on track by putting a Democrat and a great leader like Sen. Obama in the White House.

At this convention, America will also get a good look at Sen. Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware. Sen. Biden has been a champion of working class Americans for over two decades in Washington. Additionally, as the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he brings decades of foreign policy experience to the Democratic ticket. He is a man of immense character and experience who will be a strong and intelligent second-in-command during his tenure as Vice President.

For this convention to be a truly great success, however, the Democrats must do more than criticize Republicans for causing or ignoring so many of the problems with which we will have to deal in the coming years. They must commit themselves to confronting and finding solutions to climate change, global terrorism, our teetering economy and the diminishing amount of faith that Americans have in their government. It is these solutions which so often get drowned out in the partisan bickering between the two parties.

The convention will present the Democrats with the opportunity to showcase their plans for greater government accountability, social justice, education, consumer protection and environmental preservation.

Once this convention is over, America will be left without a doubt that Sen. Obama is the man we need to be the President of our great nation. The Democratic Party will have shown that it is ready for its turn in the seat of power and that its members will handle the responsibility of leadership with the honor, honesty and competency worthy of high office. It will be a very hard act for the Republicans to follow next week when they meet in Minnesota

As Sen. Biden said on Saturday, “The reckoning is now.”

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Phil Cannon