Condoleeza Rice’s RNC speech resonates with voters of color for its inclusion, truthfulness and ‘presidential’ delivery

LatinaLista — As is typical during political party conventions, minutes after key speeches are made in front of the jubilant party faithful wearing their political allegiance literally on their sleeves (head, face, feet, etc.), critiques of the speeches and the orators start flowing.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on August 29, 2012.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Last night was no exception.

Yet, it wasn’t until Paul Ryan delivered his speech that the critiques started fast and furious and they’ve been going strong. What bothers most people, outside the Republican Party, is the level of inaccuracies Congressman Ryan chose to include in his speech.

Headlines have been calling out the congressman though it’s highly doubtful, ala Michelle Bachmann, that he will recognize, publicly or privately, the ‘errors’ he committed. Headlines like the following lead to the assumption that he has set himself up to be challenged on the campaign trail and in the vice presidential debates come fall — as should any politician who thinks they’re smarter than the American people.

Ryan Speech Full of Errors: Obama Team, Checkers

Did Paul Ryan bend the truth? And does it matter?

Obama Campaign Shreds ‘Lies’ in Ryan Speech

The Ryan Record and the Ryan Speech

Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech Ignites Media War Over Facts

Ryan’s speech was ‘misleading and dishonest’

Never before, that I can recall, has any politician been so under fire for “political untruths” delivered in a single speech. And yet, while the same pundits are also saying the Ryan’s speech, however unfactual, was also very effective in finally getting the delegates excited.

But if there was one speech last night that really proved to serve as a hopeful beacon into the future of what a Republican presidency can mean for the nation, it was that of former Secretary of State’s Condoleeza Rice.

Ms. Rice delivered a speech that was truly all-inclusive of who the United States of America is today. She didn’t waste her time, or viewers’ time, blasting Democrats or Obama or inflating her own ego, she talked to the American people about issues that impact everyone, not just a certain demographic or income level.

But the American ideal is indeed endangered today. There is no country, no not even a rising China, that can do more harm to us than we can do to ourselves if we fail to accomplish the tasks before us here at home.

More than at any other time in history – the ability to mobilize the creativity and ambition of human beings forms the foundation of greatness. We have always done that better than any country in the world. People have come here from all over because they believed in our creed – of opportunity and limitless horizons. They have come from the world’s most impoverished nations to make five dollars not fifty cents- and they have come from the world’s advanced societies – as engineers and scientists – to help fuel the knowledge based revolution in the Silicon Valley of California; the research triangle of North Carolina; in Austin, Texas; along Route 128 in Massachusetts – and across our country.

Ms. Rice went on to observe the truth of what is happening in the US today:

Let me ask you, though, today, when I can look at your zip code and can tell whether you are going to get a good education – can I really say that it doesn’t matter where you came from – it matters where you are going. The crisis in K-12 education is a grave threat to who we are.

My mom was a teacher – I have the greatest respect for the profession – we need great teachers – not poor or mediocre ones. We need to have high standards for our students – self-esteem comes from achievement not from lax standards and false praise. And we need to give parents greater choice – particularly poor parents whose kids – most often minorities – are trapped in failing neighborhood schools. This is the civil rights struggle of our day.

The truths that Ms. Rice spoke rang loud for voters of color and were only met with polite applause from the convention’s crowd because she spoke “inconvenient truths.” Truths that shouldn’t make one side feel victorious over the other but truths, that once acknowledged, can be addressed and solved.

Ms. Rice’s speech may not have evoked ovations or thunderous applause but she spoke the truth — and that is all the American people, and any nation, wants from their leaders and deserve.

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2 Comments

  1. Gabriela Valle said:

    You’re kidding right??? “truthfullness” Where was that?? That her delivery is not loud doesn’t take away the fact that she continues the right/conservative attacks on education. She say she respects teachers but immediately points to the “bad ones” and when they say parents need “choice,” conservatives mean their national efforts to undermine public education with the very same attacks on teachers and their unions… I wonder what speech you heard???

  2. Latina Lista said:

    Having conservative principles doesn’t mean a person can’t be truthful. Unfortunately, her party peers are setting an extremely bad example. We can disagree with one another’s politics but having conservative or liberal principles shouldn’t be used as a label synonymous with lying, from either side.

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