Democrats inspired, Republicans did not

What did the Republican Convention offer us to change our vote? I heard negative speeches with no solutions.

The GOP platform would offer no abortions in case of rape; in fact, a woman would have to carry and have the rapist's baby. Republicans do not tell us how they will get rid of the deficit; in fact, Mitt Romney suggested he could reduce the deficit by 50 percent in his second term as president. Yet, they are basing their campaign on the deficit, blaming President Barack Obama, who has been in office less than four years.

On the other hand, the Democratic Convention was very uplifting and inspiring. Democrats talked about personal responsibility in fighting the deficit and creating jobs. The economy is improving, and I believe next year the tide will turn.

Michelle Obama gave a very positive and moving speech.

My mind was changed because of what is going on around the globe. Obama has done a good job handling worldwide situations, while Romney does not understand foreign affairs.

Paul Del Chiaro

Antioch

Democrats proved Obama has nothing new to offer


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After watching the Democrats' convention, it is clear that President Barack Obama offers nothing more than the tired and stale policies that lead to the left's vision of a welfare state for all Americans -- the same policies that are killing Europe.

When Bill Clinton framed President Barack Obama's vision for America as "a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility," he failed to mention that too many people want to share someone else's prosperity without taking any responsibility.

The poster child for this is the war on poverty, which after 50 years has resulted in a higher poverty rate.

Four more years of Obama means $4 trillion more in debt, more unemployment, more oppressive regulations and the final destruction of what was once the best health care system in the world.

Instead of sharing the wealth, the Republicans want to create wealth by turning away from the crony capitalism championed by Democrats and restoring the opportunity to Americans to innovate and create as they did in the past.

The choice is between Obama and mediocrity or Romney and excellence.

Dick Patterson

El Cerrito

Both stretched truth to sway the voters

Even though hardly covered in the mainstream media, the most telling point about the Democratic Convention was its floor fight over the change in the party platform.

After three tries at a voice vote, in which more shouted "no," the chairperson read the predetermined outcome off the teleprompter declaring a two-third majority was in favor.

This highly embarrassing display should make Democratic voters feel as any non-Democrat in a blue state like California: Their voice simply does not count for much.

On a lighter note, the glimpse I caught of Eva Longoria's speech made me wonder if she knew which party's convention she was speaking on when I heard her complain that a "lawyer who works at Burger King gets a tax break, while Eva Longoria does not." Longoria, that's because you are the 1 percent who don't pay their fair share.

For the rest, both parties tried their best truth-stretching to sway voters.

Erich P. Kellner

Walnut Creek

Dems convention was more diverse

Certainly, watching the political conventions contributes to my decision-making for November. Admittedly, I went into watching them favoring President Barack Obama. But I was open to new information.

For example, Mitt Romney could have told me how he and his policies differ from those of George W. Bush. But he did not. He could have given me specifics as to how he, as a former businessman, would actually create more jobs. But he did not. Instead, he seemed content to talk only to his perceived base. He seemed overly "safe."

As for the Democratic Convention, I appreciated the greater diversity in the delegates. They seemed to be more of the actual makeup of Americans than I saw at the Republican Convention. They seemed to be having more fun.

I also preferred their speeches. And as a diversion, I liked James Taylor more than Clint Eastwood.

In short, I saw little to nothing in the conventions to change my mind about voting for Barack Obama in November. To me, he is a man of destiny: intelligent, witty and wise.

George Fulmore

Concord

Conventions no longer relevant

Since the advent of primary elections, conventions are no longer important, relevant, or influential. By the time the conventions convene, the vast majority of likely voters have made their decisions and no amount of electioneering and posturing will sway them.

So to answer the Times' question, the conventions had no impact on how I will vote.

What did influence my decisions were the arithmetic facts concerning the state of our nation: 23 million citizens out of work or underemployed; a record 46.7 million people on food stamps; and 43 straight months of 8 percent or higher unemployment.

There's a $16 trillion national debt and more than $5 trillion deficit; four straight trillion-dollar annual deficits; and no formal budget for three years (unheard of in previous administrations).

Billions of taxpayers' dollars have been given to failed greenenergy companies (Solyndra for instance); $45 billion bailout of GM and GMAC, mostly irrecoverable; and more billions lost on Wall Street and bank bailouts.

What's to decide?

Ernest Hampson

Pittsburg

The GOP offered strong alternative

Like 90 percent of the American people, I made up my mind well before the conventions started.

With almost four years of high unemployment and dramatic increases in poverty, President Barack Obama and his misguided economic policies have hurt the very people he promised to help. Unemployment is still more than 8 percent and underemployment is about 20 percent. The young and the poor are suffering the most.

In football, a coach with a four-year losing streak such as this would never get his contract renewed. Obama talks a good game, but America needs good results, not glib convention speeches.

Fortunately we have a strong alternative in the Romney/Ryan ticket. Mitt Romney has the business and government leadership credentials to be an outstanding president. Paul Ryan has a deep understanding of the government budget; he can help get it fixed and get America working again.

Both men are committed to solving America's problems in a common-sense, bipartisan way.

That would be quite an improvement.

Michael McDermott

Concord

Felt included by the Democrats

I have been a supporter of President Barack Obama for four-plus years and have seen no one better running on any other party platform. The recent convention confirmed my preference.

When the Dems spoke of "we," this raging moderate felt included.

Cavett Hughes

Berkeley