Yesterday, for the most part, was spent watching the Republican National Convention.

Please remember that before I became an Independent I was a Republican. I voted for both Goldwater and Reagan (twice). The things that are coming from my lips/fingers are facts, and there’s nothing partisan about them.

It surprised me that they never once mentioned Bush II. Not once. And they kept the debt-ceiling clock ticking above the convention floor, without acknowledging the fact that the debt was started by a Republican (Reagan) and went into a spiral because of two unfunded wars (Bush). You can’t undo history. 

They did, however, praise the accomplishments of both Kennedy and Clinton. Was that supposed to help them?

Governor Christie gave a great speech, but didn’t mention that his state is about 47-48 in unemployment and Romney’s is about the same number (47-48) in job creation.

I loved the Governor of South Carolina. But I only know what I saw in her speech. She’s obviously fought hard for her state and won. I like that from any governor of any state from any party. But they don’t bring up how Schwartzenager spent eight years throwing California into bankruptcy.

I like Anne Romney. But I’m not sure how her husband being a good prom date makes him a good president. Heck. I liked most of the speakers. And I liked a lot of their messages. But when one speaker came out saying that it wasn’t the government’s job to create jobs; that free enterprise and entrepeneurship created jobs (which received rousing ovations), and the next speaker came out saying they were going to be proactive in creating jobs (which received rousing ovations).  And none of them gave us a clue how they were going to accomplish the goals they’re setting out.  That’s kind of been my problem from day one. All we’re getting is, “Trust me. I’m with the government and I’m here to help.” It also concerned me that the majority of the speakers were proud their families had become millionaires — that doesn’t speak to how the party plans on dealing with the pesky middle or lower class or the homeless who are there through no fault of their own — veterans who can’t find jobs; women and children displaced by foreclosures, layoffs, etc. I may be wrong, but the only time I remember hearing the middle class discussed was that Obama was destroying it.

I was confused that when the Puerto Ricans were yelling “Yea” and “Nay” during their governor’s wife’s speech, other delegates were drowning them out with “USA, USA, USA.” Isn’t Puerto Rico, along with Guam, part of the United States even though they haven’t been granted statehood? Shouldn’t the rest of the convention floor have been respectful of all those who were asked to speak by the planners of the event?

It was even more disturbing when delegates from (I believe it was) Texas threw peanuts at a black photojournalist and yelled, “This is what we feed animals,” at her.

Holy shit, Bat Man. Don’t they know they’re on international TV? Is this the image they really want to portray?

I spent most of yesterday and all of this morning in discourse with my college kids — kids who range from 18 – 28 — those I’ve been blessed with the privilege of sharing living space for the last six years.

They’re scared. Beyond scared.

1) That their right of choice is being taken away, along with the birth control being taken out of their insurance policies. One made a valid comment:  “Isn’t that the insurance company’s job to do? Decide what they cover and what they don’t? Why should government have a say in the insurance company’s business? Aren’t the Republicans saying they’re going to stay out of private businesses?”

2) What if birth control they have to pay full price for fails? How can they afford to have a baby and continue college. Are the Republicans saying they should become nuns until they marry? Granted, that would be nice. But as anybody who’s ever been to college knows, that ain’t gonna happen. Especially if it’s so difficult for many of the college grads to get “real” jobs — so many, even with high grade points and a resume full of philanthropic, social, and even work credentials — are bartending, making $10/hour at tanning parlors and Enterprise Rental Car in their management training positions? And what about those who are forced to go back to grad school when they can’t find a job in hopes that a post-grad degree will give them a better chance at employment.

3) If Obamacare is repealed — not revised, but repealed — where will they get insurance? With pre-existing conditions, they’ll immediately be dropped from their current policies and not be accepted for a replacement.  So many college kids are on anti-anxiety meds because of the pressure to graduate in exactly four years. Or have been hurt playing in collegiate athletics or intramural sports. What if they need surgery? End up with a serious condition? They’ll be, as one girl this morning said, “Shit outta luck.”

4) If Medicare is put on a voucher system, and as their parents age the voucher gets smaller as their needs grow larger, they’re worried about how they’ll take care of their parents as soon as they finish med schools or their PhD programs instead of 10-30 years from now.

5) If Pell Grants are scrapped, how will some of them go to college. Ryan’s comment about “work three jobs” is so unrealistic. These kids are expected to graduate in exactly 4 years because of the high cost of today’s college education. Three jobs? They’re expected to carry 15 hours a semester, be involved in activities that set their resume apart from the other thousands of job-hunters their age in the workplace scrambling for the few jobs that are available, and most of them are already working at least one part-time job. There is NO time for two more jobs.  The suicide rate for college kids is a well-kept secret, but it’s not pretty. I’ve been through a couple of suicide watches and a suicide attempt, and have been on a campus when a guy celebrated marching in his college graduation and immediately went to the top of a campus hotel and jumped. Still wearing his cap and gown. Because there were no prospects, and after years of high-expectations, he didn’t know what to do when there were none.

My kids are scared. I don’t like it when my kids are scared. I pound into their heads that they’re wonderful. That any company would be lucky to have them. That nothing should be allowed to get in the way of their dreams. Now, they’re coming to me asking what to do if the Republican platform contains everything they’re pushing and they get elected. I have no answers for them.

I tell them to wait for the debates. See what each candidate has to say when they don’t have a teleprompter in front of them or a speech writer handing them their opinion as they walk onto the stage. I hope the commentators ask the tough questions, because we need serious answers. All of us do, but especially the generation of college grads who are already having trouble getting jobs, believing they’ll have one when they graduate, and going through all the normal frustrations college throws at them.

All I can tell them is to make the best decision they can make with the information they have — and to take the time to do their own research into the candidates backgrounds, how much we know about them, what their voting records are, who they are as human beings, and vote. Their voice has to be heard. They’re the generation that will have to live with the consequences of this election. And God Help Them.

This has been so tough to write. I really hoped the Republicans would tone down their positions  before the election so it would take the attention off of women’s issues and put it on the economy, our infrastructure, military, the ecology, how to develop fuel sources that don’t kill the planet in the meantime…..but no, they picked women’s right to choice as their first issue. Taking away women’s rights.

I was talking to a Republican friend the other day and we agreed we both would have voted for Newt. Unfortunately, we didn’t get that chance. She’ll still vote Republican, and I’m not seeing how I can. I have a new generation to worry about, and my daughter is in it. She’s self-employed. Owns her own company. Struggles to build her business with more constrictions than resources. Oh, and she has a pre-existing condition. Her private, self-funded medical insurance is already worthless. What if it’s taken away completely? She won’t even be able to afford her medications.

What do we tell the next generation? The ones who will have to take care of us when we’re drooling? Are we leaving our world/country in better shape than when we arrived? No, we’re not. And we’re making it more difficult for the next generation to improve it.

This is where you can insert the “F” bomb. It’s the only word that fits.

I’ll continue to watch the convention, as well as the Democratic convention. For me, they’re must-see TV. I went into this one with so much hope, and they took a big chunk out of that hope the first day.

So, once again, be safe out there. And pay attention to the conventions. I know they’re boring as hell, but we’ve got to make some really tough decisions this time, and each of us has to make that decision for him/herself. And we all have to get out and vote — not just the 25% or so who find time during our busy schedules.

Remember, now more than ever, we’re all important. And we all need to make our voices heard — either way. If you don’t chose to vote, you have no right to complain about the consequences. Your vote could have made the difference.