Thursday, September 6, 2012

Democratic Convention - Keynote Address

I hope you stayed up late enough last night to see Rusty’s historic keynote address to the Democratic National Convention.  This is the first time a major party has given a dog the national stage and the Democrats are to be commended.  They understand that the Republicans are waging a War on Dogs and the Democrats are eager to show unity with us.  Rusty is one of our most eloquent spokesdogs and was enthusiastically received.  In case you missed it, I’ve posted his complete speech here.

"Some of you may remember that earlier this year, Republicans shut me out of a hearing on canine issues. In fact, on that panel, they didn't hear from a single dog, even though they were debating an issue that affects nearly every one of us. Because it happened in Congress, people noticed. But it happens all the time. Many dogs are shut out and silenced. So while I'm honored to be standing at this podium, it easily could have been any one of you. I'm here because I spoke out, and this November, each of us must do the same.

"During this campaign, we've heard about the two profoundly different futures that could await dogs—and how one of those futures looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past. Warnings of that future are not distractions. They're not imagined. That future could be real.

"In that America, your new president could be a man who stands by when a public figure tries to silence a private Canine-American with hateful slurs. Who won't stand up to the slurs, or to any of the extreme, bigoted voices in his own party. It would be an America in which you have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow dogs to die preventable deaths in our animal hospitals. An America in which states humiliate dogs by forcing us to endure invasive rectal exams we don't want and our vets say we don't need. An America in which access to canine health care is controlled by people who will never set foot in an animal hospital; in which politicians redefine dog fighting so survivors are victimized all over again; in which someone decides which canine violence victims deserve help, and which don't. We know what this America would look like. In a few short months, it's the America we could be. But it's not the America we should be. It's not who we are.

"We've also seen another future we could choose. First of all, we'd have the right to choose our owners. It's an America in which no one can charge us more than humans for the exact same health insurance; in which no one can deny us affordable access to the rabies screenings that could save our lives. An America in which our president, when he hears a young dog has been verbally attacked, thinks of his own dog Bo—not his delegates or donors—and stands with all dogs. And strangers come together, reach out and lift him up. And then, instead of trying to silence him, you invite me here—and give me a microphone—to amplify our bark. That's the difference.

"Over the last six months, I've seen what these two futures look like. And six months from now, we'll all be living in one, or the other. But only one. A country where our president either has our back or turns his back; a country that honors our foredogs by moving us forward, or one that forces our generation to re-fight the battles they already won; a country where we mean it when we talk about personal freedom, or one where that freedom doesn't apply to our bodies and our ruffs.

"We talk often about choice. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's time to choose. "

No comments: