I believe Democrats see that statement as innocuous and meaning belonging to a family or club; "I belong to the government".When major political parties hold conventions, they usually try to craft their messages to reach the broadest possible audience. The parties make the case that they stand for true American values and represent the best hope for freedom and liberty – within their definition of the priorities involved. But even with the acknowledgment that those meanings can shift depending on the issues, the Democratic Party and their convention got off to a very strange and very revealing start this week in Charlotte, North Carolina.The host committee started off the festivities with a video presentation that defended the use of government as a medium to address social ills and as a unifying presence in American lives. That’s not exactly a novel argument coming from Democrats and progressives. However, this statement was: “Government’s the only thing we all belong to,” the narrator intoned. “We have different churches, different clubs, but we’re together as a part of our city, or our county, or our state – and our nation.”We all belong to the government? That’s not how most Americans think of themselves. As Mitt Romney tweeted almost immediately afterward, Americans usually labor under the concept that government belongs to the people, and not the other way around. Abraham Lincoln famously referred to American government as “government of the people, by the people, for the people” in the Gettysburg address. He didn’t refer to America as a people of, by, and for the government.
I believe Republicans see that statement as sinister and asserting ownership; "I belong to the government".
Those two meanings show the divide between the parties. How can we find common ground?