the Republican National Convention (RNC) is set
to begin tonight, the Republicans have decided
not to start out slowly. They are going right
to...the Democrats? Well, not quite, but having
Senator John McCain and former New York City Mayor
Rudy Giuliani kicking of the festivities is certainly
an indicator of the situation at hand. Every four
years, the GOP placates their would-be constituents
and the undecided swing voters by putting the
most liberal members of their party in the public
eye. The fact of the matter is, if those speaking
in primetime at the convention were truly the
representative members of the party, it would
literally be political suicide.
short, many of those featured at the RNC disagree
with George W. Bush not on trivial matters, but
on some of the most controversial and central
issues facing all Americans, voters or otherwise,
this election. McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger,
NY Governor George Pataki, and Giuliani all oppose
the proposed amendment of the constitution to
ban gay marriage. They are against the death penalty,
and are also pro-choice. Combine this with the
recent media blitz about Vice President Dick Cheney's
homosexual daughter and his divergence with George
W. Bush over the gay marriage issue, and the lineup
at the Convention really is quite bizarre.
course, if these were the opinions of the base
of the Republican Party, then it would certainly
make sense. However, 70% of registered Republicans
consider themselves "conservative." Not slightly
conservative nor moderately conservative, but
just plain conservative. Just about 50% are against
gay marriage, and more than half are pro-life.
This has to prompt the question, "who is not speaking
at the convention that shares the Party's views?"
The answer is an interesting one.
Senator Rick Santorum and Kansas Senator Sam Brownback
are two examples of those being looked over as
keynote speakers at the convention. Certainly
they wouldn't dare invite Pat Buchanan for an
encore performance to follow up the debacle in
1992 for George Herbert Walker Bush. These gentlemen,
who would undoubtedly be considered by most to
be "staunch" conservatives, and truly more representative
of the GOP would not only hurt the cause to attract
the swing/undecided voters, they stand the chance
of literally terrifying some of their already
decided voters into casting a vote for the Democrats,
or an independent candidate. The bottom line is,
the majority of Americans are not "very religious"
as the Republican base proclaims itself to be.
And here's the clincher: Even the majority of
conservatives aren't as conservative as George
W. Bush. The opinion polls are out there. McCain,
Giuliani, and Schwarzenegger are looked upon very
favorably by Americans Republicans and Democrats
alike. Of course, their views are so moderate
that McCain has even considered running as a Democrat,
while Giuliani and Schwarzenegger are simply considered
absolutely moderate by many Americans.
the Republican convention does not represent who
Republicans really are. While I do not agree with
their views, I respect their right to have those
views, and to express them. However, it is a disservice
to the American people to misrepresent the heart
of the party by putting up such a farce. It is
designed to falsely appease those undecideds who
would be more than just slightly turned off by
the beliefs of the nucleus of the Republican Party,
particularly those of George W. Bush.
Pakman is editor of http://www.heartheissues.com,
and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: September 1, 2004