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by David Pakman
August 30, 2004

As 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.

In 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.

Of 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.

Pennsylvania 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.

Overall, 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.

David Pakman is editor of http://www.heartheissues.com, and can be reached at david.pakman@thevividedge.com.

Posted: September 1, 2004


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