Friday, September 03, 2004
W Takes Manhattan
Well, the 2004 Republican National Convention now belongs to the pundits, and the history books, in that order. Tonight was a truly remarkable event capped off by fantastic speech given by W. There was one big difference between W's performance and that given by Lurch last month in Boston.
W's speech came from the heart, and it had substance. It laid out a plan for the future of America, and made us feel good about being Americans. Lurch made us feel apologetic.
As the hour is late, I will quote but a few excerpts from the speech. Its transcript can be found here.
My opponent recently announced that he is the candidate of "conservative values," which must have come as a surprise to a lot of his supporters. Now, there are some problems with this claim. If you say the heart and soul of America is found in Hollywood, I'm afraid you are not the candidate of conservative values. If you voted against the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act, which President Clinton signed, you are not the candidate of conservative values. If you gave a speech, as my opponent did, calling the Reagan presidency eight years of "moral darkness," then you may be a lot of things, but the candidate of conservative values is not one of them.
Oh, Lurch? Your record is calling. Somehow you don't look happy to see it.
In the last four years, you and I have come to know each other. Even when we don't agree, at least you know what I believe and where I stand. You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes have to correct my English - I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it. Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called "walking." Now and then I come across as a little too blunt - and for that we can all thank the white-haired lady sitting right up there.Most of that I chalk up to being a real human being.
I have met with parents and wives and husbands who have received a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say that I am in their prayers - to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from? How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, and idealistic, and strong.On that note, let me add a personal commentary.
The world saw that spirit three miles from here, when the people of this city faced peril together, and lifted a flag over the ruins, and defied the enemy with their courage. My fellow Americans, for as long as our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say: Here buildings fell, and here a nation rose.
I have spent the better part of the past two weeks in New York City. I have seen and experienced much in my time here. I have seen (and eaten) a pizza big enough to have its own zip-code. I have also had the honor and privilege to work with some of New York's Finest and Bravest. These guys are consummate professionals - and they stand behind W. I have walked where heroes walked, buildings fell, and a nation rose up to fulfill her God given destiny.
My favorite singer/songwriter/composer is New York's native son, Billy Joel. 35 years ago, he wrote what he thought would be a Science Fiction song, but turned out to be eerily prophetic of what was to come. The song is called Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights go out on Broadway). Here is the final phrase
You know those lights were bright on Broadway.
But that was so many years ago...
There are not many who remember, they say a handful still survive.
To tell the world about,
The way the lights went out - and keep the memories alive...
May we always keep the memory alive.
Thank you, New York City. Thank you, and good night.