Friday, September 5, 2008

Lessons From The Republican Convention

The Republican Party has a liberal wing and a conservative wing. Different attitudes towards religion in politics further complicate matters. This year, the Republican Party challenged an assumption that created the danger of turning the GOP into the Democrat Lite Party. According to this mythology, the Christian right wing of the party should not be too pushy about abortion, or else the moderates you need to win in November will be scared away.

John McCain was unambiguous in stating a right to life position. Life begins at conception. No apologies. So far, the poll numbers are going his way. Obama's magic is vanishing . His contradictory statements and questionable friends are being spliced into some amazing attack ads.

There is another issue that requires a clear stand, and that is secure borders. Borders must be physically secured against illegal immigration. Immigration laws must be enforced. This is a security issue and an economic issue. The government pays farmers not to overproduce certain crops.This is so a glut in supply does not depress commodity prices. Labour is a commodity. And there is a glut in supply. If someone comes from a country where a dollar an hour is big money, then minimum wage will look good. Americans with families are choosier not because they are afraid of work but afraid of starving.

There is the additional issue of language. Former colonies in Europe adopted national languages such as English or French to prevent national fragmentation. Teaching medicine in English is a lot cheaper than translating all of your textbooks into Twi, Wolof or any of the hundreds of other distinct local languages in Africa. In America we should not be shy about learning from African countries of the advantage of a national language. It provides not only an economic asset but a common denominator that can mitigate racial divisions. With all its imperfections, Americans strive for justice for its citizens of all races. Language can and should be seen as a tool for fostering national unity.

Immigration has always been central to America's national identity. But it must be controlled. American residency and citizenship should be a gift bestowed on behalf of the American people by their government. This bestowal should be an orderly legal process and not an ex post facto legitimisation of illegal immigration.

There is innate common sense to these ideas. The rightness of protecting the unborn has the resonance of rightness. Border security and orderly immigration as issues also have a ring of fairness to them.

People want to hear the truth from their leaders. They do not want the blindfold of political correctness to prevent them from seeing and alleviating America's problems. A leader who can describe the world seen by the voter in a manner that resonates has won half of the battle for higher office. Once problems are identified, solutions become quickly apparent.

The sky did not fall when the GOP defended the rights of the unborn. To the contrary, it focused Americans on feminist issues in a new and fresh perspective. The needs of the developmentally disabled also received attention at this convention.

The GOP should be known as the party that is not afraid of reality on the ground. Republicans should be a party that identifies problems and facilitates solutions. This will put them at a strategic advantage to the Democrats who with good reason are seen as blinded by ideology.

It is poetic that the unborn, who have yet to open their eyes have the potential to open the eyes of the people. It is fortuitous that the developmentally disabled, upon whom the spotlight of public attention was focused, have shown the potential to elicit a compassion that can enrich the life of us all.

There have been many lessons taught by the events of the past few days. If we will study and apply them, it will strengthen and improve our great country. John McCain sounded a genuine note of reconciliation during his acceptance speech. He expressed the desire to reach across the aisle to the opposition for the good of America. The Democrats do have some good ideas. But considering the interests of all the people is not the same as adopting their ideas. McCain should if elected act according to his principles on behalf of all the people. His core principles are sound. It is for these values and for his character that he has been nominated.

For the victor to reach across the aisle for ideas and cooperation is commendable. It should be the first order of business the morning after the elections. It should be done without rancour, and more importantly without apology.

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