Rhetoric Divorced from Reality at the RNC

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Â?Republicans for KerryÂ? critique the Republican National Convention and its speakers

Jason Jones, a Republican and Native American, called Dick Cheney’s speech to the Republican National Convention a “One Trick Pony”. The speech, Jones noted, contained little beyond criticism of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. “[Cheney] could have spent more time than a minute on the future of education in our country. However, he would have to explain why this Republican administration backed the largest un-funded mandate in the history of the Republic,“ Jones said. “He could have spent more time talking about how the tax cuts have resulted in job growth. Of course, this might raise sticky questions about how those jobs are often at significantly lower wages than those previously held. He could have expanded on America having the greatest health care system in the world, but one of those forty-plus million without access might disagree.“

For Dr. Fred A. Infortunio, a prominent New Jersey businessman and lifelong Republican honesty and integrity are the core issues of this election. In a recent post he criticized the false sound bites used by speaker after speaker during the convention. “The same rhetoric is used on Limbaugh talk shows,” he said. “They have no interest in communicating to their audience with truth. This kind of talk is only to confuse and to divide people. And the ignorant can be ruled by sound bites, and in general lies. [The RNC speakers] did it purposefully.”

Senator John McCain’s speech to the convention disappointed and troubled many Republicans, including longtime supporters. Bruce Mackinlay in an essay titled “A Moderate's Review of McCain's National Convention Speech” noted that the Bush administration had justified its pre-emptive attack on Iraq by claiming that Iraqi WMDs posed an imminent threat to the US, not, as McCain stressed, that “By liberating Iraq we are bring peace and freedom.” Mackinlay suggested that all the Bush administration’s actions in Iraq have been either deceptive or incompetent. For Mackinlay, McCain’s efforts to paper over the facts haven’t removed any of the stain on Bush’s record in Iraq.

Like many other Republican residents of North Canton, Ohio, Jim Quinn’s main issue in this election is the deficit. Quinn was shocked recently to hear a public statement from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan that “… [T]here's no way Social Security can continue in it's current form.” But he heard nothing in the RNC speeches about how to deal with the deficit. “I can't bear the idea of four more Bush budgets,” Quinn said. “As an old-fashioned fiscal conservative I always vote for Republicans, but I can't bring myself to help re-elect Bush, and it pains me to watch that guy send such a huge bill to our children's generation.“

Republicans who have decided to support John Kerry have had a strong response to the RNC. “It is our party’s convention and we should be celebrating, but these speakers and speeches only made us feel uneasy, or worse -- betrayed,” was one typical response. Many of these Republicans have never voted for a Democrat in a presidential election. But listening to the convention with its rhetoric of personal destruction, and absence of solutions to the problems important to them, has simply confirmed them in their belief. The Bush administration must go.

[For essays by Jason Jones, Bruce Mackinlay and others, visit the RepublicansForKerry04 online forum at: http://www.republicansforkerry04.org/phpBB2/ or contact media@republicansforkerry04.org]

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Bruce Mackinlay