The Town Hall Debate

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last Friday over 55 members of ”Republicans for Kerry” in Bucks County got together to watch the second Presidential debate and to share their thoughts on what they believe is the most important election of their lifetime. The gathering’s organizer is 82 years old lifelong Republican Susan Tinsman. “I have been a Republican all my life,“ Tinsman said. “ I am still a committed Republican and I believe in the core Republican values of individual rights, small government, fiscal responsibility -- a balanced budget, environmental protection, and international cooperation. And as a woman I am pro-choice.” But this sprint Tinsman founded Bucks County “Republicans for Kerry,” and has been working vigorously to encourage like-minded Republicans to support John Kerry’s candidacy.

Like many of her fellow Republicans in Bucks County, Tinsman has been deeply troubled by the dangerous direction that Bush administration has taken in the last three and half years. “Clinton was a good president. He balanced the budget, and protected our environment, and worked with our allies to achieve international cooperation and world peace. He strengthened the environmental laws of this country and advocated good fiscal policies. Since George W. Bush took over the government, everything changed. In the name of the war on terror, he invaded Iraq without a plan to win the peace; we have lost our international allies and provided the best justifications for Islamic terrorists to recruit new members. Moreover, Bush created the worst deficit in history, and destroyed environmental policies that were built up over decades.“

Many of the Republicans who had gathered at Tinsman’s home agreed. Bob Russell a businessman and longtime Bucks County resident told that he was deeply troubled by the incompetence of this administration. “I have never seen any administration in my entire lifetime, that was so incompetent and so uninterested in governing this country. The only thing they are interested in is the power itself, and to achieve that, they manipulate facts. They are destroying everything this country and the Republican party traditionally stands for. If Bush were a CEO in a corporate world, he would be fired. He has failed us in every aspects of his presidency. And America needs a new CEO in this election.”

Janet French, a Buckingham township supervisor and a longtime moderate Republican was impressed by John Kerry’s responses in the town hall meeting. Instead of empty rhetoric, Kerry’s answers were specific and clear. “Kerry has showed me his willingness to seek truth and capability to work through problems in governing,” French said. “He is thoughtful and he is able to separate his personal opinions from government policy. Kerry’s views and ideas are moderate. As a moderate Republican, I feel comfortable with most of Kerry’s positions. Bush and his administration of cronyism have squeezed us more moderate Republicans out of the Republican Party. The only way to change this terrible situation is to remove Bush and his administration three weeks from now. Our country and my Party can’t afford four more years of Bush Presidency.”

[For more information on Bucks County Republicans for Kerry visit their website at: and please contact]

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Bruce Mackinlay