Thursday, September 02, 2004

What Great Speeches

If you didn't hear Zell Miller and Dick Cheney speak last night at the Republican Convention, you missed two of the best convention speeches in recent memory. Miller, described as the "conscience of the Democratic Party", spoke with an honesty and anger that was energizing and admirable. While less passionate than Miller, the Vice President delivered an exceptionally crafted speech, clearly defining the differences between President Bush and JFKerry.

Miller delivered some fantastic lines...

"And like you, I ask which leader is it today that has the vision, the willpower and, yes, the backbone to best protect my family? The clear answer to that question has placed me in this hall with you tonight. For my family is more important than my party. There is but one man to whom I am willing to entrust their future and that man's name is George Bush."

"Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator. And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators."

"For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag."

and my personal favorites...
"It is not their patriotism -- it is their judgment that has been so sorely lacking. They claimed Carter's pacifism would lead to peace. They were wrong. They claimed Reagan's defense buildup would lead to war. They were wrong.

"And, no pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. Together, Kennedy/Kerry have opposed the very weapons system that won the Cold War and that is now winning the War on Terror. Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national security..."
"Senator Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations. Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending. I want Bush to decide."
"I have knocked on the door of this man's soul and found someone home, a God-fearing man with a good heart and a spine of tempered steel. The man I trust to protect my most precious possession: my family... God Bless this great country and God Bless George W. Bush."
Miller's entire comments are available here.

Vice President Cheney was direct and on target with his comments. He laid out what threats and challenges the US faces. Then he explained why President Bush is a better choice than JFKerry to meet those challenges and threats.
"The President's opponent is an experienced senator. He speaks often of his service in Vietnam, and we honor him for it. But there is also a record of more than three decades since. And on the question of America's role in the world, the differences between Senator Kerry and President Bush are the sharpest, and the stakes for the country are the highest. History has shown that a strong and purposeful America is vital to preserving freedom and keeping us safe - yet time and again Senator Kerry has made the wrong call on national security. Senator Kerry began his political career by saying he would like to see our troops deployed "only at the directive of the United Nations." During the 1980s, Senator Kerry opposed Ronald Reagan's major defense initiatives that brought victory in the Cold War. In 1991, when Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait and stood poised to dominate the Persian Gulf, Senator Kerry voted against Operation Desert Storm.

"Even in this post-9/11 period, Senator Kerry doesn't appear to understand how the world has changed. He talks about leading a "more sensitive war on terror," as though Al Qaeda will be impressed with our softer side. He declared at the Democratic Convention that he will forcefully defend America - after we have been attacked. My fellow Americans, we have already been attacked, and faced with an enemy who seeks the deadliest of weapons to use against us, we cannot wait for the next attack. We must do everything we can to prevent it - and that includes the use of military force.

"Senator Kerry denounces American action when other countries don't approve - as if the whole object of our foreign policy were to please a few persistent critics. In fact, in the global war on terror, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, President Bush has brought many allies to our side. But as the President has made very clear, there is a difference between leading a coalition of many, and submitting to the objections of a few. George W. Bush will never seek a permission slip to defend the American people."
The complete text of Cheney's speech is located here. It's a fantastic read!