GEORGE W. BUSH -- THE MAN TO TRUST:
THE 2004 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION & AMERICA'S FUTURE
By Zell Miller
Like you, I think of their future, of the promises and the perils they will face. Like you, I believe that the next four years will determine what kind of world they will grow up in. 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 political party. There is but one man to whom I am willing to entrust their future, and that man's name is George W. Bush.
In the Summer of 1940, I was an eight-year-old boy living in a remote little Appalachian valley. Our country was not yet at war, but even we children knew that there were some crazy men across the ocean who would kill us if they could.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in his speech that Summer, told America "all private plans, all private lives, have, in a sense, been repealed by an overriding public danger."
In 1940 Wendell L. Wilkie was the Republican candidate for President of the United States. And there is no better example of someone repealing their "private plans" than this good man. He gave President Roosevelt the critical support he needed for a peacetime military draft, an unpopular idea at the time. And Wilkie made it clear that he would rather lose the election than make national security a partisan campaign issue.
Shortly before Wilkie died, he told a friend, that if he could write his own epitaph and had to choose between "here lies a president" or "here lies one who contributed to saving freedom", he would prefer the latter.
Where are such statesmen today? Where is the bi-partisanship in this country when we need it most?
Now, while young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrat's manic obsession to bring down our Commander-in-Chief.
What has happened to the Democratic Party, the party I've spent my life working in?
I can remember when Democrats believed that it was the duty of America to fight for freedom over tyranny. It was Democratic President Harry S. Truman who pushed the Red Army out of Iran, who came to the aid of Greece when Communists threatened to overthrow it, who stared down the Soviet blockade of West Berlin by flying in supplies and saving the city. Time after time in our history, in the face of great danger, Democrats and Republicans worked together to ensure that freedom would not falter. But not today.
Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic Party leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator. And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers, rather than liberators. Tell that to the one-half of Europe that was freed because President Franklin Roosevelt led an army of liberators, not occupiers. Tell that to the lower half of the Korean Peninsula that is free because President Dwight David Eisenhower commanded an army of liberators, not occupiers. Tell that to the half a billion men, women, and children who are free today from the Baltic states to the Crimean Peninsula, from Poland to Siberia, because Presidenr Ronald Wilson Reagan rebuilt a military of liberators, not occupiers.
Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier. And, our soldiers don't just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home. 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. The soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag is also the soldier who gives the protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.
No one should dare to even think about being the Commander in Chief of this country if he doesn't believe with all his heart that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom at home.
But don't waste your breath telling that to the contemporary leaders of the Democratic Party. In their warped way of thinking, America is the problem, not the solution. Today, the Democratic Party leaders do not believe there is any real danger in the world, except that which America brings upon itself through our clumsy and misguided foreign policy.
It is not the leading Democrats' lack of patriotism that is the problem. According to their own perceptions, they are genuinely patriotic. And, on the whole, they probanly are. The problem is their severe lack of common sense and good judgment.
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 of leading Democrats has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. Together, Kennedy and Kerry opposed the very weapons systems that won the Cold War and that are 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, but Americans need to know the facts.
The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40% of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein's command post in Iraq.
The F-14A Tomcats, that Senator Kerry opposed, shot down Moammer al-Qaddafi's Libyan MIGs over the Gulf of Sidra. The modernized F-14D, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered missile strikes against Tora Bora.
The Apache helicopter, that Senator Kerry opposed, took out those Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War. The F-15 Eagles, that Senator Kerry opposed, flew cover over our nation's Capital and this very city after 9/11.
I could go on and on and on: Against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein's scud missiles over Israel, Against the Aegis air-defense cruiser, Against the Strategic Defense Initiative, Against the Trident missile, against, against, against.
John Kerry, who opposed all these weapons systems, is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces? U.S. Armed Forces armed with what? Spitballs?
Twenty years of votes can tell you much more about a man than twenty weeks of campaign rhetoric. Campaign talk tells people who you want them to think you are. How you vote in the U.S. Senate tells people who you really are, deep inside.
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.
John Kerry, who says he doesn't like outsourcing, wants to outsource our national security. That's the most dangerous outsourcing of all. The politician who favors this most dangerous outsourcing wants to be leader of the free world. Free for how long?
For more than twenty years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak, and more wobbly than any other national figure. As a war protestor, Kerry blamed our military.
As a Senator, he voted to weaken our military. And nothing shows that more sadly and more clearly than his vote this year to deny protective armor for our troops in harms way, far-away.
President George Bush understands that we need new strategies to meet new threats. While John Kerry wants to re-fight yesterday's war, George Bush believes we have to fight today's war and be ready for tomorrow's challenges. George Bush is committed to providing the kind of forces it takes to root out terrorists, no matter what spider hole they may hide in or what rock they crawl under.
George Bush wants to grab terrorists by the throat and not let them go to get a better grip. From John Kerry, they get a "yes-no-maybe" bowl of mush that can only encourage our enemies and confuse our friends.
I first got to know George Bush when we served as governors together. I admire this man. I am moved by the respect he shows the First Lady, his unabashed love for his parents and his daughters, and the fact that he is unashamed of his belief that God is not indifferent to America. I can identify with someone who has lived that line in "Amazing Grace," "Was blind, but now I see," and I like the fact that he's the same man on Saturday night that he is on Sunday morning. He is a straight shooter, not a slick talker, and, where I come from, deeds mean a lot more than words. 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.
George Bush is the man I trust to protect my most precious possession: my family. This election will change forever the course of history, and that's not any history. It's my family's history. It's your family's history.
The only question is: how? How will history change. The answer lies with each of us. And, like many generations before us, we've got some hard choosing to do. Right now the world just cannot afford an indecisive America. Faintheartedness and self-indulgence will put at risk all we care about in this world.
In this hour of danger, our President has had the courage to stand up. And this Democrat is proud to stand up with him.
Thank you. God Bless this great country and God Bless George W. Bush.
American Government & the U.S. Presidency
Governor of Georgia from 1991 to 1999, Zell Miller is currently serving as one of Georgia's two members of the United States Senate.
Though a lifelong Democrat, Senator Miller is actively supporting Republican President George W. Bush in his bid for reelection
to the Office of President. In his best-selling book, A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat,
Miller is highly critical of the Democratic Party for putting partianship ahead of the national interests and security of the U.S.A. and the
American people. He delivered the foregoing speech, on September 1, 2004, at the the Republican National Convention in New York City.
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