No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Barnie Day



Paging Paul Harris

The Democrats unveiled a new African-American superstar, Barack Obama, at the national convention. A Virginia Republican, Paul Harris, could be his match.


If George Bush, Karl Rove & Company are smart — and some days there is evidence that they are — they will put Virginian Paul Harris front at center at the National Republican Convention. The former member of the House of Delegates from Charlottesville is the only — the only — black Republican in America who can hold his own with Barack Obama, the U.S. Senate candidate from Illinois who stunned a national audience at the Democratic National Convention.


The ideology that drives him aside, Harris is just as dynamic, just as skilled a public speaker, as Obama.  And his story is just as compelling. If the Republicans are serious about holding onto the three or four black votes that they have nationally now, they’ll be getting Harris limbered up. It will take someone of his ilk and abilities to go toe-to-toe with these sentiments from Obama:


“My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shard an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me the African name, Barack, or “blessed,” believing that in a tolerant America, your name is no barrier to success.”


“I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.”


“Go into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can’t each kids to learn. They know that parents have to teach, that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know these things.”


“People don’t expect — people don’t expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.”


“When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they are going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return and to never, ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace and earn the respect of the world.”


Paging Paul Harris…


And a personal note here, on Ron Reagan’s stem cell speech. I have Parkinson’s Disease. I’m not complaining. I’m not asking ‘why me?’ I’m not making excuses. I just have it, and I accept it.


Young Reagan said: “In a few months, we will face a choice. Yes, between two candidates and two parties, but more than that. We have a chance to take a giant stride forward for the good of all humanity. We can choose between the future and the past, between reason and ignorance, between true compassion and mere ideology. This is our moment, and we must not falter. Whatever else you do come November 2nd, I urge you, please, cast a vote for embryonic stem cell research.”


I would ask that, too. I’m not conflicted on this one, believe me. You see, I know — I know — that the God who made us all gives us, too, these miracles of medicine.


The government needs to fund, but otherwise get the hell out of the way on stem cell research. This is God at work.    

-- August 9, 2004




















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Barnie Day

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Meadows of Dan, VA


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