Democrats unveiled a new African-American superstar,
Barack Obama, at the national convention. A Virginia
Republican, Paul Harris, could be his match.
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.
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
will take someone of his ilk and abilities to go
toe-to-toe with these sentiments from Obama:
parents shared not only an improbable love; they
shard an abiding faith in the possibilities of this
would give me the African name, Barack, or
“blessed,” believing that in a tolerant America,
your name is no barrier to success.”
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.”
into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will
tell you that government alone can’t each kids to
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.”
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
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.”
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.”
a personal note here, on Ron Reagan’s stem cell
speech. I have
I’m not complaining.
I’m not asking ‘why me?’
I’m not making excuses.
I just have it, and I accept it.
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
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
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