Two home runs for day two!

There is another way you can tell you’re a Republican. You have faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness of the American people … and faith in the U.S. economy. To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: “Don’t be economic girlie men!”

Laura Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger made an incredible team for day two of the Republican convention. So many topics were covered by each speech, it’s hard to expound upon all of them. The ‘Governator’ gave a positive and optimistic speech about the dynamic nature of America, both as an ideal, and as a nation of opportunity for everyone willing to work hard and perservere. It really was Reaganesque.

The U.S. economy remains the envy of the world. We have the highest economic growth of any of the world's major industrialized nations. Don't you remember the pessimism of 20 years ago when the critics said Japan and Germany were overtaking the U.S.? Ridiculous!

Now they say India and China are overtaking us. Don't you believe it! We may hit a few bumps but America always moves ahead! That's what Americans do!

We move prosperity ahead. We move freedom ahead. We move people ahead. Under President Bush and Vice President Cheney, America's economy is moving ahead in spite of a recession they inherited and in spite of the attack on our homeland.

Now, the other party says there are two Americas. Don't believe that either. I've visited our troops in Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia, Germany and all over the world. I've visited our troops in California, where they train before they go overseas. And I've visited our military hospitals. And I can tell you this: Our young men and women in uniform do not believe there are two Americas!

They believe we are one America and they are fighting for it! We are one America -- and President Bush is defending it with all his heart and soul!

Likewise Laura Bush did a great job outlining what her husband had accomplished and why he deserves another term. Both speeches were a contrast from the Democratic vision of an America in decline, an America in trouble, an America on the ropes, and as Kerry is wont to say, "Disrespected throughout the world."

Our parents' generation confronted tyranny and liberated millions. As we do the hard work of confronting today's threat - we can also be proud that 50 million more men, women and children live in freedom thanks to the United States of America and our allies.

After years of being treated as virtual prisoners in their own homes by the Taliban, the women of Afghanistan are going back to work. After being denied an education, even the chance to learn to read, - the little girls in Afghanistan are now in school. Almost every eligible voter - over ten million Afghan citizens - has registered to vote in this fall's presidential election. More than 40 percent of them women. And wasn't it wonderful to watch the Olympics and see that beautiful Afghan sprinter race in long pants and a t-shirt, exercising her new freedom while respecting the traditions of her country.

I recently met a young Iraqi woman. She is one of the new Iraqi Fulbright scholars. She survived horrific ordeals, including the gassing of her village by Saddam Hussein. She told me that when people look at Iraq, what they don't see is that Iraq is a country of 25 million people, each with their own hope.

As we watch the people of Iraq and Afghanistan take the first steps to build free countries, I am reminded of what Vaclav Havel told me. Vaclav Havel - playwright, intellectual, freedom fighter, political prisoner, then President of the Czech Republic - said "Laura, you know, democracy is hard: It requires the participation of everybody.'' I think of how long it took us in our country, even though we were given such a perfect document by our founders. It took almost 100 years after the founders declared that all men are created equal for America to abolish slavery- and not until 84 years ago this month did American women get the right to vote. Our nation has not always lived up to its ideals - yet those ideals have never ceased to guide us. They expose our flaws, and lead us to mend them. We are the beneficiaries of the work of the generations before us, and it is each generation's responsibility to continue that work.

Posted by Eric Simonson at September 1, 2004 12:42 PM