A Presidential Bid Ended
Synopsis: Pat Robertson shares his vision for
America as he endorses former opponent George Bush for president
of the United States at the 1988 Republican National Convention.
Aug. 16, 1988
Four years ago the keynote speaker at the
Democratic National Convention told us that America was a tale
of two cities -- the "haves" and the "have-nots." The rich and
the poor. The upper class and the lower class.
We heard a
variation on that message from Jesse Jackson, and Teddy Kennedy,
and every Democrat who spoke last month at their convention
gentlemen, the time has come for truth. The message of the Democratic
Party is a message of defeat -- division -- and despair. They
did not speak for the American people under McGovern or Mondale
or Carter, and they do not speak for America today!
But that speaker
who compared America to A Tale of Two Cities was right
in a way he never intended.
of times, the Worst of Times
That great novel
by Charles Dickens begins with a double sentence: "It was the
best of times. It was the worst of times."
In 1980 Ronald
Reagan and George Bush began a long journey to rescue this country
from the "worst of times." From double-digit inflation -- soaring
interest rates -- and widespread unemployment.
our task in 1988 is to continue that journey and build the greatness
of America through moral strength.
months and 22 days from tonight some 100 million of our fellow
citizens will go to their polling places to choose the future
course of the United States of America.
Our tale of
two cities is really a choice between two paths. Two visions
of America. Two philosophies of the future.
Dickens wrote his epic novel he described in heartrending detail
the consequences that the right and wrong choices made on two
cities in Europe.
In city number
one, under the deceptive slogan liberty, equality, fraternity
-- the people with revolutionary zeal threw out God, the church,
established morality, the established government, their former
leaders, sound currency, and some of the private ownership of
property. Then they demanded that the new government buy them
the government inspired utopia, which the people thought they
would get, they got liberal divorce laws and a breakup of families,
anarchy, looting, ruinous inflation, and financial chaos.
As the madness
fed on itself, they got something much worse -- the reign of
terror. A time when no one's life was safe from the dreaded
guillotine. The second city followed a very different course.
There, faith in God was maintained. There was even a spiritual
revival under John Wesley. Respect for the rule of law prevailed.
Instead of wild excess, there was self-control and self-restraint.
The currency was strong and families were stable. Private property
was protected and life was held sacred. With all its faults,
England created a strong, stable conservative government that
survived with prosperity for a hundred years.
And so, these
two cities made choices in 1789 that shaped their future for
decades, for generations, to come. And now, 200 years later,
America faces its choice.
have given us a clear picture of their city. They offer unlimited
government, massive transfers of wealth from the productive
sector of society to the nonproductive, and ever-increasing
regulation of the daily lives of the people and their children.
In the city
of the Democratic Party, the liberal mindset reigns supreme.
Criminals are turned loose and the innocent are made victims.
Disease carriers are protected and the healthy are placed at
In the Democrat's
city, welfare dependency flourishes and no one is held accountable
for his or her behavior. Society is always to blame.
In the Democrat's
city, the rights of the majority must always take a back seat
to the clamorous demands of the special interest minorities.
And yet, in their city it is always the majority that must pay
the bills, through higher and higher taxes.
Now the Democratic
Party has discovered the family. They want us all to be one-big-family.
But let's keep in mind that they want you and me to be in one
family with Jim Wright as the daddy, Barbara Mikulski as the
mommy. And Teddy Kennedy as big brother. I can't speak for you,
but I believe I'd rather pick my own relatives.
To build their
city, the Democratic Party has selected Michael Dukakis as architect.
I submit to you tonight that Michael Dukakis is the most liberal
candidate ever put forward for the presidency by any major party
in American history.
In fact, the city the Democrats hope to build is so bad that
they are ashamed to mention the word that describes who they
are and what they really want to do. They don't want to say
it, so they just call it the "L" word.
that their programs will require massive new revenue, but in
their platform they did not mention once the vehicle they will
use to raise the money -- they just call it the "T" word.
silence, whether by initials, or whether in a foreign language
-- it's still tax and spend liberalism and the American people
are too smart to fall for it again.
There is another
word that the Democrats did not mention once in their platform
and not once in the acceptance speech of their candidate. It
is a "G" word.
The name of
gentlemen, our President, Ronald Reagan, was not ashamed to
ask the assembled delegates at our convention in Detroit to
bow their heads in silent prayer to God. As Americans, we are
not ashamed to pledge allegiance to a flag that is a symbol
of one nation under God.
And I submit
to you that our Party, the Republican Party, assembled here
in New Orleans, is not ashamed to write into our National Platform
our solemn resolve that the children of this country will once
again be allowed to pray to God in the classrooms of America.
As an aside,
I should mention that Michael Dukakis is a card carrying member
of the ACLU, an organization dedicated to removing all public
affirmation of religious faith in America. As President, Michael
Dukakis will pack the federal courts with ACLU radicals. If
there were no other reason, and there are many, to deny Michael
Dukakis the Presidency, this is a reason enough for all of us
to vote against him in November.
Gentlemen, the Republican Party wants to write a tale of another
We are the
children of those who tamed the wilderness, spanned a continent,
and brought forth the greatest nation on the face of the earth.
We are the heirs of those who enriched the world with the electric
light, the telephone, the airplane, mass-produced automobiles,
the transistor, and countless wonderful inventions.
Yet we are
the heirs of a more enduring legacy than mere material progress.
We are heirs of a legacy of ideas -- a legacy of freedom --
of equality -- of opportunity. A legacy of government of the
people, by the people, and for the people. We are the heirs
of an experiment in freedom that has given hope and promise
to all of the people on this earth.
on a Hill
We see a city set on a hill. A shining light of freedom for
all of the nations to see and admire. A city made great by the
moral strength and self-reliance of her people.
A city where
husbands and wives love each other and families hold together.
A city where
every child, whether rich or poor, has available to him the
very best education in the world.
A city where
the elderly live out their lives with respect and dignity, and
where the unborn child is safe in his mother's womb.
A city where
the plague of drugs is no more and those who would destroy and
debase our children with illegal drugs are given life sentences
in prison with no chance for parole.
A city where
the streets are safe. Where criminals are locked up and the
law abiding can walk about without fear.
A city where
the water is pure to drink, the air clean to breathe, and the
citizens respect and care for the soil, the forests, and God's
other creatures who share with us the earth, the sky, and the
A city with
limited government but unlimited opportunity for all people.
Government Should Serve, not Master
We are Republicans, and we believe in government that is our
servant, not our master.
that the wisdom of the millions who make up the marketplace
is greater than the wisdom of the few who serve in government.
We want a
balanced budget, but we believe the way to balance the budget
is to cut waste and mismanagement in government, not to raise
the taxes on the American people.
There is a
word to describe us. It is a "C" word. We are conservatives,
and we are proud of it!
the voters will choose their version of a Tale of Two Cities.
say that they don't care what choice the voters make in November.
That it doesn't really matter.
I say to you
tonight, We care because it does matter. It matters to us and
our children whether we vote Democrat or whether we vote Republican.
And we care
whether the successor to a great President, Ronald Reagan, is
a liberal who returns us to the failed policies of Jimmy Carter
or a principled conservative like George Bush who moves us proudly
into the nineteen nineties.
my mind is the memory of a 40-year-old black man. He was strong
-- he was honest -- he was hardworking -- he was handsome. He
was a family man with a wife and a couple of children.
He was building
a place for himself and his family, when one day tragedy struck
You see he
couldn't read and write. He had been running a loading dock
for a fertilizer distributor. He got along by memorizing the
colors of the products that he handled, until the company changed
the labels, and he made so many mistakes that they had to let
His life is
now in shambles. His pride is gone. His hopes and dreams are
gone. He is one more on the welfare rolls. He is one of the
30 million functional illiterates in America who have been shortchanged
by our educational establishment.
Ladies and gentlemen, George Bush wants to be known as the "Education
President." Together we can make our schools the best in the
world if we follow a few simple steps: (1) We must guarantee
to our children a disciplined, drug-free, crime-free school
environment. Tough school principals should be made community
heroes not community scapegoats. (2) We must recognize that
the so-called new age curriculum of progressive education is
a colossal failure and must be replaced. (3) We must place control
of education in the hands of parents and teachers in the local
communities and take it away from Washington, the Federal Courts,
and the liberal leadership of a powerful teachers union. (4)
We must give to every parent the maximum freedom to decide what
school is best for his or her child. Empowering parents with
vouchers and educational choice at the state and local level
is an idea whose time has come.
Yet some would
say, we can never have better education without stronger families.
In part they
are right. In my opinion the breakup of the American family
is the number one social problem in our nation today. Half
of our marriages end in divorce. Over fifteen million children
now live with a single parent. According to press reports, over
half of the women with children in the black community do not
have any man in residence.
with children are the fastest growing segment of the poor in
our land. We speak of the "feminization" of poverty. But
what has government done about the problem?
Democratic Congresses have raised the tax burden on parents
with children an estimated 245 percent over a 20-year period.
In one year
Federal taxpayer's money was used to institute an estimated
225,000 divorce actions. It has been estimated
that 30 percent of all divorces in America are caused by misguided
than all this is the assumption begun by Lyndon Johnson's Great
Society programs that the poor did not have to strive, to learn,
to compete, to excel.
fostered dependency, then hopelessness, then despair.
gentlemen, we are Republicans and we believe some basic truths:
must seek to strengthen families not tear them apart.
are responsible for their own children. If a man fathers a child,
that child is not the responsibility of the city, the state,
or the federal government. That child is his responsibility
and he and the child's mother should be made to look after it.
in our society should have complete access to challenging and
rewarding careers. If women in our society do the same work
as men they should receive the same pay as men for that equal
(4) We also
need to stop punishing women in our society who choose to be
homemakers. If in our society we can afford to give tax deductions
and credits to working women with children, we also can afford
to give tax deductions and credits to women who want to stay
at home and care for their children.
(5) The goal
of welfare must be to restore people in crisis to dignity and
useful employment ... not to create a class of government dependents
for whom welfare is a way of life. Whatever the Democrats may
tell you, that is not the way to "keep hope alive."
But hope is
very much alive in America today. It is alive because our vision,
the Republican vision, expresses the hopes and the dreams of
the vast majority of the American people.
And, as we
leave New Orleans, we will go back to our homes confident that
we are a-party united around a platform that expresses the American
spirit -- a platform we can be proud to share with our neighbors
all over this great nation.
Now, I would
like to give a personal, special message to the millions of
voters, volunteers, and supporters across America who committed
themselves to my campaign. I thank you. I am very proud of you.
Now, the time has come for you to make your choice.
is about to nominate a man that I have come to respect and admire.
This man can
and will lead our nation proudly into the future.
tonight I release my delegates and alternates who have come
to this convention and urge you and all of my friends across
America to give your enthusiastic support to our party, our
candidates, and our presidential nominee, George Bush.
As we cast
our eyes toward November, we know that a new page of history
will be written.
On that page
we will inscribe the name of the 41st President of the United
His name will
be George Bush, Republican. Thank you, and God bless you!