Now's the time to organize, passionately
Ukrainian Republicans need not despair. The GOP is alive and well and ready to do battle.
I was energized by the GOP convention. Jack Kemp is a superb vice-presidential choice, and the Republicans are united in their determination to beat Bill Clinton. A USA Today/CNN poll published on August 12 shows that Mr. Clinton's lead has narrowed to only nine points.
The issues also are on the side of the GOP. Most Americans support a smaller, smarter government, greater economic growth, tax reform, a balanced budget, the restoration of the family as the bedrock of the American social order. They want an end to racial preferences, moral decay, illegal immigration, abortion on demand for any reason, the welfare state, and corporate entitlements that continue to suck the lifeblood out of our economy.
As he finally signed one Republican bill after another (the line-item veto, welfare reform, health reform), even President Clinton realized that bucking the American will was hurting his chance for re-election.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the extreme liberal elite will do everything in its power to keep Mr. Clinton in office. They know that regardless of what Mr. Clinton says (the man is not exactly a person of impeccable character), as soon as he is re-elected, he will embrace their agenda once again.
The most extreme segment of the liberal elite stream in American life can be found among the media. Among other outrages, they have managed to demonize Newt Gingrich, one of the most brilliant and successful House speakers of modern times. His "Contract with America" resulted in a major GOP Congressional victory in 1994. At the end of his first 100 days in office, nine of the 10 contract items (including a balanced budget, an anti-crime bill, lower taxes for families, greater benefits for senior citizens and welfare reform) were passed by the House. The only item not passed was term limits.
Media extremists have also slandered Pat Buchanan, painting him as an anti-Semite (mainly because he believed John Demjanjuk was innocent) and the man who lost the election for George Bush. Contrary to media myth, however, President Bush initially gained in the polls as a result of Mr. Buchanan's speech at the 1992 Republican convention.
Extreme liberal elitists refer to the Reagan era (a period during which we enjoyed our second longest post-war economic expansion) as the "Decade of Greed." Today these same sophists portray the Gingrich-Buchanan year as the "Age of Meanness." The truth is that slowing Medicare growth does not end it, nor does it push your Baba out of her home. GOP proposals will assure Medicare solvency. Rejecting racial preferences will not force minorities to the back of the bus; it will help heal the racial wounds that divide us by establishing merit as the major criterion for advancement. Stemming the tide of illegal immigrants will not destroy America's cultural diversity; it will reward those who have patiently waited in line for their turn to enter this country.
Finally, the GOP welfare bill does not "end welfare." It more than doubles child care dollars (from $1.1 billion in 1996 to $2.7 billion in 2002), and provides billions for food stamps, social services and other benefits. What the bill does end is the never-ending entitlements that some welfare families have received into the third generation.
According to the extremist media elite, the GOP platform calls for an abortion amendment in the Constitution that, in the words of columnist Molly Ivins, would "outlaw abortion in all circumstances."
Sun-Times columnist Dennis Byrne argues that there is no such item in the GOP platform. "What the platform does contain," he writes, "is a plank - whose text is rarely quoted by reporters - that supports an unspecified 'human life amendment' and legislation to apply 14th Amendment protection to unborn children. The new amendment could take many forms. One possibility, which once received 49 votes in the Senate, simply reads: 'A right to abortion is not secured by this Constitution.' This would return the issue to the realm of legislative policy-making, where it belongs."
The GOP wants to end such abominations as "partial birth abortion" (banned overwhelmingly by Congress, but vetoed by President Clinton), which permits a doctor to partially deliver a baby in the ninth month, feet first, and to suck its brains out while the head remains in the mother's womb. The media, of course, doesn't mention such "minor operations" of the multi-billion-dollar abortion industry.
Nor do we get much accurate information regarding tax reform. Ironically, Mr. Clinton, who promised tax cuts but then presided over one of the biggest tax increases and spending programs in history, now argues that Bob Dole's tax cut idea will hurt his efforts to balance the budget. Some economists argue that a personal income tax cut would: fuel inflation because people would spend more money; increase interest rates because the Federal Reserve would tighten credit to fight inflation; slow the economy because high interest rates are bad for business; the stock market would decline because people would sell stocks and invest elsewhere.
According to economist Terry Savage, when President Ronald Reagan lowered taxes, a different reality emerged: interest rates dropped from 21 percent to 7.5 percent; inflation fell from 14 percent to less than 1.5 percent; the stock market nearly tripled from 884 on the Dow Jones industrial average in 1982 to 2,508 in 1989; tax revenues increased $670 billion (7 percent a year); the share of all income taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers rose from 17.89 percent in 1981 to 27.58 percent in 1988; economic growth from 1982 through 1990 averaged 3.94 percent a year as compared to 1.74 percent during the first half of the 1990s. What stopped the Reagan boom? Two huge tax increases during the Bush-Clinton years. Even Mr. Clinton admitted that he may have increased taxes too much.
Messrs. Dole and Clinton represent two very different visions of America. Both will project their ideals in the 80-plus days remaining until the election. The issues will be defined. As good Americans, Ukrainians need to study these issues and to take sides. If we care about America we need to organize our forces and become visibly and passionately involved in this election, both at the national and the local levels. If we remain on the sidelines during the election process, we deserve to be ignored after the victors take their oaths of office.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, August 18, 1996, No. 33, Vol. LXIV
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