We recall the words of the old popular song, "What a Difference a Day Makes; 24 Little Hours." In this political year, it was actually 38 hours, but the poetry is the same.
That's the time-spread between the locking up of the 2008 Republican platform on Wednesday at 8 p.m. and the selection of conservative Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as John McCain's Veep choice at 10 a.m. on Friday. In just 38 hours, disheartened conservatives were transformed into enthusiastic Republicans, armed and ready to storm the pseudo-Greek temple that Barack Obama erected in the mile-high city of Denver.
It's hard to exaggerate the turnaround in the attitude of grassroots Republicans -- a CNN reporter expressed herself as "shocked." Palin is a breath of fresh air to John McCain's campaign.
The Republican Party platform, hammered out by a grassroots committee with representatives from every state, gives Republicans a basis on which to rebuild their party. It's a "call to arms," a platform of bold colors with no pastel shades, just as Ronald Reagan described the 1976 platform that delegates adopted after rejecting the Gerald Ford-Henry Kissinger platform.
This year's platform is a complete break from the ponderous 2004 platform, which strung together 40,000 tiresome words. The 2008 platform isn't about personalities; it's about principles.
The 2004 platform had endorsed the "Free Trade Area of the Americas," a foolish notion to bring about the economic integration of the Western Hemisphere and allow cheap labor to replace American jobs. The 2008 platform sensibly calls for "a Western Hemisphere of sovereign nations with secure borders," and the committee unanimously rejected the goal of a "North American Union" modeled on the European Union.
This year gave us a clear improvement over the previous platform in regard to the English language. In 2004, Republicans called English "our nation's common language" and endorsed bilingual education, but the 2008 platform supports "English as the official language in our nation" because it is "essential as a unifying cultural force" and omits mention of bilingual ed (often called language apartheid).
The 2004 platform had lined up with the now-defeated amnesty plan of the U.S. Senate. It endorsed a "new temporary worker program" and allowing illegal aliens currently holding jobs in the United States "to apply for citizenship in the same manner as those who apply from outside the United States."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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