RNC and the Ghost of Cuomo's Famous Keynoter
Wow! It could have been 1992 last night at the Republican Convention. Remember when Bill Clinton kicked every pro-life Democrat in the groin and refused to permit pro-life Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey to speak? It could have been 1992.
The signs were there. The lib media were still deriding Rep. Todd Akin's comments made off the cuff, which essentially meant that sometimes the shock of violence at rape can cause a woman to lose the child she is carrying or even not to become pregnant in that cycle. (By the way, if you were one of the two dozen people watching ultra-hip-lib, Rachel Maddow-clone Chris Hayes on MSNBC this weekend, how did Hayes phrase it, 15% of rapes are "forcible" and the rest are, what, by invitation only?)
So, the stars were aligning for 1992, Republican style. Rockefeller Republicans were distancing themselves from their own solid pro-life platform by talking about rape and incest exceptions, as if some embryonic humans are more human than others. Meanwhile, these same "moderates" (as they fancy themselves) were showing no moderation towards the grass-roots conservatives when making plays for lopsided power four years from now by trying to change the rules to ensure that the presumed Republican nominee could choose like-minded delegates. (As radio host Mark Levin said a few days ago, true Americans want to see federalism not only in our government structures, but also in our party politics.) Ooh, that all did not bode well for Tuesday night.
And then the speeches began. This wasn't a typical Republican convention; it was the Democratic Convention of 1984!
Flashback, if you will, to the 1984 Democratic Convention in San Francisco. Governor Mario Cuomo poetically danced around Ronald Reagan's City on a Hill speech by talking about two cities, one exclusive and one inclusive. Cuomo said, "We speak for the minorities who have not yet entered the mainstream. We speak for ethnics who want to add their culture to the magnificent mosaic that is America."
Cue to Tampa last night at the Republican Convention. Well, Governor Cuomo, the minorities and ethnics were speaking for themselves! Yes, at the Republican Convention!
Mia Love, a Republican Utah mayor and a candidate for Congress, introduced herself as a child of Haitian immigrants who had only $10 in their pockets when they came to the United States. Love said that Obama is not fooling anyone and absolutely must lose the next election, that "we built it," and that the United States is truly the last best hope on earth. Her speech was short and sweet, and it would have been so even coming from an older white man, but the visual was Heaven-sent: Love is a gorgeous thirty-something black woman with beautiful braids streaming down her shoulders.
Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia provided the numbers: states with Republican leadership are doing remarkably better than states with Democratic leadership. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin followed by giving the reasoning: the common-sense budget-minding that families do had to be done-at a heroic level, in Walker's case-by the states. We were moving into Reagan-Democrat territory.
Then, Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada tilted the Republicans to the dream of traditional Americans: to give our children a better life. Sandoval made way for arguably the most important (yet overlooked) speech of the night by Phil Archuletta, a Hispanic business owner who has seen his business dive during the Obama years due to the red-tape imposed by this administration. Archuletta embodied Cuomo's hard-working "magnificent mosaic" that has been crushed to pieces by Barack Obama.
Then came Rick Santorum's fabulous more-Cuomo-than-Cuomo speech. Sen. Santorum recalled the hands of his immigrant grandfather, who worked until age 72 in American coalmines, because of his belief in the American dream. Santorum deftly moved to the hands that he shook on the campaign trail, including those hands who reminded him of his daughter Bella's hands, small and weak from physical handicap. Then Santorum lifted the convention audience to its feet as he spoke of the joy that Bella brings to his life and to his family. The focus moved to our founding document's declaration for right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The stage was set for Ted Cruz, Republican nominee for Senate from Texas. Cruz began with the softball, describing how his mother was an Irish-Italian American, the first in her family to attend college. Then Cruz laid it on the line: his father was tortured and almost killed in Cuba, but escaped to this country, decamping in Texas, in the 1950s. His father had only $100 sewn in his underwear, and washed dishes so that he could go to college. Cruz said that he and his father were grateful that no one put his father on welfare and that no one told his father not to bother to learn English!
Next came Artur Davis, a recent Democrat-turned-Republican. In fact, Davis had co-chaired Obama's presidential campaign in 2008. But, as Davis said Tuesday night, one had to wonder whether it portended well for the "dream" when Obama's election was celebrated with gold-painted styrofoam Grecian pillars. Davis was clear as bright lightning: there are six-to-seven million former Obama voters out there who only need a nudge to vote against Obama in 2012. These millions realize that Obama's dictatorialism does not match up with what had appeared to them to be references to the dreams of equality enunciated by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tea Party Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina described how her immigrant parents built their business in their living room and how they could not have done this under the legal constrictions created by the Obama administration. Haley went on to describe her pride in keeping South Carolina as a hub of manufacturing industries in the United States, despite the lack of assistance from the president.
Ann Romney (who, with shorter hair, could be said to resemble Geraldine Ferraro circa 1984), successfully spoke as the "character witness" (to quote Gloria Borger) for Mitt Romney. The prospective first lady related that she and her husband fell in love at a young age and so were married young. (This echoed back to Rick Santorum's speech, wherein he promoted marriage as a key to raising children successfully and without government intrusion.) Mrs. Romney listed her middle-class creds: the granddaughter of a Welsh coal miner, eating tuna casseroles on a make-shift table with her new husband and first two babies, to be followed by three more babies, breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. Her focus was on Mitt, the capable and honorable protector, who would do for the country as he has done for his family, his businesses, the Olympics and Massachusetts (including making Massachusetts number one in public school education and a paragon of scholarship by way of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarships).
Tuesday night was closed with the Keynote Address from Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who with his hair cut shorter and tough-guy talk hearkened to the late Mayor Frank Rizzo of Philadelphia (who, as did Ronald Reagan, swung to the Republican party, because the Democrats had left him). It seemed as if Gov. Christie were just talking about his political stands in New Jersey, taking on the teacher unions in order to save the teachers and the children, etc. But at a meta-level, Christie knocked the ball out of the park by describing the the common-sense values and ethics of average Americans. Afterwards on Fox News, quasi-liberal commentator Juan Williams said that Christie's speech was very appealing in his focus and on how the issue came back to the fight for freedom, which, Christie stated in certain terms, is fundamentally in jeopardy.
Although Mario Cuomo's 1984 speech is on every top-100 speech lists, it is not standing the test of time at all as well as any clip from any of Ronald Reagan's speeches. President Reagan realized what many of us did not at the time: that freedom is truly fragile and must be defended in every generation. In fact, in a generation or two, Chris Christie's speech will be remembered as better than Cuomo's, if not for the intrinsic poetry, then for the look-me-in-the-eye-and-tell-me-what's-wrong question that every American has and that Christie answered last night: we must defeat Obama and the forces against freedom that have gained ground in this great nation.
(Watch the convention on C-SPAN if you want the full sights, smells and sounds of the convention; even Fox News talked over some of the best speeches Tuesday.)
Marianna Trzeciak, Esq.'s writings have been published here in American Thinker, as well as in LifeNews, LifeSiteNews, and Catholic and secular print news sources.