During the Denver Republican Convention in August, Hurricane Gustav bore down on New Orleans, prompting major changes in the convention schedule, but also causing a change in message.
Sen. McCain asked Republicans to “take off their Republican hats and put on their American hats” and join in assisting the victims of another Gulf Coast disaster.
We had taken this idea a step further — albeit earlier — when we took off our partisan hats before the Republican Convention and well before John McCain made the suggestion.
Thinking as Americans, and not as partisan Republicans, we decided to not only vote for the Obama-Biden ticket but also to actively campaign for Obama/Biden — for the good of the nation.
Why would two longtime conservative Republicans do such thing?
We recently created a web site, www.obamarepublicans08.com, and wrote a book, "Turning Red States Blue: Obama’s Mission to Win the Republican Vote" (Genesis Press), to answer the question. In the book we go into detail, quoting extensively from Obama and McCain, setting forth the candidates’ positions on the war in Iraq, the economy, healthcare, the energy crisis, education, and Social Security.
After carefully considering where they stand on the issues and where they propose to take the country, there was no question in our minds that Sen. Obama should lead this great nation for the next four years.
Let’s be clear: Both candidates love this country and both want to serve it honorably. This is not an election between Stalin and Hitler. It is an election to choose between two men who differ profoundly on their approach to solving the major challenges facing us in the 21st century.
We do not want the next president to be elected based on 30-second television commercials; or worse yet based on lies (e.g. Barack Obama is a Muslim) or a hypocritical framing of issues that obscure similar behavior by the accuser.
Instead of playing over and over again the loop of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, why not play the video of Gov. Sarah Palin speaking in her church and telling the congregation that the war in Iraq is “God’s war”, or her being prayed over by a Kenyan minister who is best known for accusing his neighbor of being a witch and forcing her to leave her village in shame. Why not have Sean Hannity ask Mrs. Palin whose creation story she and McCain want taught in the public schools, the Muslim version or the Mormon version?
If Gov. Palin insists on throwing out one-liners about government reform and transparency then she has to make herself available as soon as possible to Tom Brokaw on "Meet The Press," and a full-fledged news conference, and let them explore which parts of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution the McCain-Palin administration plans on abrogating.
Americans need to know, preferably before the election. If the children of candidates are off-limits, and family values are emphasized as an important value to be considered for the U.S. presidency, then do not parade an unwed pregnant teen daughter and her profanity-versed boyfriend (see his MySpace page) before the nation and world at the party convention and campaign appearances.
This behavior, without regard for consistency and moral balance, is contradictory to core Republican and conservative values.
There are very serious differences between McCain and Obama on the Iraq war. We believe Bush and McCain have taken us in the wrong direction and McCain will continue the failed policy of the Bush administration.
America can no longer afford this albatross of failed economic and military policies. If past is prologue, then McCain’s voting record of supporting President Bush 90 percent of the time tell us, if elected, he will give America four more years of the same failed policies.
McCain has no energy policy other than “Drill now, drill here” and his solution to the Social Security problem by investing in the stock market is now indisputably negated by the current Wall Street crisis.
We can no longer cut taxes for the richest people in America and at the same time continue to run trillion-dollar deficits, fight a two-front war, and now correct a collapse which involves major investment firms, regional banks, and insurance companies.
Holding fast to our American hats against the tacking winds of partisanship keeps us sailing true; continuing the bickering on cable news networks keeps America in choppy waters.
To understand what we really believe. go to www.obamarepublicans08.com and order the book and read it.
This is the most important election of our lifetimes. We must insist that the issues be discussed, not demagogued. We invite Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike to carefully consider the issues and engage in the debate our Founding Fathers envisioned over 200 years ago.
Wilbur Colom, a Mississippi trial attorney and entrepreneur for the past 32 years, began his rise in GOP circles as a member of President Ronald Reagan’s Transition Committee and later ran for statewide office as treasurer on the Republican ticket in Mississippi. He has been a delegate and alternate at the quadrennial GOP nominating convention since the 1980s.
James Parkinson is a California-based lawyer and author, and a protégé of U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. He was co-lead counsel in the case seeking restitution for American POWs in World War II who were forced into slave labor by Japanese corporations that are still in existence today. Parkinson and co-author Lee Benson wrote about the case in their book "Solider Slaves: Abandoned by the White House, Courts and Congress" (US Naval Institute Press). The book was endorsed by “Meet the Press” host Tom Brokaw.
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