|According to some estimates, 500,000 Anti-Bush demonstrators protested in New York as the 2004 Republican Party Convention got underway.|
Four years ago, when George Bush received the presidential nomination in the City of Brotherly Love, America's Republicans presented themselves as a party of inclusion, unity and reconciliation. It was a formidable piece of political deception. The party that Mr Bush inherited was increasingly one of economic deregulation, social conservatism and global unilateralism with little feeling for those who did not share its values - a far cry from the party of Dwight Eisenhower or Theodore Roosevelt. Nevertheless, in Philadelphia in 2000 the Republicans depicted themselves as moderate and multicultural, and the convention ended with a speech from Mr Bush in which he offered himself as a compassionate conservative and as a healer of divisions. The entire event, as a veteran US commentator remarked, may have been a joke. But it was a joke that came off. Mr Bush left Philadelphia 14 points ahead of Al Gore in the polls, and the rest is history.
Four years on, this time in the City That Never Sleeps, the Republicans will try to repeat the trick. The party's moderates - senator John McCain, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani - have been granted primetime speaking slots to imply to the watching public that they are figures of greater heft in Mr Bush's counsels than they really are. Black and Latino delegates will be highlighted in an attempt to pretend the party is less white than it really is. And Mr Bush will use his acceptance speech on Thursday to reprise the compassionate and moderate themes that served him well in the last campaign and which need to work again if he is to see off the challenge of senator John Kerry.
The Republican party of 2000 happily acquiesced in the last deception, and it will eagerly do the same in this one. The purpose of a US convention these days is solely presentational. These Republican delegates have come to New York to play their loyal part in the process. But the delegates are not like other Americans. Only 3% of them oppose the Iraq war, a New York Times survey reported yesterday, compared with 51% of Americans as a whole. Only 7% of them think the US should work through the UN to solve international problems, compared with 49% of all Americans. Only 15% of the delegates think the government should do more to protect the environment, compared with 59% of the US as a whole.
It is a mistake to dismiss the party and its voters from top to bottom as ideological conservatives. One in three of the delegates in New York this week consider themselves moderates rather than conservatives, which is similar to the proportion among Republican voters too. The Republican party is in some ways less riven along ideological lines than it was a decade ago, as the commentator David Brooks thoughtfully pointed out last week. There is a lot of agreement with Mr Bush's core instincts, but there is also a lot of anxiety in the party about getting Iraq right, about the federal deficit and about wasteful spending. This is, after all, the party that controls both the White House and the Congress, and ideological disputes have been replaced by problems of governance.
And that, after all, is the big difference between 2000 and 2004. Four years ago, Mr Bush was running on a promise. This year he is running on his record. Voters will be given the same message this time around, but this time they have more to judge it against. This is why Mr Bush is having a harder time in the polls against Mr Kerry than he did against Mr Gore. The central fact about US politics today is that Mr Bush is currently losing this election. The convention week has therefore become a crucial opportunity for him to turn the tide in his favour, especially among the unusually few voters who have not yet made up their minds who to vote for in November.
Source: The Guardian
In Islam there is NO ASSIMILATION. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO STAND OUT AND BE DIFFERENT THAN THE NON-MUSLIMS.
Sorry but our religion our way of life is not like every one else.
The American system and Islam are not compatible.
We should stop trying to adapt Islam to America and start to try and adapt America to Islam.
ISLAM IS AMERICA' ONLY HOPE.
I'm American, but I am very ashamed to be!
Go to another country you say?
This is my country and Bush has shown the world what true American ideals are that because "we are NUMBER #1" we desearve to RAPE the world.
AMERICA DESECRATES THE WORLD AND THE BEAUTY IN IT.
AMERICA IS A BIG SWAGGERING BULLY.
I ONLY STARTED HAVING SUCH STRONG FEELINGS AFTER THIS HIDEOUS WAR IN IRAQ.
THERE ARE STILL SOME AMERICANS WHO IN THEIR COMA STILL MINDLESSLY SAY THE IRAQ WAR WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. Drones, sheep and robots!
What kind of monster is America?
Raping, killing and torturing its way across the world to insure that no one rises to their stature. Don't even think about standing up to them!
But God is bigger than them. They don't fear God.
Well, Bush. You can fool people once. You did that in 2000. You can't fool your fellow voters again this year.
I really hope Bush will loose this time. Why do I care since I am not an American?
USA being the most powerful and sole superpower on earth, American foreign policy will affect everyone on this planet. And the last 4 years have been hell for Muslims ever since Bush and his neo-con idiots control the white house.
Again, my recommendation to Muslim Americans is to kick Bush out of office this November.
Lets' ensure Bush and his neo-con war-mongering idiots are packed and kicked into the dust bin. At least for 4 years.
Believe me. The world will be better place without Bush and his neo-con idiotic advisers.