Democratic National Convention: Monday Night

Bill Clinton

Strength and Wisdom are not opposing values.

These are good people in the White House doing what they believe is right. We just disagree.

Al Gore

Al Gore also made powerful points. I want to just quote the whole of his speech, but for that, simply click here.

The first lesson is this:  take it from me-every vote counts. In our Democracy, every vote has power. And never forget:  that power is yours.  Don’t let anyone take it away or talk you into throwing it away. And let’s make sure that this time every vote is counted.

Let’s make sure not only that the Supreme Court does not pick the next President, but also that this President is not the one who picks the next Supreme Court.

The second lesson from 2000 is this:  what happens in a presidential election matters. A lot. The outcome profoundly affects the lives of all 293 million Americans-and people in the rest of the world too. The choice of who is president affects your life and your family’s future.

And never has this been more true than in 2004, because-let’s face it-our country faces deep challenges. These challenges we now confront are not Democratic or Republican challenges; they are American challenges-that we all must overcome together.

It is in that spirit, that I sincerely ask those watching at home who supported President Bush four years ago:  did you really get what you expected from the candidate you voted for?

Is our country more united today? Or more divided?

Has the promise of compassionate conservatism been fulfilled? Or do those words now ring hollow?

For that matter, are the economic policies really conservative at all? Did you expect, for example, the largest deficits in history? One after another? And the loss of more than a million jobs?

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter, a man I so greatly respect, said it powerfully and bluntly:

Today, our dominant international challenge is to restore the greatness of America—based on telling the truth, a commitment to peace, and respect for civil liberties at home and basic human rights around the world. Truth is the foundation of our global leadership, but our credibility has been shattered and we are left increasingly isolated and vulnerable in a hostile world. Without truth—without  trust—America cannot flourish. Trust is at the very heart of our democracy, the sacred covenant between the president and the people.

When that trust is violated, the bonds that hold our republic together begin to weaken. After 9/11, America stood proud, wounded but determined and united. A cowardly attack on innocent civilians brought us an unprecedented level of cooperation and understanding around the world. But in just 34 months, we have watched with deep concern as all this goodwill has been squandered by a virtually unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations. Unilateral acts and demands have isolated the United States from the very nations we need to join us in combating terrorism. …

You can’t be a war president one day and claim to be a peace president the next, depending on the latest political polls. When our national security requires military action, John Kerry has already proven in Vietnam that he will not hesitate to act. And as a proven defender of our national security, John Kerry will strengthen the global alliance against terrorism while avoiding unnecessary wars. …

At stake is nothing less than our nation’s soul. In a few months, I will, God willing, enter my 81st year of my life, and in many ways the last few months have been some of the most disturbing of all. But I am not discouraged. I do not despair for our country. I believe tonight, as I always have, that the essential decency, compassion and common sense of the American people will prevail.

The Democratic National Convention