The theme for this year's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., is "We Did Build That."
It's an interesting choice of a theme. There are a lot of options this year: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is running against a president who simply hasn't gotten much of anything right. Even the death of Osama bin Laden, it turns out, is something he bungled, since we saw him "spike the football" about it when his poll numbers started looking scary (incidentally, they haven't improved since then).
But it's a worthy message, one that puts the question of economic freedom front and center, which is appropriate because it will be front and center in November.
On Tuesday night, potential first lady Ann Romney will speak. Politico's Dylan Byers is reporting that NBC, ABC and CBS will not air this portion of the convention. Why not? What sitcom is more important than this? The liberal media are afraid of a strong Republican woman speaking in this election cycle, in which their only hope of winning is making the "War on Women" plausible to independents, and people who pay little attention to politics. These stations should take a week off from their regular schedules and broadcast this beautiful and courageous woman.
It's too bad for the liberal media, however, because we also will hear from U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, two outstanding leaders of whom the Grand Old Party is justifiably proud.
In fact, despite liberal attacks and smear campaigns to the contrary, the Republican Party will show the world its diversity. U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Utah congressional candidate Mia Love will speak directly to the country, not mediated by any biased commentators.
It just goes to show that conservative principles are universal. The Democrats, on the other hand, are the ones who support special interests and special privileges. We are pro-family (universal), they are pro-homosexual (particular). We are pro-life (universal), they are pro-abortion (particular). We are pro-equality (universal), they are pro-affirmative action (particular). It is the Republican Party that respects people: We don't care who you are; if you believe what we believe, the door is wide open.
There are some surprises on the roster for the convention.
The biggest one to me is U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who ran as an anti-establishment candidate for Senate and won almost in spite of the party. Sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, and brought to prominence by his father, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, he is a tea partyer, and here he is on the main stage of the establishment. This will bring together the disparate strands of conservatism in our country and give a megaphone to a man who will play a major role in the party for decades to come.
The keynote speaker is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. This is another interesting selection. The obvious choice would be someone like U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio -- a Floridian, a handsome, youthful and articulate member of the fastest-growing demographic in the country, Latin Americans. Selecting Mr. Christie, however, has the benefit of speaking to the Reagan Democrat crowd, the moderates and independents who ultimately will decide the fate of our country in November. Mr. Christie speaks in a direct style that is appealing to blue-collar voters, and makes him appear much more human and personable than the average politician. Having him speak demonstrates that the Republican Party is no longer the country club party.
The party platform this year is a striking contrast with the Democratic platform, which has, for the first time of any party platform in American history, added a plank supporting homosexual marriage. To call this new and unprecedented is also to call it extreme. The Republican platform rightly opposes this illegitimate institution and gives religious voters a clear choice between social experimentation and tested tradition.
The platform also includes support for banning all abortions. This is another brave choice. After the ridiculous and ignorant comments of Rep. Todd W. Akin, who is running for U.S. Senate in Missouri, last week about children conceived in rape, it would have been easy to back down from what we know to be right and duck the issue altogether. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell deserves commendation for keeping it in. Democrats will go on record, for all of history to read, advocating the killing of children conceived in rape, Republicans, thankfully, will not.
Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to hit Florida just in time for the convention, putting many people in danger and distracting from the event altogether. I pray that no one gets hurt and that this convention will get us all excited and ready to help this country recover from the past four years of Hurricane Barack.
• Armstrong Williams, author of the 2010 book "Reawakening Virtues," is on Sirius Power 128 from 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside. Read his content on RightSideWire.com.
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