GOP convention:
Hope over hatred

By Kyle Williams

In the story of life, from conflict to climax and resolution, what is it that our hearts most respond to? As human beings, we, more than anything, respond to hope and faith – believing that a resolution will come. Whether it’s in hoping a loved one will pull through a sickness, a rebellious child will come back, or in hoping America will stay free. These are the things we Americans seem to be dealing with more than anything. This emotion we felt in being patriotic Americans when Ronald Reagan was president, when we go to war, when the terrorists attacked, when Reagan died and all the events that bring Americans together.

Other emotions are fear and hatred. These also are strong emotions. They fuel war, the demise of politicians and radical change in the world. So, Americans respond to these things and harbor hate and fear, and it changes the world. Yet, unlike hope, people become weary of harboring hate and constant fear. Hope is more powerful than fear or hatred, because hope renews and sustains.

I bring this up to ask the question, what have we seen over the past year? This election year has brought hatred and fear, and both sides have been spewing it. Whether it’s the 527s bashing on John Kerry’s war record, the Democrats bashing on President Bush’s economy, Kerry bashing on the war or the demonization of Kerry on the part of the RNC – it’s all fear and hatred. I’ve begun to believe these elections are good for Americans to release their hatred for politicians – our communities might explode if we didn’t. Still, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all weary of hating these two guys, and we’re tired of being afraid of them, too.

Thus – and I can’t believe I’m writing this – the Republican National Convention was a relief. You can say the convention was all fluff, hype and a big production, but there’s no denying the GOP hit the right spot. In contrast to this past year’s constant hatred, the speakers talked more about America and hope and family than politics. Sure, they hammered Kerry and no one expected differently, but when compared to the Democratic National Convention, the Republicans didn’t spew hatred.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was Reaganesque in his positive thoughts about this nation, and the stories about his life and immigration to America were about hope. Rudy Giuliani hit the spot as well, bringing a renewed spirit to a response to the terrorists. Yes, Zell Miller really pounded on Sen. Kerry, but he mixed his criticisms with thoughts about family, the future and hope. President Bush spoke with a relaxed tone and a sparkle in his eye about the future.

And this comes from a guy who has a stack full of criticisms against the Republican Party. Yet, being so tired of all the rhetoric of this past year, I have to throw my hands up and respond to the hope that the convention so uniquely conveyed.

There are two big questions now: Will this hope resonate with America, and will President Bush keep up this positive rhetoric?

The polls are shifting in the favor of President Bush, but will they stick? I can’t help but believe that a positive campaign will fair better than a negative one. President Bush is no longer characterized by the Swift Boat Veterans attacking Kerry. All John Kerry can do is talk about Vietnam and attack President Bush over it.

The ball is in Kerry’s court in this quickly ending game. If he keeps up the negative rhetoric, he’s done. He needs to be positive. He needs to be bipartisan. He needs to convey some sort of hope. He needs to show America a positive future. If he doesn’t work quickly with this, he’s done.

Hope is stronger than hatred.