Zell’s fire and brimstone

By Jerry Falwell

As a Baptist preacher, I have witnessed a few blistering sermons through the years. But I can’t recall a sermon as scorching with passion and righteous indignation as the Republican National Convention speech given by Sen. Zell Miller, the Georgia Democrat who pulled no punches in identifying the absolute surrender of his party to leftist special-interest groups at this pivotal time in our nation’s history.

Speaking for the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans in the South, Sen. Miller decried the Democrat policies that are “motivated more by partisan politics” than by a concern for our national security. It needed to be said, and Sen. Miller was the perfect man to deliver the message.

I was privileged to spend three days at the Republican Convention in New York City and felt specifically honored that I was in the house to witness Sen. Miller’s moving call for bipartisanship in the defense of freedom and the effort to safeguard our nation from those who seek to annihilate us.

While I knew that the left would criticize Sen. Miller for crossing party lines and utilizing tough language, I never imagined how far that criticism would go.

Erstwhile talk show host Dick Cavett actually accused Sen. Miller of looking like a “Klansman” on the “Imus in the Morning” broadcast yesterday. Two days earlier, MSNBC talking head David Gergen suggested on a “Hardball” segment that Sen. Miller was a “man of hate” in the vein of his one-time segregationist boss, Georgia Democrat Gov. Lester Maddox.

Thankfully, conservative analyst Laura Ingraham, who was sitting on the MSNBC dais with Mr. Gergen, ripped into him in defense of Sen. Miller. In a heated retort, she blasted those who would use such inflammatory rhetoric to attack the senator because his speech had dared to expose the left’s influence by pacifists and globalists who don’t have America’s best interests at heart.

On her website this week, Ms. Ingraham furthered her defense of Sen. Miller: “The usual suspects in the media (Joe Klein, Chris Matthews, etc.) are breathless about Zell Miller’s ‘angry’ convention speech. Well, Zell has a right to be angry. He’s been a good Democrat his whole life, and after he served as governor of Georgia, he goes to the U.S. Senate and finds that the whole party has been taken over by elitists who despise him and everything he stands for. And on top of everything else, he has to watch John Kerry – of all people – claim to be strong on defense. That should make a person mad. …”

I appreciate the warrior spirit of Ms. Ingraham and her willingness to take a stand. We need more like her. It’s about time we see some righteous anger to counter the reckless allegations that typically spring out from leftist critics who ignore their own party’s skeletons.

As for the overall state of the Republican Party, I can report that the GOP platform is very reflective of our conservative ideals. I was able to meet with several party officials, including Senate Majority Leader William Frist, who were actively involved in creating and guarding the platform. I am happy to report that the platform remains pro-life and pro-family.

I believe the platform has been just as important as the convention in the accelerated momentum the GOP now has.

And now that the convention is over, many members of the mainstream media are almost hysterical regarding the thrust the event brought President Bush. Unlike John Kerry’s dilemma after the Democratic Convention, where his poll numbers remained virtually stagnant, President Bush got an immediate bump in the polls (which some say may rise to 8-9 points by Monday).

I believe this is yet a clear indication that the majority of our fellow Americans are tired of the notion that, as Sen. Miller described it, “America is the problem, not the solution.” I thank God for intrepid men like Sen. Zell Miller who will stand against a terrible tide of unreasonable disparagement in order to defend the nation we love.