Elizabeth Dole

Remarks at 2004 Republican National Committee - Aug. 31, 2004

Elizabeth Dole
August 31, 2004— New York City, New York
2004 Republican National Convention
Print friendly

Thank you ladies and gentlemen for your warm welcome. And folks, this time I promise to stay behind the podium!

For giving me the privilege and honor of representing them in the United State Senate, let me say thank you to the folks of the great state of North Carolina.

For giving America courageous leadership in times of trial, decisive leadership in times of crisis, we thank you, Mr. President. You have restored honor and dignity to the White House. The Presidency tests all who have been there. It has tested you, sir. Your road has not been easy; your burden has not been light; yet you have displayed the peace that surpasses all understanding. We salute you.

We live in a time of stark contrasts. Four years ago America was about to tumble into recession. Today our economy is recovering. Four years ago, 911 was just an emergency phone number. Today, it is a call to arms.

For Republicans, through these changes and challenges, who we are and what we believe has never wavered. The party of Abraham Lincoln has not wandered in a desert of disbelief or uncertainty. Led now by President Bush, this Grand Old Party is still guided by a moral compass, its roots deep in the firm soil of timeless truths. We still believe that character is king. We saw that lived out in the life of Ronald Wilson Reagan. Ronald Reagan, who called an empire evil and won the Cold War.

We still believe that liberty is the birthright of every soul. That's why in Afghanistan women were freed from virtual slavery and given access to books and education and a future. That's why in Afghanistan and Iraq the dark clouds of oppression have parted for 50 million people. And until they can clearly see the blue skies of freedom, we are standing by them!

Yet we know our true strength is not in our weapons. We are a great nation because we are a good people. And we are a good people because of what we believe. We believe in the dignity of every life, the possibility of every mind, the divinity of every soul. This is our true north - we believe in life.

The new life of a man and woman joined together under God. Marriage is important not because it is a convenient invention or the latest reality show — marriage is important because it is the cornerstone of civilization, and the foundation of the family. Marriage between a man and a woman isn't something Republicans invented, but it is something Republicans will defend.

We value the sacred life of every man, woman, and child. We believe in a culture that respects all human life - including the most vulnerable in our society, the frail elderly, the infirm, and those not yet born. Protecting life isn't something Republicans invented, but it is something Republicans will defend.

We believe in the treasured life of faith. Two thousand years ago a man said, "I have come to give life and to give it in full." In America I have the freedom to call that man Lord, and I do. In the United States of America we are free to worship without discrimination, without intervention and even without activist judges trying to strip the name of God from the Pledge of Allegiance from the money in our pockets and from the walls of our courthouses. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The right to worship God isn't something Republicans invented, but it is something Republicans will defend.

We believe in the compassionate life of service. Our enemies in this war on terror say that America is selfish, self-centered, self-obsessed. They do not know America. As the President said, "If you want to help in the war on terror, love your neighbor. Love your neighbor." Americans will cross town or cross the globe to help people they've never met and will never see again. So yes, if neighbors are hungry, we feed them; if a storm named Charley or Francis strikes, we help them. Serving others isn't something Americans invented, but it is a calling we'll always accept.

These are just some of the principles that guide our party. Some may call them values. Others may call them virtues. I like to think of them simply as the truths my parents and grandparents taught me. Despite what you might hear on the news, they are the shared truths of the American people. They are true from sea to shining sea - from my hometown of Salisbury, North Carolina to the South Side of Chicago, from Little Havana to Bob Dole's Russell, Kansas, from Madison Square Garden to the Space Needle, from Crawford, Texas to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The last century was known as the "American Century." In a single lifetime, I have seen Americans split the atom, abolish Jim Crow, eliminate the scourge of polio, win the Cold War, plant our flag on the surface of the moon, map the human genetic code and belatedly recognize the talents of women, minorities, the disabled and others once relegated to the shadows.

We are now in the earliest years of a new century, writing another chapter in American history. And if we reaffirm these timeless and unchangeable truths, if we choose life and liberty, compassion and service, character and faith, we will honor those who came before us, and inspire the children of tomorrow. It will be said of us that we lived in a time of great challenge, and great hopes.

And let it also be said that we loved our country and served her well and chose leaders wisely.

That is what brings us to this convention, ladies and gentlemen. I am honored to stand with you in support of a great American: our nominee—our President—George W. Bush!