Republican National Convention
McCain and Palin make an exciting ticket Having never heard Gov. Sarah Palin, I sat on the edge of my chair awaiting her speech Wednesday. If there was fear, I never heard it. If there was lack of self-confidence, I did not detect it. If there was lack of compassion and true feeling, I did not sense it. If there was any wavering in her support and respect for Sen. John McCain, I did not hear it.
Wow, I see why McCain did it now!
What a breath of fresh air — the truth, simply said: Fight the establishment and do what is right for a change. The statement that one candidate promotes a career with change, while the other promotes change based on a career, hit the nail on the head. It is about experience and ability to lead on the first day in office.
I am now excited more than ever for the McCain/Palin ticket and the future of America!
Raymond Hetterich, Seminole
Palin's extreme positions
I was appalled by Sarah Palin's snide and distorting speech (written by one of President Bush's speechwriters) Wednesday night which made it clear that she is cut right out of the same cloth as the divisive, cynical Republican politicians who have wreaked so much havoc on us these past eight years.
An antichoice McCain-Palin presidency will set women's rights back half a century as they tilt the Supreme Court with justices who will overturn Roe vs. Wade. Palin is against abortion even in cases of rape and incest. She is for book banning. She believes the Iraq war is "God's task." She doesn't believe global warming is man-made. She wants creationism taught in schools. She has encouraged the Alaskan Independence Party, whose members want to secede from the United States.
She is under a bipartisan investigation for abuse of power. She was for the "bridge to nowhere" before it became political poison, and kept the money after she was against it. She lobbied for $27-million in earmarks for her small town while she was mayor only a year and a half ago yet pretends she is against pork now.
She is for abstinence-only sex education when we can all see how well that philosophy worked for her own daughter. Can you imagine the Republican outcry against liberals and Barack Obama if he had an unwed pregnant daughter right now?
The list of reasons why this particular woman should not be "one heartbeat" away from the most powerful position in the world goes on and on.
Shirley Copperman, Tarpon Springs
She's the real thing
I watched hours of the Democratic National Convention and some of the Republican National Convention. And after watching Sarah Palin deliver her acceptance speech Wednesday night, I have to say that of all the people who have stood at the microphone at either convention up to then, she came across as the real deal. Those other polished speechmakers looked like wannabes in comparison.
As for the policies, Republican vs. Democrat, I'll take the team that is promising smaller government as opposed to the team that is guaranteeing larger government.
John A. Skicewicz, Clearwater
Pit bull and parrot
The elephant in the convention hall on Wednesday night was the eight years of Republican rule under the Bush administration, and six years of GOP congressional control which went totally unmentioned. The attacks against Washington power brokers breathed new life into the phrase "We have met the enemy and he is us." The entire convention acted as if George W. Bush did not exist, banishing the president's presence to a brief five-minute speech by satellite.
Instead Wednesday night at this convention was all about Sarah Palin, who read a speech from the teleprompter but whose words were not her own. In fact, Palin's speech was written by a chief speechwriter for George W. Bush. Palin's only authentic line was her description of herself as "a pit bull with lipstick." Her speech made this point quite effectively.
What is less obvious is that this cutesy attack dog was parroting the same lines written by the same speechwriter of George W. Bush. Remove the lipstick and what do we have? Four more years of more of the same.
Dave Goldman, Sarasota
Palin has it all
I am stunned at the "audacity" of the angry left in their hilarious attempts to discredit Gov. Sarah Palin. How dare they attempt to discredit her personal choices in raising her family! Sexism is alive and well in the far left of this nation. Just ask Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.
The women of this nation should be angry about the smears they have both had to endure. Obama's attack dogs carry out their covert mission while he claims ignorance of the practice and says, "It won't happen in my campaign." Unbelievable.
Palin's historic convention speech left no doubt regarding her ability to lead and communicate. She's a natural. She welcomes this fight not because she seeks it, but because the nation needs her.
The only difference between Alaska's hockey mom and a pit bull really is lipstick. This lady has it all. Sexism just met its match.
Kelly Walton, Pensacola
Using children as props
Sarah Palin and her supporters say that her children are out of bounds for campaign purposes. But it was she who propped them up on the campaign stage. The message was, "Look at my beautiful children. These are just five of the many reasons you should vote for me." Sarah Palin used them, and it is too late to take that back.
Her actions raise questions about her fitness and judgment as a mother, not to mention as a candidate for high public office: She sacrificed her daughter's need for privacy and dignity at this vulnerable and painful time in order to advance her own ambitions.
Gregory A. Morgan, Lutz
Rarely in my lifetime have I seen such effrontery displayed as when the abstinence-only advocates, Gov. Sarah Palin and the Republican National Committee paraded out the unmarried pregnant 17-year-old daughter and her boyfriend for the glowing approval and applause of the supposedly family values Republican delegates.
What hypocrisy. Someone ought to tell the governor and her supporters that pregnancy is what happens when you rely on abstinence only and eliminate sex education and contraception programs. These people need to get control of their own families before telling others how to live.
Robert M. Spraitz, Clearwater
A real measure of character
Stop attacking Sarah Palin for the mistakes that her daughter has made. We all make mistakes, and there is no perfect family.
But I do believe that the absence of core values from our society and institutions are bringing America into the state it is. People try to take the easy way out, teaching in schools that it is all right to have sex as long as they have safe sex. What has happened to teaching abstinence and the rewards that it gives both physically and emotionally?
People do make mistakes, however it is not at the failure we should look, but at how people get back up. Neither Sarah nor Bristol is taking the easy way out, but they are both setting an example about what to do when one does make a mistake. Any kind of life is not a misfortune, it is a miracle and we should protect that.
Carla Alonso, Tampa
A change in values
The Republican Party has touted their values above all others since Dan Quayle took on the "Murphy Brown" issue. So when did they decide that an unwed, pregnant teenager represented our family values? When did premarital sex and teenage marriage become acceptable?
I remember a time, I swear it wasn't that long ago, when the Republicans told us these issues were what was wrong with our nation.
And when did it become acceptable for every adult in this child's life to put their interests and ambitions ahead of hers during this, the most difficult time of her young life? When did it become okay to trot her out in front of the entire world and subject her to this kind of intense scrutiny? Did these changes just happen last week? Or have I missed something all these years?
Robyn Hitchens, St. Petersburg
A chance to educate
The pregnancy of Sarah Palin's daughter should not be about politics. It could have happened to Amy or Chelsea and could yet happen in the Obama family. This letter is about the teaching of abstinence and the irony that Bristol Palin is now thrust into the role of poster child for why abstinence does not work.
It doesn't matter if you are Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, Christian or Muslim, wealthy or poor and most importantly, teenager or adult. The desire to have sex is extraordinarily powerful. It is not just about popular culture, as sexuality has been portrayed as powerful since Adam and Eve. As parents, we must not take this powerful urge for granted. We must talk to our children about it openly and honestly so that our children are not caught unprepared.
We have the resources to prevent our children from being parents too soon and we must utilize them. Even when they resist, we must talk to our children about sex and responsibility and consequences and, yes, about prevention.
Most important, our children must not be afraid to come to us and ask for our help. Thank you, Gov. Palin and Bristol, for giving us a chance to re-examine this issue. We will leave your family alone now, to deal with this as a family.
Sara Williams, Tampa
Giving the GOP a boost
Please, please keep up the radical left drumbeat of panicked ad hominem attacks on Sarah Palin and her family. Each misbegotten "cartoon" and ham-handed reference to out-of-wedlock babies and her Down's syndrome baby — which you all seem to believe is the poster child for the reason to have an abortion — drives hordes of disgusted former middle-of-the-road folks and independents into the Republican camp. Bravo!
Gregory Palmer, Lutz
Inserting God into politics
In a speech she made in June, Sarah Palin said, regarding the United States sending troops to Iraq, "there is a plan and that plan is God's plan."
Concerning natural gas, she said, "God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built."
I may be missing any understanding of politics and religion at a very fundamental level, but I fail to understand how the war in Iraq and natural gas pipelines to supply Americans with fuel can be construed as God's will.
Tom Mueller, Inverness
War and deception
As a Republican, I am appalled by the actions of my fellow Republicans. The speakers tell us how bad things are in our country under the leadership of President Bush and his administration and then tell us to put a man in office who has voted 90 percent of the time backing Bush. How is that a change?
The Republicans keep harping that Obama was wrong on the "surge." What is wrong, which they forgot, is that we went into Iraq on lies and false pretenses and lost thousands of our troops, leaving many wounded and maimed for life, and many families with lives disturbed forever.
Obama was against the war. McCain was for the war. Who was right and who was wrong?
It's hard for me to believe that Americans can forget how we went to war in Iraq and the results.
I'm just waiting for the Republicans to start chanting, "Four more years."
Donald F. Kelly, St. Petersburg
Keep an eye on Congress
I wish Sarah Palin well. If the Democrats had put Hillary Clinton in as their vice presidential candidate, I think they would have had this election hands down.
But we place too much emphasis on these two offices. We need to look at Congress. They are the ones we need to evaluate carefully and then clean house. They should only be allowed two terms in office — like the president.
So when you go to the polls, be sure you know your candidates, at all the levels of government. If you are satisfied with how our country is doing, vote them back in. If not, well, out the door!
We need business-oriented individuals to be in office, people who understand economics, not the lobbyist agendas and the political agendas.
Christina Ennist, New Port Richey