2004 US Republican Party Platform/1

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Dedication

2004 Republican Party Platform: A Safer World and a More Hopeful America

RONALD REAGAN believed that people were basically good, and had the right to be free. He believed that bigotry and prejudice were the worst things a person could be guilty of. He believed in the Golden Rule and in the power of prayer. He believed that America was not just a place in the world, but the hope of the world. As Ronald Wilson Reagan goes his way, we are left with a joyful hope he shared.

May God bless Ronald Reagan and the country he loved.

President George W. Bush Funeral Service for Former President Ronald Wilson Reagan Washington National Cathedral Washington, D.C. June 11, 2004

INTRODUCTION AND PREAMBLE

e hundred and fifty years ago, Americans who had gathered to protest the expansion of slavery gave birth to a political Party that would save the Union – the Republican Party.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln of Illinois carried the Republican banner in the Presidential election and was elected the Party's first President. He became our nation's greatest leader … and one of our Party's greatest heroes.

Every day, we strive to fulfill Lincoln's vision: a country united and free, in which all people are guaranteed equal rights and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. His legacy goes beyond the borders of America. It can be seen in free governments all over the world.

Lincoln's successors have been united by a common purpose – defending freedom at home and promoting it abroad. Today, the Republican Party gathers to renominate a man who carries on the best traditions of our Party by carrying the banner of freedom.

***

When America was struck by terrorists on September 11, 2001, President Bush immediately realized that it was an act of war, not just a crime. Working with Congress, the President drew up plans to take the fight to the enemy, vowing to bring the terrorists to justice, or bring justice to the terrorists. And together, the President and Congress took steps to help the wounded, honor the dead, and secure our homeland.

Thanks to President Bush's leadership, the skill of the American military, and the commitment of our allies, today there are more than 50 million newly free people in the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq – and America is safer.

The President's leadership has also been bold and visionary at home. When the President came to office, our economy was faltering, seniors were having trouble paying for their prescription drugs, and schools were stuck in a pattern of low expectations and poor results.

President Bush worked with Congress to lower taxes, so Americans can keep more of their own hard-earned money to spend, save, or invest, thereby growing our economy and putting people back to work.

He worked with Congress to strengthen Medicare by adding a prescription drug benefit and giving seniors more choices to meet their individual health care needs.

And the President worked with Congress to pass historic education reforms to ensure that every child can read. Today, higher standards and stronger accountability are getting results in classrooms across America.

***

We are proud of the record we offer to the American people. We have helped America overcome extraordinary challenges. We are re-shaping our government to meet the demands of the modern world and better serve our citizens.

We are also proud of our agenda for America's future. President George W. Bush will lead this nation with courage, hope, and resolve over the next four years. Republicans have always been the Party of fresh ideas and new thinking. We encourage debate on the major issues of our day, and we will consistently act in accord with the greatest values of our country – freedom and opportunity for all.

Our plans focus on ensuring that America remains safe, terrorists are defeated, and democracy flourishes in the world … on expanding opportunities for ownership and investment … on making tax relief permanent and ensuring greater energy independence … on increasing the affordability and accessibility of health care … on promoting works of compassion and strengthening our greatest values … on preparing students for success in life by bringing the benefits of education reform to high schools … and on helping workers adjust to a changing economy by offering flexible training options that meet their individual needs.

Our Party's 2004 platform addresses the major issues facing America in the first decade of the 21st century:

  • Winning the War on Terror … because our government's most solemn duty is to keep its citizens safe.
  • Ushering in an Ownership Era … because a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit will keep our economy strong and provide more opportunities for workers and families.
  • Building an Innovative Economy to Compete in the World … because America can compete with anyone, anywhere, thanks to our entrepreneurs and risk-takers who keep us on the cutting edge of technology and commerce.
  • Strengthening Our Communities … because our children deserve to grow up in an America in which all their hopes and dreams can come true.
  • Protecting Our Families … because we respect the family's role as a touchstone of stability and strength in an ever-changing world.

This platform makes clear that the American people will have a choice on November 2nd.

A choice between strength and uncertainty
A choice between results and rhetoric.
A choice between optimism and pessimism.
A choice between opportunity and dependence.
A choice between freedom and fear.
And a choice between moving forward and turning back.

The 2004 Republican Party Platform makes clear:

We choose strength.
We choose results.
We choose optimism.
We choose opportunity.
We choose freedom.
And we choose moving forward with President Bush. A man of courage and compassion, of integrity and action.

One hundred and fifty years after our founding, we Republicans proudly carry forward our time-honored banner of freedom. And we endorse the bold and visionary leadership of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.