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The Eve of Victory - A Plan for the GOP in California
Address by State Senator Tom McClintock to the CA Republican Party



             What is the Republican vision?  Simply stated, it is this: we are blessed within California to have all of the resources we need to complete the greening of California.  We have the ability to stop the environmental devastation caused by our age old cycle of floods and droughts and to store enough water to see us through the next drought without suffering.  And it is high time we started.

            One more example: look at our public schools.  We are now spending $9,000 per student from all sources.  Three times as much as we spent in 1966 in inflation adjusted dollars.  Thatís more money per pupil than all but the most exclusive private schools in the country.  And yet we rank at the very bottom of the nation in test scores.  The Democrats are so embarrassed by the performance of their schools that they voted this week to delay comprehensive testing of our children until after the Governorís re-election.

            The Democrats wonít let us reward the good teachers.  They wonít let us fire the lousy ones.  They have buried our local schools under 11 volumes of education code regulations from Sacramento. They have taken away from parents any choice over their childís education.  When the sad history of this administration is written, we will have done nothing but turn a well-funded failing school system into a lavishly-funded failing school system.

            Think about the tired old no-growth, big government, new age nonsense that comprises the Democratic partyís approach to every aspect of state government.  It is a state tormented by rolling blackouts, power police and rate surcharges on our kids and grand-kids.  It is a future of chronic traffic congestion and chronic water shortages and rationing.  Bureaucratized schools and educationally crippled children. 

But there is another California out there.  Or at least there could be.  Itís only 20 months down the road, if we want to go there. Just over the next hill.

         Itís a California where the electricity is cheap and
         reliable and abundant and clean. 

        Itís a California that again boasts of having the finest highway system in the world

        Itís a California where the schools are focused again on the needs of students and not the unions;

        Itís a California that has developed fresh new water supplies to finish the job of greening this state;

        Itís a California that has a frugal government fearlessly confronting the special interests that are sapping our taxes while producing nothing but excuses.

Is there any doubt that just 20 months from now, the people are going to believe they were ill-served by an administration that took more of their earnings than ever before and delivered less than ever before?  And as their businesses idle and their homes swelter this summer for lack of power, as they find their crumbling roads impassable, and their family budgets broken and their children still unable to read Ė do you think they will demand a new agenda and a new governing party? 

The case for a political revolution is much stronger today in 1965.  Yes, I hear, but thereís one thing we had in 1965 that we donít today.  We donít have Ronald Reagan anymore. 

Thatís not true.

Ronald Reagan wasnít just our leader. If thatís all he was to us, then he failed.   Ronald Reagan was our teacher.  In 1965, there was one of him.  But if we learned from that teacher, and are willing to apply those lessons, and stand by those principles, and carry that message, then we now have Gray Davisí worst nightmare: an entire party filled with Ronald Reagans.

Every one of us, whatever it is we do, can carry that message of progress, of prosperity, of liberty, of unity and of optimism that have defined this party and galvanized this state before.  And the need is far greater, the case is far stronger, the task is far easier today, than it was back then. 

The publicís full and undivided attention will soon be riveted on this stateís affairs and this administrationís record.  The information and arguments we need to press our case are one mouse-click away.  The opportunities to communicate that message are infinitely greater: on radio and talk shows, on the internet, in letters to the editor and e-mails, at public meetings and coffee shop discussions.

Our constituency is vast.  Its made up of an awful lot of people who donít call themselves Republicans, but who believe as we believe and dream the same dreams that we dream.  And all we must do is to reach them. 

            When the American Founders signed the Declaration of Independence, they pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.  When they pledged their lives, they meant it.  The penalty for what they did was death.  When they pledged their fortunes, they meant it. Many of them died penniless.  When they pledged their sacred honor, they meant that, too Ė and not one of them failed or faltered until their country was safe, their freedom secure, and their childrenís future certain.

            How little is asked of our generation.  Weíre not called upon to pledge our lives, but only a portion of our free time until we have reached that shining California.  Weíre not called upon to pledge our fortunes, but only a portion of our resources to press our case through this party and its candidates.  But there is one thing history demands of us in full measure: We, too, are honor bound to see this fight through to the end Ė to unite, to rally and to prevail. 

            Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you the hour has come.  It is February 23rd, 2001.  We begin at exactly the same position we were in 36 years ago, but with far greater strengths and advantages than we had back then.  

            Let us walk together down this road, inviting every stranger that we meet to join us.  That shining city upon a hill is still out there, and we all know the way.  And it isnít far.  Twenty months from now, let us all gather there.  And then we will save our state.

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