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
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
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
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
Itís a California that has
developed fresh new water supplies to finish the job of greening
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
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.
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
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
not called upon to pledge our fortunes, but only a portion of
our resources to press our case through this party and its
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
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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