WASHINGTON. — Washington -- The Republican National Convention in Houston next month should throw caution to the winds and conduct a nonstop Desert Storm-type assault on the Democrats.
The program should remind voters of what 12 years of Reagan-Bush policies have produced, where Democratic policies were leading before Presidents Reagan and Bush, how the will of the people has been frustrated by the Democratic Congress, and where President Bush and Vice President Quayle want to take the country during the next four years.
Frequent reminders of the scandals produced by Democratic ''leadership'' in the House bank and post office wouldn't hurt either.
To counter the patriotic posturing of the Democrats, Republicans should open their convention with a parade of people and flags from nations liberated from totalitarian rule during the Reagan-Bush years.
These would include all of Eastern Europe, as well as Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama and the former Soviet Union. What a tableau it would make to have these flag carriers sing ''God Bless America'' on national television. And what about crediting workers from the defense industries who built the weapons that countered and overwhelmed the Soviet arms buildup? ''Made in America'' never looked so good.
Voters should be reminded that most Democrats opposed the peace-through-strength and arms buildup of Ronald Reagan that made victory over communism inevitable.
The GOP should take on the social issues without timidity. They are uniquely theirs.
They could invite Gianna Jessen to speak. She is a teen-ager who as a fetus survived a late-term abortion and needs an explanation from pro-choice Democrats on why she had no right to live.
Lee Ezell, a California woman who was raped 30 years ago and became pregnant, could talk of the joy she has felt because she had her baby, and how her son-in-law and grandchildren thank her for not aborting her daughter.
Why not also invite pro-life Democrats to speak, as Democrats invited pro-abortion Republicans?
Also invited should be women who have had their babies under difficult circumstances and are glad they did, and adoptive parents whose lives have been made complete because a woman with an unplanned pregnancy decided not to abort. This segment could be patterned after the television commercials ''Life: What a Beautiful Choice,'' produced by the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation.
Black Republicans should testify about the small businesses they started during the Reagan and Bush years because taxes were lowered and incentives increased. They should take on black liberal Democrats and the ''house of welfare dependency'' the Democrats built but now want to deny.
Companies that promote growth with environmental responsibility should also be featured. Voters need to be reminded that an imbalance in the relationship between business and environment would eliminate jobs and damage the economy.
Scientists and other environmental experts who reject the data contained in Sen. Al Gore's environmental book should educate the nation about what is wrong with his assumptions and conclusions.
The gay rights agenda should be challenged. Former homosexuals from groups like Exodus should speak of the lifestyle as abnormal and immoral, the availability of help for those wanting to change and the danger to society of accepting homosexual practice as valid and healthy.
Someone with AIDS, who acquired the virus through chosen behavior of his or her own and now regrets that behavior, could say so. All persons with AIDS should be treated with compassion and assisted medically, but those who indulged in the high-risk behavior that produces most AIDS cases must not be allowed to separate their personal lifestyle choices from the consequences of those choices.
The Hollywood elite, excoriated by Vice President Dan Quayle and so visible in the Clinton-Gore campaign, should be barbecued again and again.
Mr. Clinton appeared on MTV, so Republicans might like to quote from the lyrics of some of MTV's more outrageous music and ask him why he wants to associate with such filth. They could begin with Ice-T, whose ''song,'' "KKK Bitch" features the rapper having sex with Southern Nazi and skinhead girls as well as the 12-year-old nieces of Tipper Gore.
Do Bill Clinton and Al Gore want to defend mind pollution, including Ice-T's call to kill police officers, as speech protected by the First Amendment?
This election is about whose moral vision of the future will prevail. President Bush must use the convention to detail his vision and a strong agenda to implement it. With that vision, he will win.
Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.