Phil Gramm

August 19, 1992

Here are excerpts from a speech delivered by Sen. Phil Gramm to the Republican National Convention last night.

Never in history has the world experienced more dramatic changes in a shorter period of time than during the last four years.

The Berlin Wall has come down; the people of Eastern Europe have been liberated; the Soviet Union, the evil empire that threatened our lives and our freedom for 45 years, exists today only in the pages of history books.

One-hundred and thirty-two nations united behind our leadership to stop a tyrant in the Middle East. And America stands today in triumph with economic and military power unrivaled in the history of the world.

None of these changes happened by accident. They are all the result of strong Republican leadership. Two men more than any other people on the planet have been the catalyst for these changes, and their names are Ronald Reagan and George Bush. . .

Ronald Reagan sighted the Kremlin in the cross hairs but it was George Bush who pulled the trigger. . . .

There are still tyrants in the world and there will be new tyrants in the future. When reason and diplomacy fail, we must have an Army, a Navy, an Air Force, and a Marine Corps that do not fail. Even in a world where the lion and the lamb are about to lie down together, we Republicans are committed to the principle that the United States of America must always be the lion. . . .

America's problem today is not that the president's plan to energize the economy has failed. Our problem is that it has not been tried. It is not that the president did not ask for change but that the Democrats who run Congress killed those changes. Our president asked Congress for the tools to rebuild the economy and for weapons to win back our streets. And Congress bent them and broke them and threw them away. . . .

Democrats and Republicans agree on one thing: We both want change. The debate is not about who is for change; it's about the direction of the change.

Today America stands at the crossroads. It is a time for choosing: their way of more taxes or our way of more jobs; their way of more government or our way of more opportunity. . . .

At the New York convention, Clinton was like a used car salesman peddling his vehicle for change -- the wax job was shiny, the hubcaps sparkled, the upholstery was spotless, the paint was new. But when you look under the hood, you discover he is hawking a model from the '70s -- a Carter mobile with the axle broken and the frame bent to the left. It was a lemon for the nation in the '70s when it sent inflation through the roof and income through the floor, and it is still a lemon today. . . .

In the middle of the last century, in the midst of a crisis far greater than any we face today, a delegation of citizens deeply worried about the future called on President Lincoln at the White House. And Abraham Lincoln told them a story about a young boy who went hunting with his father in the mountains. As the boy gazed at the stars that night, a meteor shower frightened him and he shook his father awake.

And as Lincoln told the story, the father said, "Son, don't look at the shooting stars -- look at the fixed stars that have guided us in the past and will guide us in the future."

And so Lincoln told the delegation that if America steered by the fixed stars of freedom that our Founding Fathers forged, the future of America would yet be secure.

As we look to the future tonight, let us be guided by the fixed stars of freedom and opportunity; of family and faith; of values and character. If we follow the principles that made America great to begin with, we need not fear the future.

America's third century will be our greatest century.

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