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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered an eloquent speech with strong domestic and foreign policy messages at the Republican National Convention.
Rice received a rousing welcome as she entered the main stage and five standing ovations as she delivered her presentation. Even the most ardent, yet honest, Democrats would agree she is sincere, honest, intelligent, and credible.
She is a foreign policy expert whom understands the importance and reality of a strong standing in the world for the U.S. She knows what makes or breaks this global U.S. position and why it matters not only for Americans and our allies, but also for those people around the world who seek their own stable, responsive government and dream of freedom and liberty.
Rice gave many examples of why America is exceptional by founding design with ideals allowing her people to succeed no matter where they started in life and by encouraging personal responsibility, individual ambition, free people, and free markets.
She offered, “After all, when the world looks to America, they look to us because we are the most successful political and economic experiment in human history. That is the true basis of ‘American Exceptionalism.’ The essence of America, that which really unites us is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion. It is an idea, and what an idea it is - that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.”
Rice poignantly noted, “Ours has never been a narrative of grievance and entitlement. We have not believed that I am doing poorly because you are doing well. We have not been envious of one another and jealous of each other’s success.”
“But the American ideal is indeed endangered today. There is no country, no not even a rising China, that can do more harm to us than we can do to ourselves if we fail to accomplish the tasks before us here at home.”
Her main messages to American voters were the United States must reclaim its strength economically to restore its strength in global influence and must not step down from a leadership position in the world. She proclaimed we must solve our problems domestically to elevate our weaker standing in the world today.
Rice detailed the domestic areas that must be addressed – fair trade, energy independence, economic foundation rebuilding, effective debt solutions, and maximized education standards and delivery reform. She proclaimed, “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will rebuild us at home and inspire us to lead abroad.”
Rice began her speech addressing the need for U.S. leadership in the world. She spoke of those in the world who look to the U.S. for support of freedom. She spoke of the burden and hardship for America in leading and the consequences in the world if America abandons her Exceptionalism and relinquishes her leadership role.
She noted what we have already seen in the world with a weaker U.S. with our current acceptance of leading from behind when others seek direction and support – “China and Russia prevent a response; and all wonder, where does America stand?”
She continued, “Indeed that is the question of the moment, ‘Where does America stand?’ When our friends and our foes alike do not know the answer to that question, clearly and unambiguously, the world is a chaotic and dangerous place. The U.S. has since the end of World War II had an answer – we stand for free peoples and free markets, we are willing to support and defend them – we will sustain a balance of power that favors freedom.”
Rice is right in her strong observation, “We cannot be reluctant to lead, and one cannot lead from behind.” This has led to our current weaker influence in global affairs reflected in foreign leaders openly threatening the U.S. and a complete disregard for our stated and unstated foreign policy goals.
She told the RNC audience and millions of Americans watching and listening, “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will rebuild us at home and inspire us to lead abroad. They will provide an answer to the question, ‘Where does America stand?’ The challenge is real and the times are hard. But America has met and overcome hard challenges before.”
“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have the integrity and the experience and the vision to lead us – they know who we are, they know who we want to be, they know who we are in the world and what we offer.”
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s insightful conclusion reaffirmed America’s Exceptionalism. “That is why this is a moment - an election of consequence. Because it just has to be that the most compassionate and freest country on the face of the earth will continue to be the most powerful.”