The delegates responded to these other questions:
The GOP's stance on the environment
Getting out the message
The size of the "Big Tent"
The economics of the Dole tax cut
A question from Charles L. Vaughn of Portsmouth, NH
Colin Powell's speech
Although a Democrat, I was deeply impressed by General Powell's historical approach to the reasons for being a Republican. He, it seems to me, identifies with the broad reach on most issues of a Lincoln or a Teddy Roosevelt.
My question is this: Powell's presentation seems at odds with the 1996 Republican platform. In what way have I misinterpreted the General's remarks?
Tom Keating - MT
On the whole, General Powell agreed with the general theme of the platform which expresses moderation of government control of people's lives. In general the platform offers proposals for how people should live their lives in a free country. In my opinion General Powell is saying that he can accept the platform in general, but reserves the right of the individual to disagreed on some specifics. And reserves the right to debate his ideals in hopes of converting others to his way of thinking. Politics are really there art of debate and persuasion. I believe that this attitude expresses the tolerance within our party without having to reduce the statement to writing. I believe affirmative action has become a method of reverse discrimination which generates prejudice.
Opportunity is personal and individual. Productivity is a matter of personal desire. The rewards for productivity are the incentives to take advantage of opportunity. Each opportunity must be reviewed as to its own merits based on moral principles and just pursuits. I saw that in General Powell's statement.
John Miller CT
I, like the viewer, was deeply moved by Gen. Powell's address and I thought his "reasons he is a Republican" said it all, perhaps better than anyone else has been able to present it. Simply stated, the solution to our problems has got to come with new ideas, growth in the economy and this cannot happen with a bureaucracy in Washington which clearly is striving to be everything to everybody.
Ben Montoya - CA
His remarks were right in line with the core beliefs of the Republican Party and yet he disagrees with some issues in the Platform. How can this be? We do not want clones in the Party. 90% of what Colin Powell said regarded less government, opportunity, less taxes, strong defense, family values....all core beliefs of the Party which are reflected in the platform. I believe that our disagreements as Republicans are in the mechanics of how we are to solve the individual issue. All Republicans believe in freedom of opportunity, less government intrusion and the elimination of discrimination based on race or gender but we differ on how we would approach this issue. Some believe in doing away with affirmative action all together. Others, such as Colin Powell (and Jack Kemp to a certain extent), believe in some minimal form of government intervention to ensure this. Where we agree is in the eventual outcome: the individual is eventually able to sustain him/herself and be completely independent of the government. This is where Colin Powell and the Platform agree and where the Democrats disagree.
Ron Freeman - MO
As a Black American, I see where there is a great deal of harmony in Gen. Powel's comments and the GOP platform. Gen. Powell emphasized the work ethic, personal responsibility and equality before the law. These are core principles in the GOP and for most of black Americans. The real question is: If the GOP represents the views of black America, should more blacks vote for the Dole-Kemp ticket?
David Ferdinand - ID
I think you have interpreted Powell's remarks accurately. Powell is a very logical individual and has seen our country's military cut by the current administration which is what brings him closer to the Republican strong defence policies. The broader view of the party is tolerance.
Toni Hellon - AZ
You are right, Powell's remarks and beliefs often differ with the Republican platform....as do mine. But, like Gen. Powell, those of us who are moderate Republicans, believe that our first task is to defeat Bill Clinton. After that huge task is completed, we will work on more tolerance within our ranks. While political platforms get a lot of coverage and interest during convention weeks, those of us who are active in the party know that the platform has little to do with the election of our candidates and the work we do to improve our way of life.
Hans von Spakovsky - GA
I think that the provisions of the Republican plank, which is a very lengthy document, are constantly misconstrued. For instance, the GOP is cited as being "intolerant" of immigration. But our opposition is to support of illegal immigration, not legal immigration, which is how my parents came to this country. We do not believe illegal behavior should be rewarded. Also, our stand on affirmative action has again been misconstrued (as has Powell's if you read his autobiography). The Democrats claim that the GOP wants to get rid of the Civil Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. That is ludicrous: what we want is to enforce the Civil Rights Act as it was originally written: to prohibit discrimination of any kind, whether it is against or in favor of particular groups. As Powell himself said, we are in agreement on 90% of the issues facing this nation, we have respectfull and civilized disagreement on some issues.
Scott Tipton - CO
You haven't misinterpreted the General's remarks. The Platform is a very imperfect reflection of the Party. Come January no one-except single issue people will even remember specifics of the Platform. Dole and Kemp will set the agenda and create the "active" Platform.
Connie Cierpiot - MO
Actually, the reason I appreciated the remarks by General Powell is because he truly does believe that he is as welcome as any other person in our Party. I am a prolife Republican State Representative and I can tell you that the reason Republicans captured control of Congress for the first time in 40 years is because of conservative ideas. All people do not agree with every issue. That is fine because political parties are made up of all different kinds of people. Diversity is a good thing--especially diversity of ideas.