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High wattage

"High wattage" Continued...

Issue: "Truth or CAIR," March 22, 2003

Group identity in politics will always force or put pressure on members to think or vote a certain way, but I have never forgotten the right that I have as an American to be an individual and disagree with liberal, conservative, black, or white. Independence and ideology don't always mesh.

Q You explain well the importance of impeaching Bill Clinton. If the GOP nominated someone who you knew was

an adulterer, would you support him?

A The GOP would never elect a known adulterer.

Q You write of hit-and-run political attacks based on "rumors, unsubstantiated charges, and just plain old lies." What kinds of attacks have victimized you, and how did you respond?

A My father used to say, "Dogs don't bark at parked cars." You have to be doing something worthwhile to get attacked.

In politics, the human thing that you want to do is to strike back, but I always tried to be conscious of my witness. Since I could never figure out a way to punch my attackers in the nose and not have it affect my witness, I decided the next best way to respond to my attackers was to succeed.

Q What's your view of the Michigan affirmative-action case that the Supreme Court is considering? If you were a university admissions officer with a free hand, what criteria would you use?

A I believe affirmative action should be about creating opportunities for all people. I do believe in diversity of color and think it adds value to society. God is a God of diversity. He is the author of our skin color and He made us yellow, brown, black, and white.

I have no problem with using race as a factor, but giving race 20 points and academics eight points seems to me to be a bit out of balance.

I have felt the sting of being left out because of my skin color and I wouldn't want any child to have to feel that hurt. So, therefore, let's not create or encourage a system that a white kid or black kid has to walk away a loser, feeling like he lost based on skin color.

If a white kid, a black kid, or a Hispanic kid stays in school, gets good grades, and wants to continue their education beyond high school, that opportunity should be available.

Q You led the effort to give legislative legs to President Bush's faith-based initiative in 2001. WORLD has argued that an emphasis on tax credits or vouchers rather than grants would help evangelical organizations to do more while avoiding constraints on their freedom to evangelize. Could you comment on that?

A Tax credits, vouchers, or grants would be fine with me. The mission should be to allow faith organizations to play a role in delivering community services.

Christ never ministered to someone's spiritual needs without first ministering to their physical needs. When a Christian is feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and housing the homeless, you are evangelizing.

Q You write of "the demonization of Republicans in the black community." How should that be fought? Is there more support among Republicans for welfare reform than for community renewal, and if so, how can that change?

A Republicans will always be demonized and it will stick unless we take outreach seriously. In politics outreach has to be a conviction, just like in the church. If you're just going to preach to the choir, the church isn't going to grow. I don't believe outreach has become a conviction for most Republicans in decision-making positions.

If our party can't do better than 10 percent of the black vote with George W. Bush as president, God help us. President Bush gives us the best opportunity to grow the black vote I've seen in 20 years. His heart is about people. His conviction is to love people and to create opportunity for all. George W. Bush understands communications and talking to people where they are and not as Ph.D.s.

If we don't do better in the black and Hispanic communities in the next nine to 12 years, we won't win another national election. The numbers will be terribly against us.

Q Who will win the Oklahoma-Texas football game this fall?

A Over the last four years we are 3-1 against Texas. Need I say more?

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