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eitterceercierceorttertworettlegt****eoregtegtegwegte, REPUBLICAN CONVENTION ItenteprItt****ertetitterttir’itterrt** ,A1-1-1-1-11/111-******** A Campaign of Attitude Never To Say Yoifi-e Sorry Dallas On Inwood Road domestic workers come and go, Past Republican delegates playing at polo. AS PLAYED IN Dallas, the Republican National Convention was an elaborate ritual of braggadocio, and the Reagan/Bush campaign at its center was an attitudinal campaign, great bluster with little substance, and never was heard a reflective word. In the convention center, the world was an eternal senior prom, where Phyllis Schlafly paraded endlessly through the aisles followed by a cortege of admirers, where the lowered thermostat kept sweat from beading on anybody’s lip and mascara from running down the cheek, where an aging cheerleader an alternate in the Florida delegation waved pompoms with each ovation and greeted each speaker with a cheer, where everyone was successful and almost everyone was white. Those who weren’t \(4.4% were black; 4% were the Florida delegation, were introduced as Cuban. Red, white, and blue was the color scheme. The Young Americans for Freedom held up red, white, and blue banners above their red, white, and blue clothes. The country club set, what was The rest went in for double-knits and whole rafts of badges and an occasional elephant hat or, as worn by California delegates, Zorro attire. How many had become affluent Republicans by virtue of Democratic programs? “What, me worry?” was the byword in this insulated world. Does the gold standard sound like a good idea? Then put it in the platform. The right to life? Put it in. A balanced budget? The poor be damned. “Stop Soviet modernization,” a sign in the Mississippi delegation read. Inside the hall, the delegates had no barometer other than themselves against which to measure the platform. And inside the hall, the misery index was zero. iQuien es mas macho? FROM THE SPEAKER’S platform in this convention were sounded several recurrent themes and sub-themes. They did not, of course, dwell on matters of substance. There was little mention of Lebanon or El Salvador. The nuclear arms race was discussed in terms of “peace through strength.” The deficit was a Democratic creation. If it weren’t for the Communist menace, all would be swell. Not wanting to be confused by the facts, the Republican _ speakers, one after another, talked about “optimism,” “success,” the strong versus the weak \(not the ones who will Grenada as a great military victory, taking care of your own, the dangers of reflection, and, like so many disciples of Norman Vincent Peale, about the power of “confidence.” Over and over, they echoed the Reagan party line. On Monday night, Reagan had told an audience that the Democrats would have everyone wear “hair shirts.” Three nights later, in his acceptance speech Reagan characterized the campaign as a contest between “pessimism, fear, and limits” and “hope, confidence, and growth.” At the same time, knowing that the reign of Reagan would end in great fratricidal wars, the potential future Republican leaders were jockeying for position. As they spoke, it became evident that they believed the name of the game was “Quidn es mas macho?” and that positions in the future Republican hierarchy would be determined by the relative ability to score well in this arena. This was, after all, a convention led in the “Pledge of Allegiance” by Charlton Heston. There were several oratorical devices used to demonstrate machismo. There were those speakers who showed their contempt for people on welfare. They included Illinois Governor James Thompson, who several times talked about increased employment opportunities for “all who want to work,” thereby categorizing the remaining unemployed as people who do not want to work and relieving the government of any responsibility for them. There was Mississippi The Republican speakers, like so many disciples of Norman Vincent Peale, talked about the power of “confidence.” Congressman Trent Lott, who chaired the platform committee and told the convention “that a paycheck belongs to the people who earn it and not to taxers and spenders in Washington,” thereby removing from discussion any notion of the common good. Then there was Texas Congressman Phil Gramm, given a spotlight from which to fight Democrat Lloyd Doggett for a U.S. Senate seat. On the night Gramm appeared, there were several sub-plots at work in the Republican scenario. First, it was a night in which Republicans tried to counter the Geraldine Ferraro nomination with a lineup that included Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler, U.S. Treasurer Katherine Ortega, and U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. It was also the Night of the Turncoats, as Gramm and Kirkpatrick were both introduced as reformed Democrats as part of the Republican effort to syphon off Democratic support. But Gramm could not be confused by these cross-currents. He remained true to the politics of self-interest, saying, “when somebody gets something for nothing from the federal government that means some poor taxpayer is getting nothing for something.” Clearly, here is a man who has little use for society, who can call for absolute cuts in social spending 4 SEPTEMBER 14, 1984