A reader writes:

As a young Democrat, I'm a little confused after this speech.  I think I finally saw in McCain's speech what the Republican party could represent. What a stark contrast to the other speakers at the convention. Brilliant but sad. 

He really was talking to America and not his base.  Still doesn't have my vote, but a little more respect.

What makes me sad is how so many young people have no idea any more what conservatism could mean if it were true to itself. (I gave it my best shot in my book, "The Conservative Soul.") But the corruption of this party is so deep - morally, ethically, philosophically - McCain can't do it.

I'm sure conservatism will one day recover - because it is right about the main issues: government needs to be kept in its place, taxes should be low and budgets balanced, individuals should be able to pursue their dreams as free of government control as possible, families do matter and need to be free from government interference, free markets and enterprise are the only guarantees of prosperity, moral choices - and their consequences - should be faced by the individual responsibly, and we have to be strong in our defense and prudent in foreign policy. This is the conservatism I still believe in. Deep down, I'm sure McCain does too. But it will only come from the ashes of this fundamentalist, mean-spirited, parochial, arrogant, big-spending, irresponsible shambles of a party. We have to repudiate the party of Rove and Abramoff and Romney and Dobson and Cheney and Bush II.

Burn it down and start over.

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