In Gerome Rothman’s op-ed piece titled “CRs alienate diverse GW community” (Oct. 7, p. 5), he comes to the conclusion that the GW College Republicans attendance at the Christian Coalition conference was an insult to the student body as a whole. We could not disagree more with such an unfair statement.
The Christian Coalition is one of the largest and most effective grass-roots political organizations in America. The goals of the Christian Coalition include strengthening the family, protecting innocent human life, returning education to local and parental control, easing the tax burden on families, defending the institution of marriage, punishing criminals and defending victims’ rights, and protecting religious freedom – even in the classroom. This organization has every right to meet and create a forum in which politicians and attendees alike (who do not have to be Christian) can discuss their shared values and beliefs.
Rothman proceeds to label Christian Coalition President Pat Robertson as a “dangerous man.” Robertson founded the Christian Coalition as a pro-family citizen action organization to impact public policy on a local, state, and national level. What makes this different from Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition or Patricia Ireland’s National Organization of Women? Each of these organizations has a powerful leader. Maybe Mr. Rothman considers Robertson “dangerous” simply because he does not share the same beliefs.
Of course we legitimized the Christian Coalition conference. Road to Victory ’99 featured six Republican presidential candidates, House and Senate Republican leadership, and many conservative commentators and intellectuals. Where else can college students go and meet the leaders of our great party? The strong affiliation the Christian Coalition has with the Republican Party made this event an interest to the GW College Republicans. Our members attended willingly and enthusiastically.
Our purpose was to give our members a chance to hear the presidential candidates and make their own decisions for the 2000 election. If Rothman had joined us, he too would have had the opportunity to meet Elizabeth Dole. He too would have been able to listen to Governor George W. Bush’s explanation of “compassionate conservatism.”
It is our hope that this clears up any misconceptions about the Christian Coalition and the intentions of the GW College Republicans. Our members had a great experience at the conference, and many already have asked that we reserve them a ticket for next year.
If Rothman would like, the GW College Republicans would be more than happy to reserve him a ticket, too. Then he can draw his own conclusions based on first-hand experience instead of being yet another example of the fixation with the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
-The writer is chairman of the GW College Republicans.