The tip sheet for Convention speakers warns, “Don’t expect or wait for the audience to quiet down for your speech. One of your major challenges is playing to a live audience that might not be paying attention to you.”

When YOU pay no attention to me, I don’t know it, which is why I love writing this column (plus, I don’t have to shave).

Anyway, this is what I said:

I’m a writer, not a politician. But I believe this election is hugely important. And that even my Republican friends should be with us.

Because the entire political landscape has shifted to the right. We Democrats have moved to the center and the other party has nearly fallen off the edge. A moderate Republican couldn’t even get confirmed as ambassador to Mexico, let alone considered as a viable presidential candidate.

The irony is that on the issue the Republicans like to claim — fiscal prudence — they’ve totally lost it. They push and push and push for a massive tax cut that sensible Republicans like Alan Greenspan think would be terrible economic policy — a booming economy is exactly when not to add massive stimulus — and that even John McCain agrees is weighted far too heavily in favor of the rich.

It’s bad economics and it’s not fair.

We need moderate tax cuts. Fair tax cuts. And sound policy.

With Al Gore’s strong urging, this administration chose fiscal prudence right from the start, and it has paid off big time. A soaring stock market . . . low inflation . . . a budget surplus . . . 22 million new jobs.

And do you know how many Republicans voted for that first Clinton/Gore budget? Take a guess because this is important. Not one.

And who cast the tie-breaking vote? Al Gore.

And then there’s the Clinton/Gore push for freer trade. Remember the “giant sucking sound” that some foretold? How unemployment would soar?

Well, it was good policy, and it has served us well — along with people in other countries, whom we should also want to see prosper.

What Democrats get — even as the leaders of the other party bash our tiny foreign aid budget — is that in an increasingly interdependent world, if “they” do better, we do better, too.

It is a message of inclusion, fairness, opportunity and community.

That’s why I was so proud of the Democrats for pushing to hike the minimum wage. If “they” do better, we do better, too.

I want to see Al Gore and Joe Lieberman in the White House because we will all do better.

And for one more reason.

Money’s great, but what good is net worth without self worth? Appreciation of your stock portfolio without, also, a sense that you are appreciated as a person?

The Democratic leadership celebrates diversity. Not for show — for real.

They have made my life and the lives of millions of other gay and lesbian Americans immeasurably better. No amount of money can buy that.

 

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