RNC Convention preview: The race is on

???Never underestimate the great republic.???

For us, it???s hard to imagine that the great republic will not comprehend what we see so clearly these days: the importance of reclaiming limited constitutional government, local self-government, private enterprise and individual liberty.

When conservatives gather in Tampa this week, and more Americans watch the proceedings at home, the definition of conservative likely will be larger than ever. It will be movement conservatives, tea partiers, Ron Paul followers, union members (think coal miners) and more than a few Democrats (think those who support fiscal prudence, free enterprise and projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline).

More than anything, they want the idea of America returned. If America understands itself as exceptional (an arrogant-sounding but true word), it is because Americans see a higher purpose in advancing human freedom. They believe in a government whose only true role is to defend our natural or God-given liberties, not to decide what those freedoms are and enforce a rule book of its own creation. There is no high purpose in promising ???positive rights??? such as healthcare and education???this is the language of the old Soviet constitution???and amounts to nothing more than redistribution of wealth by government and the special interests that hold sway, and not very effectively or efficiently at that.

So, in this special convention issue, Human Events reporters have outlined where the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket stands on important issues of the day, including energy, defense, technology and more. Looking further ahead, we started to think about the candidates who might take the top spots in a Romney-Ryan Cabinet. And, we???ve reported strategies and tactics that are likely to be used to help the Romney-Ryan ticket prevail, in Senior Reporter David Harsanyi???s cover story.

On the lighter side, we???ll tell you what convention-goers are likely to find in Tampa, including the celebrities, the rising GOP stars, the events. Don???t miss Political Editor John Gizzi???s Political IQ Quiz/Convention Edition, or Human Events Top 10 Most Memorable Convention Moments.

The fall election season will doubtlessly be fierce. Newt Gingrich told us recently that Mitt Romney needs to do three things to win: Paint a picture in his convention speech of what life in America can look like after President Obama; have voters understanding by September the lies they???ve been told; and outspend him three to one.

Yes, election season will be fierce in a Winston Churchill ???give no quarter??? kind of way. If we???re fortunate, the other half of that quote will hold true, too??????bear no malice??????but time will tell.

???Cathy Taylor

What’s inside:

Momentum shift
by David Harsanyi
Romney???s fortunes turn as his campaign stays on the offensive, focuses on the president???s dismal record and drives home a bold, fiscally conservative message.

Many jobs for Republican National Convention speakers
by Neil W. McCabe

Top tier convention speakers have many specific jobs to accomplish, for the presidential ticket and for their own careers. Done well, a convention speech is the launching pad for a long and successful turn on the national stage.

Celebrities act right: From the golden age to today’s biggest names
by Audrey Hudson
Stars to look for in Tampa: Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Janine Turner and Gregg Allman, just to name a few.

The Republican Party looks forward with these rising stars
by Monique Hamm
These four young conservatives boast a variety of accomplishments, including arguing before the Supreme Court, demonstrating fiscal discipline in office, raising $1 million for their campaign and defeating strong contenders. 

Romney energy plan makes bold contrast from Obama
by Audrey Hudson
A thoughtful pro-job approach is needed, says Romney, who would approve the Keystone XL pipeline, end the ???war on coal??? and increase the domestic production of oil and gas.

On defense and foreign policy, Romney still short on details
by Hope Hodge
Observers expect more detail as the fall debates near, but are heartened so far by his diverse line-up of advisers, who represent a range of views.

Five things Mitt Romney must do to win
by Ron Bonjean
As we go into the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Mitt Romney must focus on the following things in order to win the election this November.

Dream Cabinet for conservatives, reality Cabinet for Romney
by John Gizzi
Who would you choose to help Mitt Romney lead the country? Here are Human Events??? picks for key spots — as well as those we think Romney will really choose.

Race tightens in swing states as Ryan makes energetic entrance
by Hope Hodge
Vice presidential pick Paul Ryan was an immediate help to Mitt Romney in the battleground states, but Romney himself will have to do a ???difficult dance??? during the convention.

What they don???t tell you about Mitt Romney
by Monique Hamm
The mainstream media is doing the public a disservice by not discussing some of the life-changing events that have shaped Mitt Romney over the years. The Romney campaign, as a response, should play them up.

Romney-Ryan ticket wants to keep government regulators off the Internet
by John Hayward
Obama???s hostile business environment has provoked a dangerous level of outsourcing and capital flight.

Top 10 memorable GOP Convention moments
Republicans have been holding presidential nominating conventions since 1856. As they gather in Tampa for the 2012 version, let’s look back at some highlights from previous gatherings.