Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ten Reasons to Continue Believing in America

I've got some thoughts about the Republican National Convention ahead of tonight's acceptance speech from Mitt Romney.

First, WHOODATHUNKIT? Seriously, given the divisive and combative primary season we went through earlier this year with all the predictions of a divided party and a brokered convention in a party so badly fragmented it could never be put back together again, it seems unity, enthusiasm and genuine HOPE for the future have broken out this week in Tampa.

Second, the parade of GOP governors who have spoken about turning around their impossible fiscal conditions in the various states that were underwater has been impressive. We've heard from Christie of NJ, Kasich of OH, Haley of SC, Pawlenty of MN, Martinez of NM, Walker of WI, and each tells a similar story. They took on impossible odds, balanced their budgets, put their public employee unions in check, and ended up with surpluses. They did it without raising taxes. And they aren't the only ones, just the ones who have spoken this week. You can't leave Daniels of IN and Perry of TX off that list. Audrey Hepburn was once quoted as saying, "There's no such thing as impossible, the very word says 'I'm possible!'"

The New First Couple of America

Third, optimism is contagious. Yes, we are in dire straits financially, and most of it is of our own making, but isn't it interesting how hope always rises in America? I believe we have a lot of room left for optimism based upon what I know about the American dream. You simply cannot kill it, even though we've done a pretty good job of it these last four years. Only we can kill ourselves on that front! I hope no one thinks nothing can be done.

Fourth, I remember how discouraged I was when Jimmy Carter was elected POTUS. Four years later I was even more depressed. Carter was a certifiable genius, and he micromanaged everything he could get his arms around. He slept rarely, and when he did it was only for a few hours a night. He was an ideologue and a devout Christian who often combined his faith with his belief in government to deliver on his Christian ideals. His liberal and progressive ideology was much like Obama's. The difference between the two is Carter at least LIKED America and was trying his level best to make things better. I get the feeling Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do - substantially "TRANSFORMING" America into something I don't recognize or appreciate. Obama's vision is antithetical to the American dream.

Fifth, something we call "the American dream" is still alive. It might be on life support, but it's still struggling to be reborn based upon the assertive declarations we heard last night from Paul Ryan. This is the Ryan pledge to America, right out of his mouth from last night: "We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead. We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply them." That's how you keep the American dream alive, and if these are more than mere words that can be translated into deeds, we will see America come roaring back in growth mode.

Sixth, I am aroused and encouraged because as voters we still control who’s in Washington. It's all in our hands. No one has repealed the right to vote. We can still get involved in the political election process, as Justice John Roberts suggested in his majority opinion on upholding Obamacare. We can choose who represents us in Congress and in the Executive Branch. When we exercise our right to vote, we control our own destiny. Just as Roberts reminded us, no one will bail us out of the consequences of our bad choices. We still control our own destiny.

Seventh, I will never allow myself the luxury of saying, "Well, it's too bad, that's just the way things are, I have no power to make a difference, and there's nothing I can do." Call me Pollyanna if you wish, but I will not accept the inevitability of fatalism. You can call me the stupid guy with a blog if you wish, but I still like to be reminded, as I was last night, that America still holds the promise of its dream for anyone who reaches for it.

Ann Romney, Mitt Romney, Condoleezza Rice
Eighth, Condoleezza Rice was a poignant reminder of America's promise last night. Her most recent accomplishment is breaking through the "grass ceiling" at Augusta National Golf Club. She and one other businesswoman are the first two women to be admitted to membership, no small feat. She came from nothing in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, and her parents told her at a young age when she was refused service for a hamburger at the Woolworth deparment store lunch counter that if she wanted to she could become President of the United States. She became Secretary of State. Who says America is not the greatest country on the face of the earth? You can rise above your circumstances in America. You can have a share of the "pie" and you don't have to criticize or envy anyone who gets a bigger share than yours. Being "fair" means something very different to a liberal progressive, who believes that means government will redistribute pie to make all the pieces equal.

Ninth, the overhang of government debt and spending has been killing the American dream. Perpetual taxing to pay for spending can't keep pace. Spending is the problem. Regulation throttles down the American dream, as Condie Rice reminded everyone last night. Innovation has to be embraced and encouraged no matter where it comes from and must be allowed to incubate and grow outward to become bigger and better. Government regulation is inhibiting innovation and the investment of private capital.

Tenth, we will never rev up the American engine without sustainable and renewable energy sources that are homegrown. We've got to REALLY do it this time, not just talk about it since the days of Nixon and long gas lines at the pumps. Why can't we figure out the best way to jumpstart the economy is attacking the one commodity that affects every American? We need to start drilling our own oil and capturing our own natural gas resources. I'm naive enough to believe we have been given ample energy resources by our Creator. I do not for one minute believe we are in a scarce world. Imagine what would happen to the economy if gas were priced even $1 lower today.

I reject absolutely, now and forever, the idea that the American dream is dead. I reject the lie that government provides the answers and the resources to every social ill that afflicts us. I reject the notion the government will somehow rescue, coddle and deliver me to a cushy cradle until I die. The government never manages ANYTHING better than a private business can do it. We've been setting up businesses to specialize in everything since the day the Republic was born. That's WE I'm talking about - the individual WEs in our wonderfully diverse society. WE designed government and granted it VERY limited and defined powers. WE got away from our fundamental founding principles. WE trusted Republicans and Democrats to manage our government and it got out of control. Now we have to be reminded once again. . .

WE control the American Dream. It's our time to choose again.

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