Change. Everyone seems to want — to need — change.
And I get it …
I also want change: I am sick and tired of a government run amok, of politicians who spend us into oblivion, of elected officials who trash the very Constitution they are sworn to defend, of bureaucrats crushing entrepreneurship with oppressive regulation, of the nanny state protecting me from myself — and, at my age … I turn 62 this month … I am very concerned that when I need medical care it will not be there because some bean-counter residing in Washington will decide I’m not worth the money.
And I shudder with dread when I contemplate the debt being piled upon my children and grandchildren. It simply cannot be paid off; there just isn’t enough money. It will destroy whatever is left of this great nation when the current Traitor-in-Chief is through — but he won’t have to worry because he will be a former president with a lifetime of guaranteed income and medical care.
But as much as I want change — total, immediate, dramatic, historic change — my age and experience allow me to school that desire, to temper it with the lessons learned in this university we call life.
It has taken us over a century to get to where we now find ourselves as a nation. Indeed, our journey to the socialist collective has been overseen by no fewer than eight presidents: Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barak Obama. Each, by design, left us with a larger and more intrusive government.
So, to all of you conservatives, including those with a pronounced libertarian streak — I am one of you, and have been since I first read The Blue Book, a publication of the John Birch Society, at age 14, and subsequently campaigned for Barry Goldwater for president in that same year. A picture of Ronald Reagan wearing a cowboy hat hangs in our den, and it is one of my most prized possessions. And, yes, I campaigned and voted for California’s Proposition 8 — the initiative designed to protect traditional marriage and stop same-sex marriages.
And I am voting for Mitt Romney — which brings me back to my central idea: it has taken more than a century to get here and it will take time to return to where we ought to be. Managing that transformation will take at least eight years and will require someone with vision, principles, commitment, and the ability to fight the urge to do it all at once.
There is, after all, only one word to describe the change we need: radical. The problem is that change of such magnitude will be difficult and slow because, if for no other reason, many people will have to be convinced that the kind of change we need is, in fact, needed … not so easy unless you control both houses of Congress, including having a supermajority in the Senate because, in that body, a majority is not enough to do anything important. And then there’s the fight over whose ox is going to get gored. Everybody wants tax reform, for example, until it is their mortgage interest that will no longer be deductible.
Our president must therefore be leader who can be accepted by conservative Republicans and independents alike because that is who it will take to sell the reforms we need. Our president must also be a leader who has managed large, complex tasks, who knows how to prioritize and get things done, who understands that no one can be excluded from taking part in restoring our great nation. Our president must be a man of extraordinary personal integrity who, at the same time, has created jobs in the private sector, who understands what it means to own and operate a successful business, who believes in free markets and individual initiative. Our president must be a leader who facilitates change by implementing a series of strategic, smaller steps rather than demanding an immediate overhaul of everything right now.
Turning our country around and returning to the Constitution as drafted and understood by the Founders will be a long, arduous journey — but every worthwhile journey begins and ends with a single step, not a grandiose proclamation.
Yes, Newt … Rick, your ideas are great, as are Mitt’s. The difference is that Mitt can get it done without a supermajority in the Senate. He’s proven that in Massachusetts where he faced an overwhelmingly liberal, Democrat legislature, a legislature where those who opposed him had a supermajority — something you have never done and seem to dismiss when you turn to distorting the facts about Mitt’s record. Of course, if the truth were known, Mitt would be the clear favorite of most Republicans.
And, by the way, Mitt is a conservative — a fact well-known to those who either know him or have taken the time to actually study his record.