The Bumpy Road Ahead?
An exceptional and classic vehicle rolls down a long highway. Its driver has taken a sharp left turn onto a seldom seen road. The engine has been misfiring terribly and is seemingly getting worse as the odometer wheels click off every mile. The suspension is straining as the road becomes increasingly bumpy.
The driver of this nearly flawless classic – which is now covered in a heavy layer of dust – ignored the mechanic’s warning at the last service station. The mechanic told the driver to reconsider the route he was taking and warned him that his destination is nothing like the glossy brochures that sit atop the dashboard. The driver thanks the man for his concern but he insists that he knows the road and will push forward nonetheless.
Further down the highway the driver turns the chrome knob that powers the radio. The radio comes alive with a loud crackle. After a little while the music is interrupted by an emergency broadcast alert. After the alarm a voice comes over the airwaves warning of severe weather especially along the dangerous roads that hug the upcoming canyon walls.
In the backseat one of the passengers is getting nervous as she pleads with him to turn the vehicle around.
Her warning not only goes unheeded but the man riding “shotgun” turns around and insists that she be quiet “the driver knows where he is going – you don’t!” After realizing that she doesn’t believe him, the “shotgun” passenger tries to assuage her concerns. He tells her that once they are through the canyon and over the mountain everything will be fine.
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This week’s GOP convention has been pounding on the theme that we can’t ignore the warnings anymore. The speakers – many of whom are current Republican governors – have sounded the call to get serious and put forth policies that aren’t designed to get re-elected, but rather to set our priceless vehicle called “America” back onto smoother roads and away from certain tragedy.
As Gov. Chris Christie (NJ) stated in Tuesday’s keynote address, “…now it is up to us. We must lead the way our citizens live…not by avoiding truths, especially the hard ones, but by facing up to them and being better for it.”
Governor Christie, who faced stern opposition in his own state regarding the tough decisions, told it like it is. He led and the people followed. They followed him in making the difficult choices. They weren’t selfish, they were pragmatic.
The American people are pragmatic too. They will follow a leader who demands respect. President Barack Obama has failed in that regard. He too often has sought to assign blame for our “bumpy road.” He looks to be loved, not respected. He has failed to garner support from the opposition party on critical pieces of legislation. He has been too stubborn to realize that many of his policies have failed. He refuses to adapt his policies to benefit America; rather he chooses the most politically expedient path.
Governors such as Mitch Daniels (IN), Bobby Jindal (LA), Jan Brewer (AZ), Chris Christie, Bob McDonnell (VA), Rick Scott (FL), John Kasich (OH), Nikki Haley (SC) and Scott Walker (WI) have led the way in their respective states. They have put in place policies to promote growth, reduce unemployment and reduce taxes.
These governors are succeeding because the formula they have employed works, and they are providing the confidence and leadership seldom seen in political office. Not only are they making the hard choices, but they are making the right ones. They have gained the respect of their constituents even if they adamantly disagree with the overall philosophy.
Carrying through on this theme, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney chose Congressman Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, as his vice presidential candidate. This first act as the standard bearer for the Republican Party was a shrewd political move because it shows those fiscal conservatives that first and foremost he is serious. There could be no better partner for Mr. Romney specifically in the arena of the federal budget.
There are many on the right who have been wary of Mr. Romney’s executive experience as Massachusetts’ governor. He governed as a Republican governor in the liberal bastion that is the Bay State.
Throughout the primary process, Mr. Romney argued that he is not a moderate and his recent proclamations and decisions – such as naming Mr. Ryan as his running mate – may yet prove those conservatives wrong.
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In November, that classic American car will stop ever so briefly on the road of history. Either Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney will grasp that chrome handle, open that driver’s door, and get behind the wheel.
Only one of these candidates has a clear roadmap and realizes the danger of heading down the current road. Only one candidate is willing to crawl under the hood, get his hands dirty and fix what is broken before taking America back to smoother roads.