Dear Gov. Romney,
If unsolicited advice were money, I'm sure your campaign coffers would have a mountain of cash high enough to perch a flag on top. But perhaps you'll indulge me briefly, because while I suspect you have advisors who are paid well to tell you what people like me think, I'll let you in on it for free.
You see, I'm not a Republican, though I write for a right-thinking website. No sir, I slipped away from the Republican Party even as it slipped away from it's Constitutional foundation, expanding in the process the entitlement state and the government's reach into our lives. A career non-commissioned officer, I retired from active duty in 2003 and went straightaway to an 18 wheeler, so I'm about as "blue collar" as it gets, and so "down to earth" that I'm practically under ground. I've dined with generals and lived in foxholes. Currently residing in the blissful quiet of an 18 wheeler sleeper, it is my privilege to travel this great country and meet a variety of people every day, so perhaps my perspective will prove useful to you.
Though I wasn't a supporter of yours early on, I've come to understand that you and I share the same goal; the advancement of human freedom and the repudiation of the historically disreputable idea that a small group of masterminds in Washington DC have the right to lead the citizenry by the nose and dictate to them the terms of their own existence.
We must make common cause, you and I, for the situation is dire. We live at a moment in history when government at all levels feels entitled to push people around in ways large and small. Just last week, that walking fountain of incoherence and moral confusion, Nancy Pelosi, said that Obamacare, with its mandates and taxes, its new agencies and IRS enforcement, its death panels and its trespasses on the First Amendment, is a "right!" Think about that for just a moment, please. In her world, we have a Constitutional "right" to involuntary governmental control over the most personal aspects of our lives and our faith,…indeed, we have a "right" to submit to government control over life and death itself. The audacious madness of the idea is breathtaking, and if you listen carefully you can hear the Founding Fathers spinning at about 1,500 rpm in their graves.
That this kind of dumbfounding ignorance could reach the highest levels of a representative republic is disconcerting enough. But the fact that it couldn't have happened without the enabling confusion of a nominal opposition in the Republican Party is truly cause for alarm. As Bill Buckley wrote many years ago:
What was once a healthy American pragmatism has deteriorated into a wayward relativism. It is one thing to make the allowances to reality that reality imposes, to take advantage of the current when the current moves in your direction, while riding at anchor at ebb tide. But it is something else to run before political or historical impulses merely because fractious winds begin to blow, and to dismiss resistance as foolish, or as perverse idealism.
There is reason for cautious optimism however, and as Exhibit A, I offer last week's wildly unsuccessful recall effort in Wisconsin. After careful political and fiscal analysis, Governor Walker determined the best strategic points upon which to press the conservative alternative, and advanced boldly. His strategy of drawing a clear line demarcating the opposing visions of limited and unlimited government proved successful. He didn't back down. As a result, Wisconsin continues its recovery, jobs are being created, and people who are now free of the shackles of compulsory union membership are exercising their "right to choose" something other than union thuggery.
The point surely is that when the differences between the parties are not muddied, and the people have a clear choice, they will do what they did in 1980, 1994 and 2010, what they did in Wisconsin, and what they stand poised to do in 2012. I hear it where I travel. I listen to it over the counter at truck stops across the country and on the CB. People are paying attention. This isn't 1964, when the mischief of the Great Society was carried aloft on the refreshing breeze of innovation and exuberance. Almost 50 years and trillions of dollars later, the results are in. We stand on the verge of national bankruptcy, we see that omnipotent government didn't solve society's ills as evidenced by the fact that the utopians still clamor for more,…more power to the state, more confiscation of private property, and more subservience to the masterminds who have sold us a bill of goods and have spent money not yet earned by people not yet born, and we have had quite enough.
Last weekend, while recovering from a surgery, I watched Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. Enthralled with the pageantry of the event, and drawn to the Queen's personal story of challenge and triumph, I nevertheless felt somewhat congratulatory over the fact that our country was founded as a direct repudiation of the rule of monarchy. My pride was wounded, however, when I surveyed the Sunday talk shows and realized that in America, we've substituted the Divine Right of Kings with the Divine Right of Asses, there being little that is divine and much that is asinine with the course upon which our country is charging at full throttle.
The hour is late, minor course corrections are not enough, and a blithe acceptance of the terms of debate as dictated by our opponents will undermine liberty itself. We must put the left on notice that the relationship of citizen to government will be fundamentally restored to its constitutional roots. They've had generations to prove their point, and they've succeeded in practically ruining the country. It's time they learn that from truckers to businessmen, we do not exist merely as gatherers of money for the state to redistribute according to the egalitarian fantasies of politicians. They must be challenged, from the root assumptions of their questions to the misrepresentations and errors of their dogma.
And what then? When they stand agog, and murmur that the Republican Party is, "the party of no," we should answer that we do indeed say no to the idea that an unaccountable and unelected board of directors may sit in judgement over the health and wellbeing of every American; we say no to the continuing de-industrialization of our country under the Obama Administration; we say no to the idiotic refusal to fully exploit our own energy resources in favor of mandating tiny cars that won't survive a crash but will insure at least an economic trip to the morgue; we say no to his czars and no to his unconstitutional appointments; we say no to goons with clubs intimidating voters with the tacit approval of the Attorney General; we say no to the suicidal notion of crippling our armed forces; and we say no to the horrific lunacy of the idea that our rights are bequeathed by the state. And in so doing, we say a resounding Yes to the concept of individual liberty and sovereignty. We say yes to excellence, yes to the accumulated wisdom of the ages which affirms the very basic premise that no man should be deprived of his life, liberty, or property through force or fraud and without due process of law. And that law is the Constitution, which provides the framework for the implementation of the ideals found in our Declaration of Independence.
If the left doesn't understand all that,…so what? The people whose votes you will need understand it. They've voiced their understanding repeatedly from town hall meetings, to TEA Party rallies, to voting booths from Massachusetts to California. To use the popular parlance, these people will "have your back," Governor, so long as they know you've got theirs as well.
In 1952, Bill Buckley wrote:
American people are engaged in two wars—the one against Russian imperialism, the other against government paternalism. Only history will tell whether Joseph Stalin or Franklin Roosevelt will have wrought greater damage to individual freedom in the United States.
We've got one last shot at getting this right and, if we pull it off, we will be able to read Buckley's question with a knowing smile, confident that in the end, the exceptional American spirit defeated tyranny, both abroad and at home.