And now the Democrats propose to fix the problems that government has created with more government.
Unlike liberals, conservatives genuinely believe in the abilities of individuals. We believe that even the poor yearn for freedom and opportunity and will thrive in an environment that gives them that.
The Left still believes that, uninstructed and unsubsidized in their daily lives by a benevolent government, the poor cannot succeed in spite of a history of success by the poor. Ask any family of 8 or 10 children raised in poverty during the depression and during WW II and you will find a remarkable record of achievements. Our government schools; our food stamps that tell you what you can buy; our government health care; our job programs, the reverse income tax – how can the poor survive without Washington’s wisdom in deciding for them?
In spite of the total collapse of communism and socialism around the world, we keep lurching to the Left believing that high paid bureaucrats who soak up half the money are smarter than the people who earn it and that government makes better decisions.
They do know as we all know, that the human being dreams – not for one more government program – but for freedom.
Illya Ehrenberg, a Russian poet, wrote, “If the entire world were covered with asphalt, one day a crack would appear, in that crack grass would grow.” That is the dream of the human spirit. That is the dream of freedom.
All this is to say the following: Liberal efforts to replace your decisions with their decisions have been a colossal failure. It has been a failure for the taxpayer, but much more so for the generations of children destroyed in the process. Why is it so difficult in American politics to commit a truth?
This election is going to be the meanest election in your lifetimes. Because there is so much at stake.
Labor unions, trial lawyers and wealthy liberals (who avail themselves of all of the tax loopholes) have committed to spend all it takes to win the White House and to hold on to the Congress. For them it is an investment. If they succeed in removing choices from our communities to Washington, they win. The American people lose.
There is hope. Do you remember Ronald Reagan?
It is important to remember how dark the nightfall was when he began running for president. On the eve of his first run for the presidency in 1975 he spoke of the 20th anniversary of National Review. In a somber moment he quoted something written two decades earlier by Whittaker Chambers.
Chambers wrote, “It is idle to speak of saving Western Civilization, because Western Civilization is already a wreck from within. Those is why we can hope to little more than snatch a fingernail off a saint on the rack or a handful of ashes from the cigarettes and bury them secretly in a flower pot until that day ages hence when a few men would dare to be believe that there once was something else. That something else is thinkable and there were those at the great nightfall who took loving care to preserve the tokens of hope and truth.”
Five years later Reagan was president, promising to rekindle the American dream.
It has been said that the American dream was to own your own home. That’s not the American dream. The dream is to get your kids out of your home, and when Ronald Reagan took office we wondered if we ever could. We had double digit interest rates, mortgage rates, inflation and unemployment.
We were losing the cold war. Between 1970 and 1980 the Soviet Union had increased its influence in Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Nicaragua, Grenada, Mozambique, Angola, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, South Yemen, Libya, Iraq and Syria.
On top of that a third of our planes were unable to fly for lack of spare parts, one third of our ships were in dry dock, soldiers were practicing with pretend bullets and many of our enlisted corps were on food stamps.
In his first inaugural address President Reagan addressed our challenges at home and abroad. Then he said this: “With reliance on Gods help, and our commitment, we believe we can meet those challenges. And why shouldn’t we believe that we are Americans.”
During the next ten years the American people – not Reagan – not government – you and your neighbors created 4 million new businesses and 20 million new jobs. You doubled the size of the economy from $2.5 trillion to $5 trillion. You doubled your contributions to government from about $500 billion in 1980 to over $1 trillion in 1990. And you doubled your contributions to strangers – people you never met – through voluntary charities, from $44 billion in 1980 to $100 billion in 1990.
During the 1992 campaign, the Clintons called it the decade of greed. But most would call it the American decade in the American century. Perhaps Mrs. Clinton thought you were all trading cattle futures like she was, but most of you weren’t. You were starting businesses, going to church, coaching little league, teaching second graders, paying your taxes and giving to charity.
America is a great nation and its people are good and decent. America is a great nation – not because of government policies or political leaders. America is a great nation because in America ordinary people do extraordinary things. And if we keep the burden of high taxes and too much government off our backs by voting Republican we can do it again.