“The administration which has brought us to this state is seeking your endorsement for four more years of weakness, indecision, mediocrity and incompetence.” Ronald Reagan
Due to travel overseas, I missed both the Republican and Democratic conventions. I’m not sure what happened, but it seems Romney is floundering. It also appears that everyone is giving him advice. Not to be left out, here’s my advice. Forget about the focus groups and talk to America as adults. Take a tip from Ronald Reagan in 1980 and tell American what it needs to hear.
Here is his highly abridged acceptance speech:
Never before in our history have Americans been called upon to face three grave threats to our very existence, any one of which could destroy us. We face a disintegrating economy, a weakened defense and an energy policy based on the sharing of scarcity.
The major issue of this campaign is the direct political, personal and moral responsibility of Democratic Party leadership for this unprecedented calamity which has befallen us. They tell us they have done the most that humanly could be done. They say that the United States has had its day in the sun; that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems; that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities.
My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view. The American people, the most generous on earth, who created the highest standard of living, are not going to accept the notion that we can only make a better world for others by moving backwards ourselves. Those who believe we can have no business leading the nation.
“Trust me” government asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man; that we trust him to do what’s best for us. My view of government places trust in the people.
The first Republican president once said, “While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years.”
If Mr. Lincoln could see what’s happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Ours are not problems of abstract economic theory. Those are problems of flesh and blood; problems that cause pain and destroy the moral fiber of real people.
Our problems are both acute and chronic, yet all we hear from those in positions of leadership are the same tired proposals for more government tinkering, more meddling and more control — all of which led us to this state in the first place.
Can anyone look at the record of this administration and say, “Well done?” Can anyone compare the state of our economy when the Carter Administration took office with where we are today and say, “Keep up the good work?” Can anyone look at our reduced standing in the world today and say, “Let’s have four more years of this?”
I believe the American people are going to answer these questions the first week of November and their answer will be, “No–we’ve had enough.”
I believe it is clear our federal government is overgrown and overweight. Indeed, it is time for our government to go on a diet. Therefore, my first act as chief executive will be to impose an immediate and thorough freeze on federal hiring.
We are going to put an end to the notion that the American taxpayer exists to fund the federal government. The federal government exists to serve the American people. On January 20th, we are going to re-establish that truth.
There are concepts that stem from an economic system that for more than 200 years has helped us master a continent, create a previously undreamed of prosperity for our people and has fed millions of others around the globe. That system will continue to serve us in the future if our government will stop ignoring the basic values on which it was built and stop betraying the trust and good will of the American workers who keep it going.
This must stop. We must halt this fiscal self-destruction and restore sanity to our economic system.
Thanks to the economic policies of the Democratic Party, millions of Americans find themselves out of work.
It is time to put America back to work; to make our cities and towns resound with the confident voices of men and women of all races, nationalities and faiths bringing home to their families a decent paycheck they can cash for honest money.
The administration which has brought us to this state is seeking your endorsement for four more years of weakness, indecision, mediocrity and incompetence.
Tonight, let us dedicate ourselves to renewing the American compact. I ask you not simply to “Trust me,” but to trust your values–our values–and to hold me responsible for living up to them. I ask you to trust that American spirit which knows no ethnic, religious, social, political, regional, or economic boundaries; the spirit that burned with zeal in the hearts of millions of immigrants from every corner of the Earth who came here in search of freedom.
Can we doubt that only a Divine Providence placed this land, this island of freedom, here as a refuge for all those people in the world who yearn to breathe freely?
I’ll confess that I’ve been a little afraid to suggest what I’m going to suggest — I’m more afraid not to — that we begin our crusade joined together in a moment of silent prayer. God bless America.
James D. Best is the author of the Steve Dancy Tales and Tempest at Dawn, a novel about the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Look for his new book, Principled Action, Lessons from the Origins of the American Republic.