Brooks is right. Most Americans see government as a last resort, not a first resource. They want it to protect us from foreign dictators and domestic charlatans who would injure or destroy our liberties. The preservation of liberty allows individual citizens the opportunity to advance toward the highest levels of achievement consistent with their skills and persistence. The growing opposition to President Obama comes from people who see his administration as making it more difficult to receive the "blessings of liberty," as our Constitution's Preamble so elegantly put it. It also said "we the people," not "you the government."
The Founders wanted government to be small, responsive to the people and attentive to their hunger for liberty. They did not conceive the unresponsive monstrosity we now have (the reason for so much anger at many town hall meetings), that is unproductive (waste, fraud and abuse) and unattractive (politicians who are careerists rather than true servants of the people). It is a bipartisan affliction as we saw when Republicans controlled all three branches of government and too many appeared out for themselves rather than the public interest.
Another Gallup Poll has found that self-identified conservatives now outnumber self-identified liberals in all 50 states (with self-described moderates acting as swing voters). More Americans now say they are conservative than have made the claim in any of the last four years. If conservatives and Republicans (not always the same) are to take advantage of Obama's declining approval numbers, they must fashion a message that begins not in Washington, but in the heart of every individual.
I have a suggestion. Unlike Obama's "Yes We Can" slogan of the last campaign, how about "Yes YOU Can"? The rebuilding of the country can begin when more of "we the people" realize that real power lies within each of us and not in Washington. Where are the political leaders to deliver this message? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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