Cal  Thomas
This week when Mitt Romney strides to center stage to deliver his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he might draw inspiration from an unlikely source: the song "I Am What I Am" from the musical "La Cage Aux Folles."

One of the chief complaints from voters about politicians is that they too often package themselves disingenuously to get elected, only to reveal their real agenda after they've won. That is what President Obama did in the 2008 campaign when he styled himself as a unifier who wanted to bridge the partisan divide by saying, "...we are not a collection of red states and blue states. We are the United States of America." He then governed more like he was in Soviet America with redistribution of income and more centralized power in Washington.

Romney has rejected appeals to speak to the celebrity culture by "opening up" and exposing his feelings and emotions. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said, "People would like me to lie down and let it all out." He is right to reject such a strategy. He is what he is and voters should appreciate seeing the "real" Romney. They have had enough flash and are ready for substance.

This is a "take your medicine" election for Americans who think we can go on without reforms in Medicare and Social Security and with no substantial reductions in wasteful and unnecessary government spending.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio is among a group of younger GOP leaders who are prescribing medicine the country desperately needs to swallow. In an address last week to the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, Rubio said younger generations must accept a new Medicare: "The bottom line is there will be no Medicare if we don't reform it." That's the truth, not political spin.

Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, is saying much the same. Appearing on Laura Ingraham's radio show, Ryan said, "This is a serious choice of two futures we have in this country. If we stick with the president's path, this is a nation that will go into decline. This is a nation that will have a debt crisis. He'll bring us more toward a welfare state where we have a stagnant economy, where we suspend upward mobility and prosperity and opportunity and growth. And so we're going to make this about ideas. We're going to make this about a positive vision for the future."

Cal Thomas

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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