Dr. Ben Carson

Imagine a situation in which there is an earthquake that destroys a suspension bridge over a deep canyon.

A passenger train is speeding toward the location, and those in charge realize there is a potential problem ahead but choose instead to argue about the ambient temperature in the passenger cars, the food service and whether they will reach their final destination on time. A few people are quite disturbed when they learn of the tragedy about to unfold if the train isn't halted, but they are labeled as "alarmists" who really are not sophisticated enough to understand the situation.

Obviously, I am referring to our nation and the impending disaster that awaits us if we continue on a course of ever-expanding government control of our lives, fiscal irresponsibility, unwise energy policies and a laissez-faire attitude regarding our world leadership responsibilities.

Conservatives and other thinking individuals must recognize that we are in dire straits. They must adopt a sense of urgency in order to prevent irreparable damage to the concept of a nation where people are free to pursue their dreams without interference -- as long as they are not harming others.

They should not be arguing among themselves over petty differences and refusing to support individuals who largely agree with them about the direction of the country but perhaps have some disagreements about issues that easily could be resolved after the disaster has been averted.

It is troubling to see members of the tea party being attacked by establishment conservatives, and vice versa. If they get angry when their candidate loses in a primary race and refuse to support the winner, they are playing right into the hands of the progressives, from whom they could learn much.

Currently, there are two major visions for America. Liberals envision an overarching central government that controls all of the resources and ensures "equitable" redistribution in a way that prevents anyone from suffering hardship, regardless of their lifestyle and life choices.

The conservative vision emphasizes personal responsibility and a governmental role confined by the U.S. Constitution. This is the vision that was embraced by our founders.

The liberal vision, however, seems to be rapidly gaining momentum, even though many of its proponents would argue that either the government is not really trying to take control, or authority is a necessary function in its role of determining qualifications for licenses, setting standards and establishing such things as age requirements for public school attendance.