Senator McCain, I can fully understand your desire to be in Washington for the next few days while decisions are made about how best to handle the current crisis. So why not send Sarah Palin out on the stump for you?
Let her do what she does so beautifully: connect with the people by telling them the truth. And who better to get the American public bullish about the economy again than the self-described “pitbull with lipstick”?
If you’re not sure what we want to hear, I’m happy to help out. Here’s what I’d like to hear Sarah Palin say on your behalf in the next week or so:
“Ladies and gentlemen, Americans will vote Republican in November, because they are fed up with Democrats trying to run their lives and ruin their businesses. Democrats like Senators Obama and Biden would have you believe that the cause of the sub-prime mortgage collapse and the financial failures of institutions like Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is ‘corporate greed,’ unfettered by regulation. They’re telling you that the cure is ‘more government oversight.’
“But the truth is that it was government that caused these financial problems. It was government that insisted that banks make bad loans to people who were poor credit risks. It was government that called these bad decisions ‘fair housing,’ even though the lenders they pressured to write the mortgages would eventually lose their shirts, and the homeowners they said they wanted to help would lose their homes. It was government that insisted that quasi-governmental entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be able to buy and sell these essentially worthless securities, both driving up the demand for them, and creating a false sense of security behind them. And when financial writers from respected publications like the Wall Street Journal warned us that these decisions were potentially catastrophic mistakes, it was government calling such warning ‘alarmist.’ ‘Government’ in the form of Democrats like Charles Schumer, Chuck Rangel, Barney Frank, and Maxine Waters. The same Democrats who are now calling for ‘more government’
“The problem, folks, as John McCain and I and you all know, isn’t too little government interference in our financial markets. It’s too much. Left to their own good sense, banks and other financial institutions would have made sensible business decisions, properly secured loans, and prudent investments, as they had before. And as they will again. Senator Obama says he wants ‘change’ that will improve the lots of Americans. Well, we have a change for him: The best way to improve the prospects of all Americans is to get government out of business, to let businesses be what they should be – profitable sources of valuable goods and services, and not manipulated instruments of misguided social engineering!
“As the politicians and advisors gather in Washington this week, John McCain will bring them a message from the American people. We will make them understand that Americans will not be fooled. We will not be fleeced. And we will not be party to the Democrats’ constant efforts to demonize and undermine the best source of prosperity the world has even seen – honest American enterprise.”
There you go. True, it’s risky. It does go against the negative tune everyone else is singing. It will give the media apoplectic fits. (Isn’t that enough reason?) But if you want to truly keep your reputation as a maverick, Senator McCain; if you want to rally independents and fiscal conservatives to your side; and if you want to be the voice of calm reason and positive potential that Americans want in a President, then that’s what we need to hear. And I, for one, would love to hear Sarah Palin say it.
Laura Hollis is an Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches entrepreneurship and business law. She is the author of the forthcoming publication, “Start Up, Screw Up, Scale Up: What Government Can Learn From the Best Entrepreneurs,” © 2014. Her opinions are her own, and do not reflect the position of the university. Follow her on Twitter: @LauraHollis61.