Michael  Steele

But, we should never lose faith first and foremost in our belief in the power and ingenuity of the individual to create the legacy of a nation through hard work and self-discipline. Conservatives must stand firm in our belief that government should be limited so that it never becomes powerful enough to infringe on the rights of the individual. We also must continue to stand for low taxes so that individuals might keep more of their own money, and the economic power that it represents; for business regulations that encourage entrepreneurs to take risks so that more individuals can enjoy the satisfaction and fruits of self-made success; and for the ideal of a colorblind society, so that each man or woman is treated as an individual and not as a member of some hyphenated class or group.

Conservatives now have a window of opportunity to act in a genuine way to demonstrate the truth of America: that every American, regardless of his or her station in life, upbringing or social status has the opportunity to turn their hopes into action and to realize the promise that is the "American Dream."

Ronald Reagan understood that, and he acted to lift a dispirited nation to become that "shining city on a hill."

Let's remind America once again that its promise is the promise of endless possibilities. Let's define for America those values we hold dear: the value to the soul of religious faith, complete integrity, loyalty and truthfulness. Let's honor America with incorruptible public service, a respect for economy in government, self-reliance, thrift and individual liberty. Let's stand firm in our patriotism, real love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it as those who have gone before us.

The Republican Party is the party of ideas and leadership that have made and will continue to make this nation great. Republicans must now gather strength from within as we enter a critical period in America's history. We must work to restore faith in our party by standing on those principles that not only unite us as Republicans, but as Americans. Republicans need to stop looking for Reagan and start acting like Republicans.

It is still a long and bumpy road to the White House this November, but I am confident that Republicans and the conservative movement they inspired will regain in strength if we stick to those values that have long-united our party and stirred a generation to join our cause. These are the values that continue to empower, uplift and remind us that America will always be the one place on earth where possibility meets opportunity — a place we call the "American Dream."

Michael Steele

Michael Steele is a former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland.
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Michael Steele's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.