In 2008, Obama was the candidate of "hope and change." In 2012, Obama is the candidate of inflexibility and fear.
Look at him, his surrogates and his ads.
Do they not all say to the American people: Be afraid, be terrified of what Romney and that dangerous Ryan would do. Be fearful, for Romney and Ryan will take from you what you have, while we will make sure you keep what you have, and we promise you more.
With the selection of Ryan, Mitt Romney has made this election a test of the people themselves. Two-thirds of all Americans, according to polls, believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Will they vote for Romney-Ryan to change course, or for Obama to continue on that course because they fear the unknown to the known?
The predictable Democratic response to Ryan's candidacy has begun. They are rummaging through his budget to find proposed cuts and crafting ads to frighten portions of the population about what those terrible cuts might mean to them.
Will it work?
Well, this will be a test of the communications skills of the Romney-Ryan campaign. Can they persuade the people to boot the Obamaites out of the wheelhouse and entrust them with the leadership of the nation?
Second, it will be a test of the people. Can they, will they reject the frightening picture that will be painted of Romney and Ryan's America?
America has faced course corrections before, with 1932 and 1980 coming to mind. In both those elections, the failed leadership was broomed out in a landslide.
Is there any doubt that this administration, too, has fallen short of what it promised? Is there any doubt that it, too, has failed?
But are we the same people those generations were? Or have we become the fearful and risk-averse electorate the consultants and the ad-makers think we are?
We shall see.
Nevertheless, Romney is owed a debt for choosing a man of principles and conservative philosophy as a running mate, thereby giving this country a clear choice as to the future it wants to live in.
However it comes out, this decision was a gutsy call.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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