While other politicians are offering up the usual government engineered schemes to revitalize the economy of Ohio, Blackwell understands that the last thing that Ohioans need is more government.
He has proposed a constitutional amendment that would put a cap on growth of state and local spending of 3.5 percent, or the sum of the rates of inflation and population growth. Exactly the kind of formula that makes conventional politicians cringe, which is exactly what is happening.
However, he also knows that there are two sides to the coin of social and economic vitality. One is to keep government in check. The other is to maintain a positive healthy moral environment that sustains individuals and families. So Blackwell supports constitutionally protecting traditional marriage and he opposes abortion. And, he supports school choice.
So, in fact, Ken Blackwell has not stopped smelling the roses of the Reagan revolution. Or, perhaps I should say the American Revolution.
His opponents call him "radical" and an "extremist." His primary opponent called him "goofy."
And, of course, the left translates his stand for traditional values, which Americans overwhelming support, as "gay bashing."
We are in challenging times. Ohio is in many ways a poster child of the problems that the country is facing. If we check the track record of history, or even look around the world today, it is clear as a bell that countries with undisciplined government are both corrupt and poor. It is also clear that social vitality, that is traditional values and intact families, coincides with economic prosperity.
I have long felt, counter to the conventional wisdom that Republicans recruit blacks, that blacks will play a key role in defining and leading the Republican Party. It is because the black community needs the agenda of limited government and traditional values like oxygen.
The beauty is that it's an American agenda. Not an ethnic or racial or special interest agenda.
So watch Ohio. It may tell you a lot about the country's future.