It will be tempting for many Republicans to take the easy way and campaign to exploit prevailing unhappiness. This would be irresponsible. The problems facing the nation are too great.
Republicans must offer now a concrete alternative vision, Contract with America-style.
Return to a low tax, limited government environment. Address escalating health care costs with market, enterprise-driven reforms. We are drowning in the red ink of entitlements. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid must be transformed into models of ownership and choice. Parents must be given freedom to choose where to send their children to school.
A bold Republican agenda would aim to unite our deeply divided nation by reaching into black and Latino communities to show that ownership and personal responsibility -- not the welfare state -- is the key to the American dream.
And let's not shy away from the truth that this is a nation under God.
Some say that a free society has no religious absolutes. Stephen Douglas argued this when, in his debates with Lincoln, he claimed it was the American way for each state to be free to decide if it would permit slavery.
Current polling shows that less than one in three Americans feel the country is on the right track. It's time to get back on the path of freedom.