Republicans keep longing for a reincarnation of Ronald Reagan to pop up and win the GOP presidential nomination, but thus far not one of the current candidates has shown that he has the vaguest notion of what made my father the great president he was -- his vision of the America it is capable of becoming based on his unbounded optimism and faith in the ability of fellow Americans to do the right thing when told the truth.
They keep going off on tangents, arguing about the religious faith of one of their number, or about the legality of using lawn service companies that hire illegal aliens, or how much a former mayor spent on security for himself and his mistress, but not a single word about what matters most – a vision of what kind of America will result if they win the presidency.
The American people crave to see the vision of the shining city on the hill my Dad promised and went a long way towards creating, yet not a single one of the GOP candidates has said a word about how they plan to get us there, or even mentioned it’s where they want to take us, or what it would be like once we got there.
The voters are being left with a slate of candidates whose vision of the kind of nation they imagine remains a mystery. Instead they concentrate on attacking one another, thus violating my Dad’s 11th commandment that Republicans must refrain from going after their party rivals.
This is a serious defect. If the men who seek the opportunity to win the presidency either have no idea of what kind of America they want to help create as president, or worse, are afraid to explain their vision to the electorate, the Republican party will deserve to go down in defeat next year. A party that has no promises for a bright and attainable future is a party that has no promise.
Unless I am very much mistaken, the people are fed up with candidates’ grandiose schemes to make Washington more efficient, the economy stronger, our foreign policy more effective or how they would handle illegal immigration matters. They have been hearing those un-kept promises for years.
What they haven’t been hearing from the people who want their votes is the promise of a future where America reaches the full potential the founding fathers envisioned over 230 years ago – a nation where equal opportunity is available for all, where government is once again the servant of the people and not their master, where truth is more important than political correctness, where their hard-earned wages are not squandered on wasteful and foolish government programs, and where elected legislators and not unelected judges enact the laws.
This is an America where principles, not programs, govern our lives and political activities. This is a shining city on the hill.
The Republican candidates, for reasons I can’t fathom, cannot see that shining city, or if they can, are unable to explain what it would be like under their administration.
On the Democratic side, there is no problem envisioning a future under their authority. Instead of envisioning a shining city on a hill, they see a Marxist municipality which on close inspection turns out to be just another one of those socialist slums which litter the garbage bin of history.
If Republicans refuse to take the blinders off their eyes and look to a future in the shining city, they will lose the election next year, and the nation will begin its dreary trek to the socialist slums where everybody will have an equal opportunity to be miserable.