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Explaining the Fight for America's Exceptional Life to Bowling Buddies

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

We not only must win this thing, we can. Maybe we are. Hard to know while we’re being bludgeoned with polls projecting Democrat turnout levels equal to 2008 Obama euphoria.

Complicating things is the sour commentary of some who lament the challenger isn’t a miraculous fusion of Ron Paul’s Constitutional passion, Newt Gingrich’s creativity and skill at skewering the media, Rick Santorum’s unflinching stands on social issues, and Gary Johnson’s happy creed of liberty over all. As if such a Frankenborg exists.

America has a choice with historic and immediate consequences. The constitutional future of earth’s exceptional nation is on the line, but also important stuff like jobs, opportunity, and more chances for 20-somethings to move out of mom and dad’s place in this lifetime.

It’s late in an epic battle between transformers and restorers. Transformers want to expand government control over society in ways that are common and uncontroversial in most the world. Restorers want to revive, nurture, and enjoy the fruits of things that made America exceptional for most its history.

The transformers have been winning for a long time. But they’ve never been so open and aggressive about their goals, or closer to achieving them. The stakes are high.

Will government protect individual rights necessary for freedom and the pursuit of happiness? Or, will government define “general welfare” and impose the conditions required for government’s vision? As von Hayek taught, the state can’t shape the big picture without controlling people’s choices in the little picture.

Beneath the airy philosophy hang Constitutional principles. Will America remain a federalist land of self government, with recognized limits on central power? Will government stay contained and honest because of separation of powers? That is, by careful division of the power to make policy, to enforce policy, and to independently judge disputes between the people and the rulers?

Will government respect critical personal liberties that sustain prosperity, including property, contract, due process, and the right to consistency and evenhanded governance?

Beneath the Constitutional principles are urgent consequences that affect our prospects and our children’s. History teaches--and the field lab of the last four years confirms--freedom prospers better than control.

The pursuit of happiness—observing supply and demand, respecting production and innovation--this philosophy produces more food, clothing, shelter, jobs and opportunity than any system ever devised by man.

But voters who are undecided by now likely won’t be wowed by such talk. These folks aren’t sure what they think, but they want results. If I were talking to an unpolitical friend, I’d make points like these:

America’s finances are collapsing; national government is out of control. Spiraling debt, unprotected embassies, lawless, homicidal gun stings in Mexico, cash piñatas for donors dangled by Departments. It’s an epic embarrassment. If one man has the background and skills to oversee a turnaround, it’s Mitt Romney.

Come to think, I might try the same tack with my frustrated ideological friends: it’ll take more than knowing the Federalist Papers to ease the budget crisis and avert the entitlement crash. Team Romney Ryan may be the best prepared ticket in history for the crucible we face.

Back to my skeptical friend… Romney wants to unleash America’s economy like Reagan did, by low taxes and reasonable regulations. He doesn’t have to guess what the next big thing is, betting billions of tax dollars on boondoggles like Solyndra or the Chevy Volt. He doesn’t believe regulators know what’s needed; free people trying to serve consumers will find it better. And we won’t have to fund big payoffs for cronies.

Romney wants more affordable energy. There’s a bonanza here at home. Recent production and discoveries make us the Saudi Arabia of gas and oil.

But you wouldn’t know it. Gasoline costs more. Electricity too. Utilities are way up. That’s how Obama wants it. He said before he ran he’d bankrupt coal companies and make electricity more expensive. He chose an Energy Secretary who said our gas should cost about triple, like Europe.

That’s what extremists want, not believers in American society. Romney knows families and companies depend on abundant energy. He won’t block production and energy independence; he’ll fight for them.

Romney believes the American dream comes from America’s heritage. We don’t need more redistribution; we need more production. The private sector creates wealth; government doesn’t.

Romney believes Congress and the president both have to agree on things in order to make them law. The president can’t just make it up and impose what he wants.

Basically, Romney believes you can run your life better than he can. He doesn’t want to control your diet, choose your energy, decide what kind of car you drive, or what companies or industries should succeed.

If you start a business, he’ll applaud your success. If you don’t start a business, he’ll help build the kind of country where more of us can.

That’s more jobs and opportunity for all of us.

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