With a little more than a week before a presidential election that could change America's form of government, let's look at the election as Reagan might.
I understand that many Americans are upset with the current conditions in the country. You believe that George Bush mishandled the war in Iraq, at least for a couple of years. While you're willing to concede that the news media intentionally misled you about American successes in Iraq, you saw enough to conclude that the Administration made some mistakes--and those mistakes cost lives.
You might also be rightfully upset about the economy. Major American companies that had become household words--Lehman Brothers, Bear Stern, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, National City--are gone. The American automobile industry is on the brink of extinction. Your retirement savings account is worth a little more than half of what it was two years ago.
On top of that, you've been told that you're the cause of global warming, that your greed helped bring down those big companies and that your votes in past elections have jeopardized America's future.
No wonder you're upset.
In such times, you might think that the most different choice is the best choice. With the possibility of a world-wide recession or depression in coming years, you might think, "why settle for improvement? Why not just start over?" So you tentatively voice your support for Barack Obama.
I have to ask you, Are you really ready to throw away more than 200 years of political and economic freedom? Is your condition so bad that the great American experiment should end? Is the future so bleak that you want to give up on self-government and, instead, entrust your money, your career, and your family to a government bureaucracy?
I don't believe it.
Perhaps you haven't really thought about what America might look like four years from now if Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid have unfettered control of the entire US government. With a week to go before you choose the fate of self-government, perhaps it's time you looked.
The liberals who will rule America believe that the Constitution is nothing but a guideline for government behavior. They believe that all political power rests in the hands of the federal government, and that the government trickles down certain permissions to the people. They believe that all income belongs to the government, and that you should thank them for the portion they let you keep. They believe that so-called experts know better than you how you should live your life and spend your money. They believe that the government should decide what programming is available on radio and television, and what content should be posted on the internet. Obama, Reid, and Pelosi would not even permit this blog to operate.
Polls show that you don't agree with these people on these central beliefs about the role of government and the rights of the people. Most Americans still believe what Jefferson wrote in our Declaration of Independence:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That's' the exact opposite of what Barack Obama believes. Where you come down on that issue overshadows every other aspect of this election. Before November 4, I ask you to visit this web site and read the Declaration of Independence. When you read it, ask yourself if Barack Obama really believes as Jefferson did.
If you believe that governments may exist only by the people's will, if you believe that government powers are just only when derived from the consent of the governed, then you cannot in good conscience vote for Barack Obama. He will do whatever he can to remove that philosophical principle from the American mind. He will undo the principle of self-government through laws and judges--judges who will ignore precedent and the Constitution by legislating unlimited government power from the bench. Obama has said as much.
With this newfound power, this reversal of the roles of people and government, Obama will take away your right to save for retirement. He plans to nationalize all private retirement accounts, and "spread the wealth around" to those who have been less responsible with their money than you have. And his Congressional allies are already talking about cutting the military by 25 percent. That would mean surrendering the war on terror and hoping Canada doesn't invade.
On this notion of spreading the wealth around, Obama agrees with socialist and communist thinkers. Obama believes that the government's job is to take away from the most productive and redistribute it to the least productive. In short, Barack Obama believes that yours is his to spend as he sees fit.
That's not American; that's Soviet.
If you believe that your earnings are yours, then you cannot vote for Obama in good conscience.
But even Obama's radical notions of government would be little more than academic theories without a willing Congress to enact his agenda and approve his appointment of radical judges. And your view of Congress is, frankly, bewildering.
In poll after poll, you have said that this Congress, run by Democrats for two years, is the worst Congress ever. While pundits and comedians like to make fun of President Bush's low approval rating, Congress's approval rating is less than half of the President's. In other words, there are twice as many of you who believe Bush is doing to a good or great job than believe Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are.
Yet, often in the same poll, you tell pollster that you intend to re-elect Democrats to Congress! It would be like suing a doctor for malpractice and making another appointment with him on your way out of the court room.
I would ask you to think about this before your cast your vote for Representatives and Senators: Are you better off now than you were 2 years ago?
Two years ago, you gave Congress to Democrats. Since that time, Congress has instrumented the economic crisis we're fighting today. Democrats refused to limit the power of corrupt executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Democrats like Barack Obama, Chris Dodd, and Barney Frank turned a blind eye to auditor and regulator reports showing that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were engaged in fraud and were destabilizing the entire financial industry. Even before taking power after the 2006 elections, powerful Democrats, who received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations and sweetheart under-the-table mortgages from Fannie and Freddie executives, used procedural rules to prevent the Bush Administration and Republican Congressional leaders from stopping these corrupt organizations while the damage was still limited.
How can you, in good conscience, re-elect a Democrat Congressman or Senator when you admit these Congressmen and Senators are the worst who ever office--at least since polling began?
On November 4, you will have a choice to elect a man who has a history of fixing corruption and waste in government, an American hero who spent six years of his life in captive torture for your freedom. John McCain believes Jefferson's view of the relationship between governments and people. He proved his faith in that principle, almost with his life.
Or you can do as so many of you say will do: end the great American experiment in self-government by electing Barack Obama. You will have forfeited the blessings of liberty for yourselves and your posterity. You will have cried "Uncle" in the face of problems that many generations of Americans have bravely and successfully overcome.
I know the people of America don't want socialist government experts telling them what to do 24 hours a day. I know that my fellow citizens believe that the government which governs least governs best. I know that you would never elect a president or Congress who believe that government comes before the people. You might be selfless, but you're not stupid.
You understand that, in this present crisis, government is not the solution to the problem; government IS the problem. Why, then, would you even consider voting for a man who has pledged to make government larger and more powerful than any in history? Why would you elect the very people who created the problem of big government in the first place?
In 1930, Herbert Hoover, facing a collapse of the financial sector in America, decided to fix the problem by raising taxes and creating barriers to free trade. Barack Obama, who seems to have learned more from Soviet history than from American, promises to do exactly what Hoover did--he promises to raise taxes and restrict trade. Why would you expect any different results from the ones Hoover got?
A vote for Obama is vote to invoke cloture on this last, best hope for democracy. It's a vote of surrender, just as Obama and the Democrats voted to surrender to terrorists in Iraq. You are too good for that. Your children are too good for that. So are mine.
Some people in my own party say that America would survive an Obama presidency. They that we will lose some ground on freedom and prosperity, but that we will eventually recover. Others, like Mark Steyn, disagree. Well, I'm an optimist. I believe that Americans might be able to undo the damage an Obama presidency combined with a Democrat Congress would visit on our great land. But why would take the chance?
Why would you vote to elect people who, if we're lucky, will make the country worse but recoverable? That's like taking off in a damaged airplane hoping to survive the crash.
We don't have to. We can commit to electing people who share our view of the American experiment, the role of government, and the moral pinnacle of self-government. We can make the next four years better than the last eight. We can make the next decade better than the last two. We can remain that shining city on a hill to which the whole world looks with awe, wonder, and envy.
Or we can cry "uncle" and elect Obama and the Democrats.
Let's not play chicken with freedom. Let's not play Russian roulette with prosperity. Let's not board Obama's broken down, socialist plane.
Let's act like grownups, elect John McCain, give him a majority in the Senate, and get this great ship of democracy underway once again.
Thank you. May God continue to bless America.