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Right Turn
Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 10/01/2012

The timeless theme of Romney’s message

Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) should consider this speech:

Never before in our history have Americans been called upon to face three grave threats to our very existence, any one of which could destroy us. We face a disintegrating economy, a weakened defense and an energy policy based on the sharing of scarcity.
The major issue of this campaign is the direct political, personal and moral responsibility of Democratic Party leadership — in the White House and in Congress — for this unprecedented calamity that has befallen us. They tell us they have done the most that humanly could be done. They say that the United States has had its day in the sun; that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems; that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities.
My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view. The American people, the most generous on earth, who created the highest standard of living, are not going to accept the notion that we can only make a better world for others by moving backward ourselves. Those who believe we can have no business leading the nation.
I will not stand by and watch this great country destroy itself under mediocre leadership that drifts from one crisis to the next, eroding our national will and purpose. We have come together here because the American people deserve better from those to whom they entrust our nation’s highest offices, and we stand united in our resolve to do something about it.
We need rebirth of the American tradition of leadership at every level of government and in private life as well. The United States of America is unique in world history because it has a genius for leaders — many leaders — on many levels . . . .
Together, let us make this a new beginning. Let us make a commitment to care for the needy; to teach our children the values and the virtues handed down to us by our families; to have the courage to defend those values and the willingness to sacrifice for them.
Let us pledge to restore, in our time, the American spirit of voluntary service, of cooperation, of private and community initiative; a spirit that flows like a deep and mighty river through the history of our nation. . . .
Ours are not problems of abstract economic theory. Those are problems of flesh and blood; problems that cause pain and destroy the moral fiber of real people who should not suffer the further indignity of being told by the government that it is all somehow their fault. . . .
America must get to work producing more energy. The Republican program for solving economic problems is based on growth and productivity.
Large amounts of oil and natural gas lie beneath our land and off our shores, untouched because the present administration seems to believe the American people would rather see more regulation, taxes and controls than more energy.
Coal offers great potential. So does nuclear energy produced under rigorous safety standards. It could supply electricity for thousands of industries and millions of jobs and homes. It must not be thwarted by a tiny minority opposed to economic growth that often finds friendly ears in regulatory agencies for its obstructionist campaigns.
Make no mistake. We will not permit the safety of our people or our environment heritage to be jeopardized, but we are going to reaffirm that the economic prosperity of our people is a fundamental part of our environment.
Our problems are both acute and chronic, yet all we hear from those in positions of leadership are the same tired proposals for more government tinkering, more meddling and more control — all of which led us to this state in the first place.
Can anyone look at the record of this administration and say, “Well done”? Can anyone compare the state of our economy when the Obama administration took office with where we are today and say, “Keep up the good work?” Can anyone look at our reduced standing in the world today and say, “Let’s have four more years of this?”
I believe the American people are going to answer these questions the first week of November and their answer will be, “No — we’ve had enough.” And, then it will be up to us — beginning next January — to offer an administration and congressional leadership of competence and more than a little courage.
We must have the clarity of vision to see the difference between what is essential and what is merely desirable, and then the courage to bring our government back under control and make it acceptable to the people. . . .
It is time to put America back to work; to make our cities and towns resound with the confident voices of men and women of all races, nationalities and faiths bringing home to their families decent paychecks they can cash for honest money.
For those without skills, we’ll find a way to help them get skills.
For those without job opportunities, we’ll stimulate new opportunities, particularly in the inner cities where they live.
For those who have abandoned hope, we’ll restore hope, and we’ll welcome them into a great national crusade to make America great again!
When we move from domestic affairs and cast our eyes abroad, we see an equally sorry chapter on the record of the present administration. . . .
Adversaries large and small test our will and seek to confound our resolve, but we are given weakness when we need strength; vacillation when the times demand firmness.
The administration lives in the world of make-believe. Every day, drawing up a response to that day’s problems and troubles, regardless of what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow.
The rest of us, however, live in the real world. It is here that disasters are overtaking our nation without any real response from Washington.
This is make-believe, self-deceit and — above all — transparent hypocrisy. . . .
Who does not feel a growing sense of unease as our allies, facing repeated instances of an amateurish and confused administration, reluctantly conclude that America is unwilling or unable to fulfill its obligations as the leader of the free world?
Who does not feel rising alarm when the question in any discussion of foreign policy is no longer “Should we do something?” but “Do we have the capacity to do anything?”
The administration that has brought us to this state is seeking your endorsement for four more years of weakness, indecision, mediocrity and incompetence. No American should vote until he or she has asked, is the United States stronger and more respected now than it was three-and-a-half years ago? Is the world today a safer place in which to live?

Pretty good, huh? Well that was a large chuck of Ronald Reagan’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 1980 with only a few minor changes (e.g., “Carter” to “Obama”). It holds up because it was true then and it is true and entirely applicable today.

Mitt Romney seems to be at a loss to find his “message.” But it is the same as it was the last time America was in an economic rut, attacked with impunity abroad, despairing that we had become ungovernable and told we could do no better. We can do better. We are a great country. We can’t move forward with the incumbent at the helm. Isn’t that the essential message for Romney?

By  |  09:30 AM ET, 10/01/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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