I want to share with you excerpts from a speech given by one of the Republican candidates. See if you can determine who it is.
It’s a bit long, as I’ve printed several passages from the remarks. But I thought that the writing and the rhetoric were so inspiring and so perfectly descriptive of the problems we face that you would really enjoy it and that it might even make you think about voting for this candidate.
Please, take a look.
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 which 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.
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 backwards 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.
“Trust me” government asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man; that we trust him to do what’s best for us. My view of government places trust not in one person or one party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties. The trust is where it belongs–in the people.
The first Republican president once said, “While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years.”
If Mr. Lincoln could see what’s happened in these last two-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement. But, with the virtues that our legacy as a free people and with the vigilance that sustains liberty, we still have time to use our renewed compact to overcome the injuries that have been done to America these past two-and-a-half years.
First, we must overcome something the present administration has cooked up: a new and altogether indigestible economic stew, one part high unemployment, one part recession, one part runaway taxes, one part deficit spending. It’s an economic stew that has turned the national stomach.
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 lay 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.
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 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?”
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 essential that we maintain both the forward momentum of economic growth and the strength of the safety net beneath those in society who need help. We also believe it is essential that the integrity of all aspects of Social Security are preserved.
Beyond these essentials, I believe it is clear our federal government is overgrown and overweight. Indeed, it is time for our government to go on a diet.
Government programs exist at the sufferance of the American taxpayer and are paid for with money earned by working men and women. Any program that represents a waste of their money — a theft from their pocketbooks–must have that waste eliminated or the program must go — by executive order where possible; by congressional action where necessary.
We are going to initiate action to get substantial relief for our taxpaying citizens and action to put people back to work. None of this will be based on any new form of monetary tinkering or fiscal sleight-of-hand. We will simply apply to government the common sense we all use in our daily lives.
Work and family are at the center of our lives; the foundation of our dignity as a free people. When we deprive people of what they have earned, or take away their jobs, we destroy their dignity and undermine their families. We cannot support our families unless there are jobs; and we cannot have jobs unless people have both money to invest and the faith to invest it.
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, 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 which 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 two-and-a-half years ago? Is the world today a safer place in which to live?
I ask you to trust that American spirit which knows no ethnic, religious, social, political, regional, or economic boundaries; the spirit that burned with zeal in the hearts of millions of immigrants from every corner of the Earth who came here in search of freedom.
Some say that spirit no longer exists. But I have seen it — I have felt it — all across the land; in the big cities, the small towns and in rural America. The American spirit is still there, ready to blaze into life if you and I are willing to do what has to be done; the practical, down-to-earth things that will stimulate our economy, increase productivity and put America back to work. The time is now to resolve that the basis of a firm and principled foreign policy is one that takes the world as it is and seeks to change it by leadership and example; not by harangue, harassment or wishful thinking.
The time is now to say that while we shall seek new friendships and expand and improve others, we shall not do so by breaking our word or casting aside old friends and allies . . . The time is now, my fellow Americans, to recapture our destiny, to take it into our own hands.
If only you could vote for this person.
The Republican candidate is Ronald Reagan. Did you guess it? This is is from his acceptance speech, given July 17, 1980 at the Republican National Convention in Detroit. I made a couple of minor edits so as not to give it away.
My, how much things stay the same, and how history does indeed repeat itself.