By Brent Bozell, Chairman, ForAmerica
There are points in history where all great peoples reach a crossroads and must make fundamental decisions about their future direction. One road leads to continued greatness, the other to decline and, for some, ruin. In 1776, our Founding Fathers were faced with a choice: continue to submit to British rule or stand up and fight for a new nation based on the concepts of freedom, individual responsibility, and the pursuit of happiness.
Once the war was over and the states were considering adoption of the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government America was getting. His answer: “A Republic, if you can keep it.” What followed was the unfolding of the most radical -- and most radically successful -- experiment in the history of man: a nation guided by the notion that central government should be limited so as to provide maximum freedom for the individual.
For almost 250 years we kept it. Is it over now? Is this extraordinary experiment in Constitutional governance -- finished?
Under the leadership of President Obama and the radical Left, we have reached another crossroads: Will we return to our principles of limited government or if we will continue to slide toward European-style socialism, as represented by ObamaCare, bailouts, and calls from Democrats for trillions of dollars in new taxes to pay for evermore reckless federal spending which is draining our treasury of our last reserves?
The 2012 election should seek to answer this fundamental question. On every front, economic, social and foreign policy, there are monumental decisions to be made. It is at this point -- this moment, now -- that Republicans should be responding to this socialist pull with dramatic and consequential policy counter-measures. The country desperately needs them and millions upon millions of activists are standing by, awaiting the order to carry the banner of freedom forward.
Instead, incredibly, the GOP is... gliding. Most of its leaders in the Senate make the term "Senate leadership" an oxymoron when applied to the GOP. In the House, where so many promises were made to constituents who gave them one last chance in 2010, there is growing indecision. There is the growing consensus that the present line-up of declared and would-be declared presidential candidates has failed to capture the imagination because none is bringing forward the bold leadership times of crisis require. When they do make "bold" statements, it is to defend their own leftist records, or to attack the few Republicans who are putting forward serious proposals to save America.
Conservatives are fed up with this nonsense. The American people do not want ObamaCare and they do not want NewtCare. The American people wholly reject the individual mandate, whether it comes from Barack Obama or Newt Gingrich. But the former Speaker did not stop there. He felt compelled to take shots at Paul Ryan and the House Republicans’ budget. Is the Ryan plan perfect? No -- but it is serious, and it is bold, and it is courageous, and it would reverse the slide to economic ruin and socialism set by President Obama. Paul Ryan deserves the highest applause from conservatives, but rather than acknowledge that he is busy pulling the arrows from his back.
The GOP leadership, and most especially its presidential candidates, need to get with the program. If the GOP is incapable of articulating a vision that returns America to Constitutional conservatism, then maybe conservatives should start thinking the unthinkable: a new party. There is no luxury of time to debate and discuss and, as usual, postpone the tough decisions. They are upon us. Will we continue on the path to European socialism, or will we once more be a nation based on individual freedom, a virtuous and principled society and limited government? It's time the GOP step up or move aside.