LIBERALS AND "HOPE"
CONSERVATIVES AND "PRINCIPLE"

And the Presidential election campaign moves on. We continue to hear doctrinaire liberals call for hope and change. They mix it up with comments such as "you will get thirty-five years of experience" and the retort "it is not the past that counts but the future." We hear disparaging remarks such as "they used his middle name" or "she is a monster"; "He is acting like Ken Starr" and "she has not released all her records as yet; what is she hiding?" "Does his minister speak for him" and "do the words of her husband speak for her?" And yes, there is the waffling on NAFTA and the impact on our Canadian friends. There is drama and pressure being placed on the so called "super delegates" which are in reality "political delegates." And the debacle with the Michigan and Florida Democratic Party primary results has left heads spinning for an answer. These are signs of political desperation, demagoguery, and frustration on the part of the ultra left. And the low ground level saga continues. In contrast, we have major domestic and foreign challenges ahead of us and the American people are calling for the high ground of moral courage with dynamic leadership, trustworthy solutions, and honorable action plans. What a contrast... monumental human challenges and low level political back and forth bickering. And they call that "hope?"

The American culture has heretofore led us to become the most productive and helpful nation in the world. This culture has been undergirded with a spirit of a faith in God, hard work, quality education, and a strong will to succeed against overwhelming odds. These values and beliefs of the free American people are the source of our nationís greatest strength. Creative entrepreneurship, the resiliency of a free economy, and philanthropic sharing values are strong supports of the American backbone. There is so much to be said on this topic and we will do just that in a subsequent column. But first, let us zero in on several main sustaining principles of American security, progress, and growth for our times.

Today, we are on the cutting edge of the need for wise decision-making with the serious challenges facing America and the world today. The entire civilized world is threatened by violent, radical Jihad which is out to destroy and replace all governments which stand in its way. These Jihadists will battle any form of democracy which to them they find as blasphemous. Americans want and need to feel secure in their homes, in their schools, in the work place, on the streets, and in our public buildings. Security in our homeland calls for strong innovative and vigilant leadership based upon knowledge, reliable intelligence, will, and virtue. Former Congresswoman Margaret Chase Smith said it well "Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous to this country as irresponsible talk. The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character."

It is individual entrepreneurship, business, and professional successes that support economic stability, prosperity, growth, and job security. The strength of the American economy must be protected from unscrupulous manipulation. We must allow the markets to work and competition to advance progress rather than a governmental socialized "command and control" of the life of the economy. Our economy is sharply burdened and stressed by the inexorable ramping of government tax and spend programs. Government entitlements make up 60 percent and still growing of federal spending today. Any conservative plan for the future must indeed include entitlement reform that solves the problem and not just liberal voices that complain and exasperate the problem. We need to end the earmark culture which prevails in Washington. There are many politicians who fail to see the connection between our ability to compete and our national wealth and the wealth of families. They act as if money just happens --that it is just there. But every dollar represents goods or services produced in the private sector. When one depresses the private sector, one depresses the well being of the American family.

Our prosperity and security also depend on actions to become energy secure. Oil producing states like Russia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are siphoning over $400 billion per year from our economy -ó that is almost what we spend annually on defense. Today, Americans cannot and should not be held hostage by individuals such as Putin, Chavez, and Ahmendinejad. Discovering, developing, and planning for alternate sources of energy must be front and center on our national agenda. Will four dollars a gallon be enough to convince the public that we need more exploration and alternative sources?

"Enough already" we say, to those voices who call to reign in and crush the job creating enterprises and corporations or those who would regulate small businesses out of business. "Enough already" to those who would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants or who would wave the white flag in Iraq or who would weaken our national security intelligence. "Enough already" to those who see progress as tax and spend programs and, by so doing, run up the deficit and mortgage this generation and generations to come. "Enough already" to those who drive the political science global warming hysteria and call it physical science or those who call for more testing in our schools at the expense of more teaching. So-called liberal "quick fixes" are not the answer... long term solutions are what Americans seek.

We are people of hope and optimism, work and energy, determination and drive. We are a stalwart people, and we believe that right makes might and virtue prevails. Americans are a people who have the moral courage to stand firm on principle and they expect no less from their leaders. That is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.