The interminable Presidential campaign continues, with some anointing Romney as the only one able to beat Obama (sounds like the brief flurry of Pro-McCain media until after his nomination in 2008)and Democrats knowing they have nowhere else to go. Our President refuses to set direction, craft workable solutions and negotiate with Congress, preferring a totalitarian populism and endless campaigning for office. Obama's pseudo-outrage and class/racial warfare are transparent to all, unless one's Republican antibodies make objectivity impossible.
My preferred candidates are not in the race, either from personal conviction to retain their integrity and sanity or media cabals (Left and Right differ little here) that declare them second- or third-tier and therefore unelectable. The flame out of Herman Cain, regardless of any indiscretions (notice how they are no longer news?)is proof that anyone ready to initiate change will be excoriated and marginalized. Currently, I think Senator Santorum represents the best combination of character, competency and clear thinking. He must decide to stay the course and not let media momentum anoint a winner before the votes are counted.
The Obama nightmare is a potential challenge from Hillary Clinton. This will not happen unless Obama's poll numbers tank further and the Republicans unite around a candidate able to articulate views that reveal the paucity of Obama's ideas and policies. The real threat for Republicans is a Clinton run that will galvanize independents and those who pine for the 1990s, scandals and all. After all, the budget was closer to balanced and the economy was roaring and people even left the welfare roles (thanks to a Republican Congress). Of course, Hillary's radical nationalized health care initiative has been forgotten, along with her socialist background and even her current ambivalence in foreign policy. Watch for the Obama team to offer her the Vice-Presidency (keep your friends close...and enemies closer).
There is one fundamental question the candidates must answer in order to give voters a real choice. This question is not about any specific issue. This query gets to the soul of our decision in 2012. It even transcends some of the traditional differences between Democrats and Republicans. Here is the one question that matters:
"What is your vision of a healthy United States of America in the 21st century?"
The ancient proverb states, "Without a vision, the people perish [cast off restraint; waste away, go adrift...]."
Right now, there is no dream or vision that infuses most Americans with hope. The Balkanization of the last 40 years and current Democratic tactics of race and victimhood, as well as transparent attempts to swell voter rolls will illegal residents (refusing to ask for identification and delaying extradition for thousands) are yielding a factious environment that keeps our nation from grasping core values and concrete direction.
"What is your vision of a healthy United States of America in the 21st Century?"
The answer to this will determine whether or not our experiment in liberty and opportunity continues or we become one more civilizational tragedy in the historical record, beset by internal strife, economic overthrow and the imperial designs of global rivals.
Does your vision, sir, ma'am, include the rule of law and secure borders? Please just answer the question without endless qualifications!
Do you believe only citizens should vote?
Do you believe in a balance of local, state and federal government and will you begin to reverse the federal usurpation of power over that last 80 years?
Do you believe that marriage is one man and one woman?
Do you believe life is precious and that all people, from children in the womb, to the disabled, poor, and aged, deserve protection and care?
Do you believe we should honor our commitments to protect Israel's right to exist as the only true democracy in the Middle East?
Do you believe we should have one legal system that holds all citizens accountable, regardless of race or religion?
Does your vision include defending the lives of Americans and our allies from unrighteous persecution for political and religious beliefs?
Does your vision of the future include protection of reasonable property rights, with redress for citizens overwhelmed by government agencies?
Does your vision include a nimble military that can respond to threats while not being an occupying power?
Does your vision include resisting totalitarianism of all kinds and reaffirming the great principles of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, with proper regard to the Founders' principles and intents?
Does your vision include a balanced budget, real financial accountability and one legal/moral standard that embraces private and public workers?
Does your vision include sound environmental policy that preserves and renews our parks and resources, while judiciously opening the door to wealth creation?
Does your vision include energy independence?
Mr President, Mr. Governor/Senator/Congressman, does your vision include personal honesty, administrative transparency and a willingness to let your history be known?
There is only one question that matters...but this one question creates all the others that form a cohesive and comprehensive platform of authentic hope and change. We can do so much better that the current haphazard policies and ideological soundbites.
If we do not address the deficit, establish our borders, respond to terrorism and reaffirm moral principles, the American Experiment is over - and this may be the agenda of some who presently pull the marionette stings for the current regime.
There is one more reality: A healthy USA requires a healthy populace that is hopeful, hospitable and responsible. We must have moral and spiritual renewal in each of our hearts, in our families, in our local communities. We must decide to live in reverence for God and respect for others (including our deepest differences) if there is any hope for our nation.
Maybe the one question is not for the candidates...maybe it is for us. Can we see past our personal crises and wants to the good of others and our posterity? Decision time is here - and it starts in each of us.