Friday, November 1, 2013

How Conservatives Can Lead

Halloween is over. We've had our chance to carve the jack-o-lantern with a forbidding face, and now the pumpkin is rotting. On a national level it's time for conservatives to stop relying on dissent as a strategy. Nearly everyone is aware of the failures of Affordable Care Act, but preaching to the choir doesn't build the congregation.

Real leaders never lead people anywhere with negativity. Yes, we want fair and equitable healthcare, and we'd like to be able to choose. Yes, the president is championing other policies that at least half the country doesn't want, but he was voted in for a second term according to the rules of our republic. Now what?

We've got three years to present a valid, vibrant conservative vision for the future of America. When the country awakes to the massive Obama hangover in 2016, we need to be ready with the cure.
Now now is the optimum time to begin crafting a plan for the future that will woo, not sicken the worn and weary country. We know we have what the country needs, but at some point we must transition from hand wringing to a workable strategy that includes the everyday American conservative who wants to know the answer to the burning question of the day, "What can I do to make a difference?" We can no longer leave it up to Washington. That clearly is not working.The law of inevitability teaches us that focusing on a thought like 'the country is going to the dogs' will lead it there eventually.

How will we fix the insurance stranglehold and healthcare nightmare that will soon become obvious to everyone? What answers do we have for becoming a responsible, earth-friendly nation without being dangerously dependent on other countries? How can we grow our own economy so that we no longer need to be dependent on the nanny state? How can we encourage our citizens to take charge of their own health? Has everyone forgotten that good health is about so much more than finding a healthcare plan? How can we give our below-poverty masses the hope to raise themselves up to become productive, successful citizens? What will we do about the shrinking middle class? How can we discourage the obscene excesses of the ultra rich classes such as celebrities, media moguls and over-grown banks, who prey on ordinary citizens? What solution do we have for unscrupulous lobbying? How can we manage immigration (isn't it a good thing that we are so popular?) so that we can lift our lamp beside the golden door without bringing vipers into our bosom? Who's going to take responsibility for the NSA? How can we go forward without losing the heart of who we are?

I confess I'm a regular Hannity/Limbaugh listener, but the message is beginning to sour in my stomach. I'm not promoting naïveté. I know the problems that beset politics, and that's exactly why we need the wisdom of serpents along with the gentleness of doves.

As much as I love to hear the dirty details, I think it's time to stop bad-mouthing low information voters, and give them the dignity of education with respect. I think it's time to stop insulting the 'drive-by media' and give them something to report about. Enough already. 

I'm listening for the clarion voice that speaks above the whining and leads us toward the real wide-awake American dream. The land of unlimited opportunity for everyone that's willing to work hard, the compassionate America that provides mercy for the truly unfortunate, and a governing body that weeds out avarice even when it's found among their own. That is a voice that will be heard above the chatter.

For over two hundred years we've been working on this thing. Today's sharply divided ideology seems to be unprecedented, until we remember the conditions under which Lincoln said,"We are testing...whether we can long endure."

I believe that with courageous leadership, we can and will.

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