As Americans are making their resolutions, here’s what I’d like to see the country do this year.
One: America ought to resolve to pay more attention to what’s happening. We, as a country, tend to get excited about fads and pay no attention to substance. And so, we end up with elected leaders that woo us with nebulous, undefined promises of hope and change. We end up allowing really frightening things to occur quietly, like the recent fully-bipartisan passage of the NDAA. We get caught up in cults of personality, on all sides–with Barack Obama most obviously, but don’t ignore the same halo of messianic destiny imagined by supporters of, in the past, Sarah Palin, and currently, Ron Paul. We must pay better attention, and we must hold our elected officials accountable for what they say and do.
Two: America needs a broad change in direction. We found ourselves in a mess a few years ago, and as a country, agreed to have the government try to control it, to fix the economy through stimulus, regulation, and redistribution. The government has now stepped into (and in some cases, taken over) broad swaths of the private economy, instituted new, far-reaching regulations, and spent almost five trillion dollars ($5,000,000,000,000) it didn’t have in only three years. The effect of all of this has been a complete lack of recovery. This year we need to resolve to move the country in the other direction. We tried big-government solutions, and they have failed, as they have failed in the past. Today, we need free market, pro-business, small government solutions. That means we need to elect real conservatives this year, leaders that have pledged to undo the regulations, shrink the government, and allow businesses to flourish and hire.
Three: Finally, America should resolve to stick together. It’s so easy–especially in an election year–to feel like our political adversaries are enemies to be destroyed, or that anyone who disagrees with us must be deeply evil, or a blithering idiot, or whatever. Today, those who seek to divide the country have extra help from the White House and groups dedicated to an Occupation. People seeking power want to convince us that we are all up against each other; that if your neighbor has things you don’t have, he must have taken them unfairly. America must resolve to stand firm against these ideas. At the end of the day, there is far more that unites us than divides us. Never forget the conservative wisdom that we all rise or fall together.