Ronald Reagan inspired Americans in a unique way. He inspired them to believe that America was so much more than a great country; it was a flourishing, glorious idea. He inspired Americans to believe in something bigger, brighter and greater than just the elections of 1980 and 1984; he inspired Americans to believe in the cause our Founding Fathers devoted their time on Earth to.
Ronald Reagan believed in the potential of the individual. He understood that a government that serves itself over the people is a government that couldn't care less about those people. It's inspiration; an attitude of profound, unyielding optimism, that a leader must possess if he or she expects to find any followers. What "hope" does it bring to a citizen out of work by telling him he must remain dependent on someone else until that someone else brings him help. In what way does a politician espouse or promote the founding ideals of this great nation by speaking of that nation as if its feeble, or fundamentally bad?
Could the United States have become the United States with such an attitude? Could America, a place once relished as the last stand on Earth, have abolished the evil practice of slavery by believing the individual has no individual worth? Would Hitler, the Nazis or the Soviets have been defeated by weakness, or by unflinching, optimistic strength, both militarily and economically? Had America not been founded on optimistic ideals, personal liberty and belief in the individual to pursue happiness, what would it have been founded on? George Washington may have been King if it were otherwise, but the Constitution is a sacred, uniquely glorious document that promotes and entrusts the people, not the government, to exercise personal potential, and succeed on his or her own terms, because they can.
These nearby midterm elections can, should, and I believe will be a golden opportunity to capture the essence of belief. 2010 can be a year to not transform, but to restore the attitude that ignited the American experiment. Newt Gingrich, much like Ronald Reagan, speaks so eloquently about our country's true ideals. I read the first chapter of his new book "To Save America," and I found myself more inspired about the potential of this country than I've ever been in my short 20 years here on Earth. Let me be frank: I used to be a liberal. Not too long ago, in fact. I was even younger than I am now, perhaps brainwashed, uninformed and with an entire history to learn. I'm still young, but at 20, I'm proud, and thankful, to be focused, impassioned, conservative, and exceptionally inspired.
It was inspiration to believe in America and all that it represents; freedom to prosper, free enterprise, individual liberty, low taxes, a government of the people, by the people and for the people, and a shining city on a hill where the world looks to for endless opportunity, that changed the way I viewed my country. It was after reading, hearing and seeing the beautiful founding principles that still exist in America, that I woke up, and was so thrilled to not just live in America, but to communicate just how thrilled I was.
Optimism that a renewed spirit of belief can restore belief and passion about America this year. It can be done. It must be done.
In 2010, America can be saved.
- Brandon Craker