Mitt Romney and the real state of our union

Was Mitt Romney right in 2008 about the future of America? Photo: AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

HAWAII, January 24, 2012 - Scarcely do I ever agree with Mitt Romney, but as America anxiously awaits President Obama’s State of the Union Address, I can’t help but think back to a sagacious warning the Republican presidential candidate made four years ago:

“I am convinced that unless America changes course, we will become the France of the 21st century: still a great nation, but no longer the leader of the world, no longer the superpower.”

There are many parallels between our present day America and pre-revolution France. During the 1700s France was ruled by elites, steeped in debt, embroiled in costly wars and excessively burdened with a dizzying array of taxes that stacked the deck against the average citizen. The waves of Occupy protests that America is seeing today also chillingly mirror the outbreak of French riots and mob demonstrations in 1789.

Today, the world is full of has-been nations known not for their enduring greatness but for their ruins and former glory. America would do well to recognize the real state of our union is this: our country and its institutions are in danger of imminent collapse, both abroad and at home.

In 1984 Ronald Reagan warned in his own State of the Union that “The problems we’re overcoming are not the heritage of one person, party or even one generation.” Today, we no longer have the option of ignoring America’s debt, America’s wars or America’s people.

It will take more than just speeches, more than well-intentioned bill introductions and more than even a presidential election to restore America. If America is to be first in the world, her two major parties will need to put America first at home.

This means we need economic freedom, not a command economy. We need national defense, not international intervention. We need leadership with sound ideas, not soundbyte politics.

2012 may not be the end of the world, but let us do everything in our power to ensure it isn’t the end of America’s greatness.

 

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Danny de Gracia is a political scientist, an ordained minister and a former senior adviser to two committee chairs of the Hawaii State House of Representatives. He currently lives in Hawaii.


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Danny de Gracia

Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs committees at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, Danny has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. Now working on his first novel, Danny resides on the island of Oahu.

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