Election 2012: The closing argument

After years of struggle, it comes down to this: What kind of a people are we? What kind of a country are we going to be?

WASHINGTON, November 5, 2012 - It has long been apparent that the choice American face Tuesday is a stark one.

Barack Obama stood at the Red Cross headquarters on Thursday and told us that he had it under control, that we could rely on Big Government to help us out and keep us safe after Hurricane Sandy. (He seems to have forgotten that the Red Cross is not a government agency.)

Photo op over, he hopped on a plane for Las Vegas to do more fundraising. Meanwhile, New Yorkers are still without gas and even food. But where FEMA has not gone, Mercy Chefs have. This Christian faith-based volunteer organization has been providing between 4000 and 8000 hot meals per day in the lower east side of Manhattan. They have been the most active organization bar none. Mayor Bloomberg has acknowledged their contribution.

How did I find out about this? A Tea Party organization has been soliciting donations for them.

Let me recap: If you’re in Brooklyn or Bayonne, Obama said he’s got your back. Just like he had Ambassador Steven’s back in Benghazi. At least, he has your back until Las Vegas calls.

That’s one path, one choice. Rely on Big Government — expect the central planners and bureaucrats in Washington to know what’s best for you and to deliver it.

The other choice is the one America has historically made. That’s the choice of self-reliance, of neighbor helping neighbor, of people coming together of their own free will to help out when needed. That’s the path of the Red Cross, Mercy Chefs, Catholic and Lutheran Social Services, the Salvation Army and a host of other organizations who deliver more relief to people who need it faster and more efficiently than the government ever could.

As early as 2009, Mark Levin told us that our choice was either Liberty or Tyranny. Sixty year old books like Atlas Shrugged and The Road to Serfdom became best sellers all over again. Americans came out to vote in 2010 in record numbers for an off-year election and spoke clearly that the path the current administration was on was the wrong path.

The change in 2010 was greater than in 1996. Then, President Clinton navigated to the center. This time Obama doubled down on socialism and Harry Reid sat on his hands in the Senate. They were kings of the hill, they knew it and they used their positions to stay on the path they were on, the path Americans had forcefully rejected. Like the junior high bullies they are, they stuck it to us and pointed the finger at the other side.

America knows how to deal with bullies. We defeated the greatest power on earth to gain our independence. In the last century, we defeated Nazism, Fascism and Communism. We have given our blood and treasure to help more countries and more people in need than any other nation in the history of the world.

We have not always done the right thing, or come up with the right answers—but what we have always done is to try our best. This is human nature. This is the vision our Founders had for us: this is the shining city on a hill, a beacon of hope to all that John Winthrop and Ronald Reagan spoke of and that the best of us still aspire to.

This is not the vision of the left. This is not their path. They apologize for America at every opportunity. Barack Obama tells his followers that voting for him is the best revenge. Revenge for what? Revenge for the slights, real and imagined, that America has given to others? Perhaps Dinesh d’Souza has hit upon the answer in 2016: the Movie and his book, the Roots of Obama’s Rage. Perhaps it is the anti-colonialist rage inherited from his father. It really doesn’t matter: it’s un-American.

To be American is to be positive, not divisive. To be American is to strive to be better, not to wallow in the mistakes of past. How many times have you heard the phrase “the failed policies of the past eight years” or “the mess we inherited”? In America, we take that mess and do something to fix it. We don’t make excuses. We get things done and we’re proud of it.

At Mitt Romney’s campaign appearance in Cleveland on Sunday, there were spontaneous chants of “USA! USA!” from the crowd.

I have never heard that from the left.

That’s not something you learn as a child growing up in Indonesia. That’s being proud of American Exceptionalism: not just when your husband is being nominated for the presidency, but all the time.

And so these are the two choices we have; these are the two paths we can go down. One is the path of optimism, of real hope, the path that makes America unique. The other is the road to serfdom, the path so commonly trod by many before.

I am confident that the American people will make the right choice tomorrow. We can do no other. We are, after all, Americans.

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Al Maurer

Al Maurer is a political scientist and founder of The Voice of Liberty. He writes on topics of limited government and individual rights.

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