Thursday, March 3, 2011

Identity Crisis

Even if you truly do live under a rock, you'd still know that we live in perilous times. Here in the US and abroad are real threats to our very way of life. Countries all over the globe are having to deal with struggling economies, high unemployment, political unrest and radical Islamic terrorism.

The US is no stranger to these issues as they are front and center in the minds of all of us. Even in spite of these issues, there is a tremendous opportunity for us as a free, democratic nation to lead the rest of the world. Unfortunately we seem to be squandering the opportunity because we have leadership within government that is apparently of the belief that our exceptionalism is nothing special. I guess turning the tide in two world wars, rebuilding nations, freeing people from despotic tyranny and being the most generous and prosperous nation the world has ever seen doesn't count for much these days.

What is disconcerting is to see our government completely tone deaf to the very issues of our time. Every day we see and hear more evidence that they just don't get it. When it comes to our border with Mexico, our policy towards illegal immigration, our stance on the war against terror, our foreign policy, our fiscal policy and our energy policy, we seem to cut off our nose to spite our face. We're told by our President and his administration that the way we're proceeding is the best way forward. But is it?

Looming ever-present is the mortal danger faced by those on the southern border and those who cross into Mexico. It seems that every week we hear of our citizens going missing or dying at the hands of the warring drug cartels. We have an on-going drilling moratorium in the Gulf which has forced people out of work and companies to go elsewhere. And as the drama unfolds in the Middle East in oil-rich countries upon which we are dependent, we pay an ever-growing price at the pump. We can't tap into our own natural resources like ANWR and the Natural Petroleum Reserve, a separate area in Alaska the size of Indiana, and instead are having to finance the pursuit of energy sources that are expensive and inefficient. We are presented with a federal budget that doesn't even pretend to address the massive debt burden we've accumulated amidst the backdrop of 9+% unemployment and 17% underemployment as far as the eye can see.

I believe there's a better way. We are at a crossroads in our history as a nation, a watershed moment in time if you will, that will say a lot about our future. We have to decide whether or not we deserve better than our current trajectory. We have to decide if our current leadership is our best option to position our nation to succeed and lead the world moving forward. Say what you will about "American exceptionalism" but the cold truth is if we don't lead, someone will. So we have to ask ourselves, what will the world look like with countries like China and Russia in the driver's seat? Is this in the best interest of our nation or world?

If there was ever a time for decisive, sensible leadership, it is now. We literally cannot afford another four years of reckless domestic and foreign policy dictated by a worldview completely disconnected from the reality of the world we live in. We need someone with common sense, practical wisdom regarding the world as it is, legitimate business savvy, respect for allies and a mindset to hold enemies to account, the mettle and toughness that only comes from fighting against corruption and special interests and the humility to truly serve the people governed.

There's one person in my mind that is uniquely positioned to deliver on these qualifiers. Her name is Sarah Palin. She's not perfect but is ideally suited for a time like this. Despite being dissected and vilified in every way possible, left for dead politically more than a handful of times and attacked in sometimes coordinated fashion by those who wield the power of pen and opinion, here she still stands - immovable, rugged, battle-tested, steely. She is the embodiment of what has defined America's greatness for the last 220 years. And it is that and nothing less that is required of our leadership if we are to move through this time of peril in our history to greater heights yet unknown.

We just have to make the decision that our greatness as a nation isn't something to be ashamed of but something we should be inspired by because we live in a world that needs it. It's the very reason why we need her.