But what we need is a vision, a vision that recognizes what we still have and what we must defend. My supply-side friends address the economic question with the lamentation that the market can solve what ails us. Surely markets are more effective in addressing issues than government engineers. But as I see it, our problem is mainly cultural. We need a spark to ignite the engines of productivity. People have to be excited about the future of their country. They have to be willing to defend and sacrifice because they know what is at stake if they don’t do so. As the Bible’s book of Proverbs indicates, “When there is no vision, a people perish.”
I would like to see the economic focus married to moral concerns. I would like to see the divisive issues of our day debated civilly so that divergent views can be heard. I would like to lower the temperature on public commentary so that the explosive takes a back seat to the calm and rational.
More than anything, we cannot rest on our laurels. We need a direction that looks back for guidance and looks forward for insight. No serious person ever underestimated American vitality, that energy stored in the body politic that rises to the occasion of national challenge.
Today, we have our challenges here and abroad. These challenges seem overwhelming. Can we prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons? Can we forestall the march of radical Islam? Can we keep accumulating debt without regard for the consequences? I don’t have the answers, but I do know there are answers that reside in the commonweal. These answers are to be found in our history, in our defense of liberty, and in our national resilience. We must turn the pages of our history with our eyes wide open. We must recognize the extent to which we have overcome difficulties in our past. After all, we as Americans tackle the difficult and welcome the impossible. All is not lost, and all will not be lost if we maintain faith in ourselves and a commitment to this great nation.