According to legend, on September 17, 1787 — the day the Constitutional Convention adjourned — Benjamin Franklin walked through the streets of Philadelphia, where an anxious crowd gathered around him. A woman asked Dr. Franklin: “What kind of government have you given us?” And Dr. Franklin replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
These days, we — the American people — face a daunting question: Can we keep this great republic? Can we preserve a government of the people, by the people, and for the people? Or will we repeat the errors of other nations, shrug off the responsibilities of liberty, and entrust our destiny to a bureaucratic elite?
Let there be no mistake: After years of bad policy and broken politics, our country is at a crossroads. We are in the midst of our worst economic crisis in decades. Fifteen million Americans are out of work. The average American household has lost 20 percent of its wealth. And the federal government’s finances are in disarray.
Last year, the federal budget deficit tripled in size, reaching an all-time record of $1.4 trillion. This year we are expected to run an even larger deficit. And according to President Obama, the government will add another $5 trillion to the debt in the next five years. That is unsustainable. There is simply not enough money in the world to pay for all of these debts without raising interest rates or devaluing the dollar (or both).
We owe it to our children and grandchildren to stop these spending policies that weaken our economy at the expense of China and other powers. We cannot let this problem fester any longer. Action must be taken before the problem becomes unmanageable.
Every day, our survival is threatened by radical Islamic terrorists whose aim is to kill innocent men, women, and children, even at the cost of their own lives.
Vital American institutions — from our schools to our banks to our hospitals — are being threatened by more federal control and interference.
Our families are being harmed by an erosion of traditional values.
Our entire culture is under siege from a “just do it” mentality that leaves no room for sacrifice, service, or patriotism.
The spirit of September 12, 2001 — the feeling that we are one people united by our love of one country — has been lost but not forgotten.
We must recapture that spirit to tackle the tough problems that confront us.