Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where There is No Vision, the People Perish

"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."- Proverbs 29:18
Both in her appearance with Shannon Bream today and her Facebook post last night, Governor Palin noted this election's focus on vision, noting in her Facebook post that President Obama has stated this election is about " two fundamentally different visions of America". In her Facebook post, she also delineated numerous ways in which the vision of candidate Obama has failed when he came into office. In her interview with Shannon Bream, she referenced Thomas Sowell's discussion on the "conflict of visions" and how too often try to solve their own problems (i.e. their re-elections) rather than solve the country's problems. Politicians are too often expediently myopic.

With Mitt Romney noting last week that he was seeking a vice presidential candidate with " vision for country" and with his selection of Congressman Paul Ryan who is known for his budgetary"roadmap"--a vision for the country, it has become more clear that the vision for the country, not change, is the keyword of this election. However, it is imperative that our leaders are visionary enough to accompany that vision with action and courage. The verse from the book of Proverbs at the beginning of this post comes from the Israelite king Solomon to whom God granted great wisdom. Unfortunately, Solomon too frequently misapplied the great wisdom he was blessed with, and it ultimately culminated in a divided kingdom in the next generation. His vision was a self-involved one, and it ultimately led to the centuries of political turmoil for his people.

In December 2010, Governor Palin was the first prominent conservative to provide support for Congressman Ryan's roadmap, writing in the Wall Street Journal:
In my view, a better plan is the Roadmap for America's Future produced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.). The Roadmap offers a reliable path to long-term solvency for our entitlement programs, and it does so by encouraging personal responsibility and independence.
In that op-ed, she noted that the fiscal reforms that Paul Ryan proposed would address the unsustainable problems with Social Security, Medicare, health care, and the national debt. He offered a vision to fix America's problems--not his own political problems. However, due to decades and decades of politicians who served only to further their own interest, pad their bank accounts, and solve their own problems, our nation has come to a tipping point. Our leadership has failed to provide a vision to prevent problems from happening in the first place, so instead, they are forced to solely solve problems--many of which could not have been prevented.

In order to deal with the massive problems our country faces, our leaders must realize that their vision must be one of both problem prevention and problem solving, but they also must realize that those who solve problems are ultimately the American people--not the government. Our problems can't be micromanaged, nor can they be solved solely because one party does a "better" job of managing the economy. Government's role is not to manage the economy. Solving the problems of "energy cronyism" won't end by replacing solar and ethanol subsidies with oil and coal subsidies. Our large deficits and growing debts won't be prevented if our leaders aim to cut taxes, but only cut spending around the margins.

Being from Alaska, a state whose motto is "north to the future" and who sees the north star as a guiding force, perhaps Governor Palin has a better sense of true vision than many other politicians--one that can be seen in her record and in her ideas. I wrote two posts at Conservatives4Palin in spring 2011 talking about Governor Palin's "forward focused leadership" on both energy and spending. Governor Palin's vision on energy set in motion the construction of a natural gas pipeline. Her vision on budgeting lead her to cut spending 9.5% during her tenure for the sake of Alaska's fiscal health, and due in large part to her policies, Alaska has had their credit upgraded twice since 2007.  Additionally, last year Governor Palin laid out a vision for America when she spoke in Indianola, Iowa. Her vision focused on ridding our political system of crony capitalism, stopping the expansion of the federal government, repealing Obamacare, reining in debt, becoming an energy superpower, and removing both corporate taxes and corporate welfare.

Governor Palin is a visionary political figure--in both her words and her deeds. When she chose not to run for the presidency last fall, many of the pundits wanted to relegate her to the role of political cheerleader, but the past ten months have shown she is no cheerleader in this political game. She is a visionary coach who has encouraged a game plan for this election cycle:
Our country cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama’s fundamentally flawed vision. We must now look to this new team, the Romney/Ryan ticket, to provide an alternate vision of an America that is fiscally responsible, strong, and prosperous – an America that understands and is proud of her exceptional place in the world and will respect those who fight to secure that exceptionalism, which includes keeping our promises to our veterans.  
Please continue to focus on the presidential race and on helping Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, but it’s also imperative that we get involved in the nation’s important House and Senate races. These candidates need our help to ensure that our next president has a responsible and ethical Congress that actually gets things done for America. Now on to November!
The Obama presidency has provided ample examples of a failed vision. The Romney-Ryan campaign must provide fiscally sound, reform minded vision, and they must do so with courage and conviction. When their vision is being falsely blurred by the Obama campaign and the complicit media, as Governor called for in her interview with Shannon Bream,  let us have their back (something she has never fulled received from her GOP colleagues). Finally, a vision cannot be implemented with inadequate leadership; it's not solely about the presidential race, but Congress as well. A visionary coach would know how important it was for the success of the 49ers to have not only Joe Montana on their team, but also Jerry Rice. It doesn't matter what your quarterback is capable of if you have a poor wide receiver.

This election isn't about nebulous hope and change. It's about the vision that extends beyond the next election and leadership that extends beyond speeches. Both leadership and vision must work in concert with each other. As President Reagan once said, " to grasp and hold a vision--that is the very essence of successful leadership". Crossposted here and here.

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