Monday, January 7, 2008

Defining Moments - Our Future!

We are facing a Defining Moment in our country as we choose our next President. The current commotion in our society, amid contrary winds, pose significant challenges to our nation and those who lead us. It remains with the electorate to choose our President, which is somewhat troubling given the cynicism in our society. Hence the defining moment of our day. Unfortunately, this cynicism is not only reflected in society, but critically it is reflected primarily in the leadership of our nation and in the attitudes of most of the Presidential candidates, be they Republican or Democrat. As evidenced in the ABC Debates last Saturday, the prideful and cynical attitudes of our "politicians" were self evident and disturbing at best. Specifically, in the Republican debate we suffered through the childish, immature and cynical attitudes of selected candidates. It was truly distressing to watch. Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul remained above the fray, choosing the serious course of considering critical issues facing our society. To the others in the debate, they chose to dilute the dialog and distill critical moments to childish barbs and personal attacks. What was even more distressing was the delight they took in doing so, with reaffirming glances to each other. It was very interesting how cynical and prideful Mike Huckabee, our Southern Baptist Minister, was Saturday night. It is expected of John McCain, for his character and nature in this regard have been unchanged since previous Presidential pursuits. Even so, it was embarrassing and disheartening.

It was no less distressing on Sunday's talk shows, ABC This Week and Meet the Press, where Mike Huckabee and John McCain continued in their pride and cynicism. Specifically, when confronted by George Stephanopoulos where he caught Mike Huckabee in a clear and definable contradiction, Mike Huckabee persisted in denying the contradiction and refusing to acknowledge his mistake. It couldn't have been more plain. Pride in its most debilitating moment. See below

"That's a pretty clear contradiction. … you didn’t say you supported the surge, you said, 'I'm not sure that I support the troop surge.' … according to this evidence you did not support the surge before Mitt Romney. … I don't know how you can have it both ways on that, Governor." – ABC's George Stephanopoulos

John McCain was no less than Mike Huckabee when confronted by Tim Russert on his contradictions with the Bush Tax Cuts and amnesty. Can't either admit their mistakes? Unlike Mitt Romney who is willing to admit to mistakes as contradictions arise, which they will from time to time, and offering clarity to resolve confusion, Mike Huckabee, John McCain and others fail the test miserably. We cannot afford in these critical times for stubborn pride and cynicism in our Presidential leadership. In fact, we need honorable and humble men who understand who they represent and on whom they rely, for all of us derive our strength, capacity and capability from our God and those whom we serve. We need a President who is strong and resolute, but cognizant of who they are, on whom they rely and who they serve. For Mike Huckabee or John McCain, it isn't about them, it is about our nation and its citizens. That should be why they are running for President. This isn't about vanity and self aggrandizement. The call of POTUS is to serve and to lead our nation honorably, in humility and strength, with the operative word being lead.

On Sunday night, we had the opportunity to observe another Presidential Forum with each of the leading Republican candidates for POTUS where each had an opportunity to truly discuss and debate the issues facing our nation. It was less cynical, thankfully. However, I believe the cynicism was suppressed given the reaction and outcry to Saturday's childish antics. Notwithstanding, I don't believe that Mike Huckabee or John McCain are any less cynical because of suppressed behavior, for it is clearly evident in their past attitudes and actions. One night does not reflect a repentant or character change.

It must be said, given recent polls and successes of Ron Paul, his exclusion from this forum was not appropriate. Even so, I did appreciate the additional time offered to those attending as it afforded greater exposure to their views and capacities. Fox News could have accommodated in another way without excluding Dr. Paul, with more time for the broadcast and less punditry.

The results of the evening were stark and clarifying in distinguishing the most capable and electable Republican candidate, Mitt Romney (see the reactions below). Mitt Romney, for innumerable reasons, stood out among his peers. His depth of experience, integrity, knowledge and ability to understand and assimilate data and information, his decision making abilities, and articulation of the critical issues facing our nation were self evident tonight. Mike Huckabee proved he is well out of the league of Presidential contenders. John McCain lacks the experience and capacity to fully understand the complexities of economies and immigration, although he is well versed on national security matters. Even so, we need someone who is well versed in leadership experience on more than national security. John McCain would make a great Secretary of Defense, but not President of the United States. Fred Thompson was insightful, but lethargic. Maybe Attorney General. Rudy Giuliani was enlightening, but lacks the conservative credentials on economic, immigration and non-security issues. Further, he is not aligned with the social conservative values of the Republican Party.

Mitt Romney stands above the crowded field and proved it Sunday night. He is the most effective of the candidates and it is time for his detractors within the party to begin to unify and cease their inappropriate labeling. It is not too late, but if Senator McCain and others continue their course, they will have crossed a line that makes the unification process more difficult. It is time to call an end to personal attacks and labeling, and focus purely on the issues and differences between the candidates.

Mitt Romney is resolute and not what John McCain and others have painted him to be. He is a man of integrity and constancy in that which matters most to Americans. Finally, we are not choosing the lesser of two evils when choosing a candidate. In Mitt Romney, we have an individual who has credibility, capacity, ability and capability to lead our nation with experience, optimism, strength, humility and hope. One in whom we can trust to honor America and serve all Americans, not for his own glory, but out of duty and love for that which God has entrusted to our nation, the preservation and advocacy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - freedom.

He understands the complexities of what we face in radical jihad, global economic dynamics, education, entitlements, education, taxes, energy independence, May we stand together as a united nation, to remain as the hope of the world.

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