Leadership for a New Generation
By Doug Patton
March 29, 2010
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
The Founders knew it. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and many others — familiar names who towered above the mundane figures of their day — pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor in order to pass on to the next generation a new nation, conceived in liberty and bathed in the blessings of God.
Abraham Lincoln knew it when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. His entire presidency was consumed by war, yet we remember him as a gentle man who won the peace.
Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, two of America’s most underappreciated presidents, knew it when they allowed the free market to reign over the clamor for more progressive control of the nation’s economy.
Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur knew it when, on opposite sides of the globe, they triumphed over tyranny and rained down hell upon the enemies of freedom in order to bring peace to a torn and bloody world.
And Ronald Reagan knew it, too. It was burned into his being. He never had to take a poll to know what he believed. He was a leader, and his passion for liberty made him the greatest president of the 20th Century.
Providence has a way of raising up great leaders in the right place at the right time. When liberty is challenged, God finds a way, and he works through men and women who follow truth and fight for freedom. Today is no exception.
The United States of America now faces the greatest assault on our national institutions since the days of FDR. Barack Obama and his Chicago gangsters, with the help of the useful idiots in Congress, have just violated the U.S. Constitution in ways the American people won’t fully understand for years. Like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor two generations ago, the president’s so-called health care bill, passed Sunday exclusively with the votes of Democrats, has awakened a sleeping giant. The American people are wide awake. The only question is, who will lead us?
Several Republican names from the House of Representatives come to mind. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Steve King of Iowa were passionate voices in defense of the Constitution. Mike Pence of Indiana has shown courage during the fight over this bill. So have Eric Cantor of Virginia and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. These representatives have been among the most inspiring members in a very uninspiring body.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, also deserves praise for his work against this government takeover of America’s health care.
GOP leadership, however, is likely to come, as it usually does, not from Congress but rather from one or more of the nation’s current governors. With the feds placing more and more burden on the states through legislation like the health care bill, battles are already shaping up. Most state attorneys general are preparing challenges to this unprecedented power grab, and Republican governors will be in the spotlight.
Some Republican governors to watch (in no particular order): Mitch Daniels of Indiana; Haley Barbour of Mississippi; Bobby Jindal of Louisiana; Rick Perry of Texas; Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota; and Bob McDonnell of Virginia. Add to that list some former governors (Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee), and you have a strong field of potential leaders.
Will any of them live up to the great leaders of the past? Time will tell.
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at email@example.com/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.