The Opportunity for McCain
Just as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan (as well as the House Republicans in 1994 with the Contract with America) created a large argument which led to a decisive result, so McCain has an opportunity to reach beyond the daily attacks and clever tactics and spend the last 28 days of this campaign making a large argument over America’s future.
If McCain is prepared to declare that it is time for a fundamental change away from the failure of Bush-Paulson and away from the leftism of Obama (a “clean rupture” as French President Nicolas Sarkozy described it in breaking with President Jacques Chirac (watch my video on Sarkozy here) or “bold colors with no pale pastels” as Reagan described it in breaking with President Ford in 1976), then he has a huge opportunity on three levels:
First, small business and free markets are better than bureaucrats and socialism.
We know this as a matter of American values and polling confirms it. The margin isn’t even close; it’s about 70 -20 or better. Clinton pollster Doug Schoen and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway recently did a survey for American Solutions which proves the American people hold the government responsible for much of our current economic pain. On other key issues like energy and taxes, the Platform of the American People proves that McCain could build a big majority.
Second, the vast majority of the American people are deeply fed up with the corruption, dishonesty, and arrogance of Washington and of many of their state capitals.
A candidate with the courage to tell the truth about Franklin Raines, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, the Carter and Clinton-era pressures for bad loans, the ACORN pressure for bad loans (trained in Chicago by Barack Obama in his community organizer days) would have an enormous response from a country which is sick of predatory politicians, arrogant bureaucrats, and elitist reporters.
In short, the elites would be enraged but the American people would be enthusiastic.
Third, there are huge groups of Americans eager to have someone address their concerns and offer them hope.
Millions of small business owners would like a program that cut spending in Washington and taxes on their businesses and reduced regulations and red tape.
Millions of drivers would like an energy program that offered them hope. They believe in drilling here and drilling now.
Every person who uses electricity is eager for a determined effort to develop clean coal.
Millions of retirees or soon to be retirees would like a program that would strengthen the economy and increase the value of their investments.
Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists would fight for a program that abolished Sarbanes-Oxley, eliminated the capital gains tax, and expanded H-1B visas for talented workers.
A bold program of the right changes would rally a massive number of activists and donors to fight for a better future.
“Action This Day”
That was the slogan Winston Churchill used to focus and energize the British Government when he became prime minister in the darkest days of World War II.
If Senator McCain is prepared to be as bold as Winston Churchill and as aggressive as Theodore Roosevelt, this is an election that can be won and might be won by a shocking margin (like Harry Truman in 1948).
The choice is his. As for myself, I know of no other path that will work.
P.S. — Thanks to the determined effort of Americans like you, October marks the first month in a quarter-century when it is legal to explore for energy offshore. This is a huge victory, but many among the anti-energy left have already said they will do everything they can to stop it. You can arm yourselves with the facts about America’s energy potential with my new book, Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less (also available in audio) as well as Callista and my new DVD, co-produced by Citizen’s United, called We Have the Power.
You can also watch this video about the “Drill Here, Drill Now” efforts at American Solutions over the summer to have the Congress act to lower gas and diesel prices.