- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Alot of hay has been made about the ideological divide between the Republican and Democratic tickets in this year’s presidential campaign, and they definitely present two distinct options for voters in November. President Obama’s record makes clear what his agenda is all about: Jack up government spending, rob taxpayers to pay for some of it, dig the national-debt hole deeper for the rest, pander to fringe radicals on social issues, and gut the military. Conservatives promote a strong defense, less government spending and traditional moral values. In a nutshell, the choice is between responsible, old-fashioned America and Mr. Obama’s Euro-like fantasyland where the bill never comes due.

In Tampa this week, Republican convention speakers have hammered home the imperative to jump-start this country’s seriousness of purpose. Hard-charging New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talked about being the son of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother and how his dad used the G.I. Bill and worked in a Breyers ice-cream plant to put himself through college in the 1950s. “We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something,” he said. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley spoke of her parents leaving India with the hope of giving their family a better life in the Land of the Free, where you can be what you make of yourself.

All week, the podium at the GOP convention has been illuminated by stories emphasizing immigrants like Mrs. Haley’s parents and Ann Romney’s father who left the old country with nothing, came here and rolled up their sleeves and took risks to build businesses.

This stands in stark contrast to Mr. Obama’s increasingly angry and demagogic rhetoric that fans flames of racial tension and class warfare. This president derides the work ethic because his party depends on maximizing dependency on the welfare state to maintain its voter rolls. That’s why he dismissively sneers that people with prosperous businesses didn’t build them. “It amazes me to see his history of success actually being attacked,” Mrs. Romney said on Tuesday night about criticism of her husband Mitt’s executive experience at Bain Capital. “Are those really the values that made our country great?”

The message of the 2012 Republican convention is that the United States needs to return to being an opportunity society. Standing in the way is Mr. Obama’s politics of envy that looks to steal and redistribute the wealth of those who earned it.

Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book “Bowing to Beijing” (Regnery, 2011).