- - Sunday, January 29, 2012

Culture Challenge of the Week: America, Listing Left and Sinking Fast

Who can forget the images earlier this month of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, tipped on its side, half submerged off the coast of Italy? The cause: arrogant recklessness and devastatingly poor leadership. The cost: 16 dead, 16 missing and millions of dollars in damage.

The captain allegedly deviated from the proven course to pursue his own agenda. He maneuvered too close to the rocky shoreline, and nature did the rest, resulting in a crippling tear to the ship’s hull. Worse, as the ship began to list, according to news reports, the captain denied fault, failed to summon rescuers or direct a safe evacuation, and eventually jumped ship ahead of his panicked passengers. His actions cost precious lives and untold millions of dollars.

Now think of last week’s State of the Union address by President Obama. His “fairness” rhetoric obscures the calamitous journey we’ve endured under his leadership, a journey devastating to American workers, families and institutions. And his response is eerily similar to the Italian captain’s.

Mr. Obama redirects blame, pointing fingers at Congress and Republicans for America’s fiscal problems. He convenes feasts for his Hollywood friends in the White House “Wonderland” and admires America’s decaying moral fabric. He won’t rescue the American economy, preferring to shackle business with onerous regulations and confiscatory taxes. He also has insulated himself from the devastating effects of his own policies.

It’s only a matter of time until he jumps into his own secure lifeboat of pensions, book deals and board memberships.

While our “captain” deludes himself about our problems — and solutions — America’s ship founders on the rough shoals of energy dependence, empty public coffers and disappearing jobs. The ship is sinking, people are drowning, and the captain can’t lead.

How to Save Your Family: Support Rick Santorum for President

We need a new captain for our ship — a president who is crisis-ready from day one. A president who knows what’s right, what’s necessary and what succeeds. A president humble enough to lead, never forgetting that God, not the government, bestows our rights. One who sees the presidency as a temporary job as steward of the people’s trust and guardian of their liberty, not as a coronation that declares him the “messiah” (Obama-style) or the “transformational figure” (a la Newt Gingrich).

Rick Santorum is the man for the job.

Let me offer two reasons why: who he is and what he will do.

First, who he is. Mr. Santorum is a man of unquestioned integrity — a champion of reform with the personal credibility to deliver the message. He has the moral courage to make hard decisions because he’s confident in his convictions and seasoned by experience.

That’s how he moved legislation like welfare reform and the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 through Congress. That’s why he defends marriage and all human life without flinching in the face of criticisms and ridicule by liberal elites. And why he has been faithful for decades to his conservative principles, his wife and family and his faith — in season and out. America needs a leader with his moral stature.

Second, what he will do. Mr. Santorum comes from an immigrant, blue-collar background. His grandfather mined coal, not only supporting his family, but also teaching them that work is honorable, no matter how humble or seemingly unimportant.

One of Mr. Santorum’s best ideas is to promote tax policies that give dignity back to our workers — bringing jobs home to America. His “Made in the USA” plan offers zero percent taxes for manufacturing companies that bring these crucial jobs from overseas back home to our communities. It’s a vision that honors our proud workers and gives these men and women the opportunity to work hard and secure a bright future, as their parents did.

This promise of opportunity contrasts starkly with the misery inflicted by Mr. Obama’s failed policies on the people who need it most — the poor, young and less-educated.

Finally, Mr. Santorum’s commitment to cut spending by $5 trillion over five years, eliminating waste and the deficit without raising taxes, would return prosperity to America. He has the vision, the capability and the courage to do it.

When it is your turn to cast your vote, just think of that Italian cruise ship — listing left and on the verge of sinking. We need a leader of integrity, worthy of our trust, with the conviction and courage to be conservative, no matter what. We need Rick Santorum.

He can win — if only conservatives ignore the media elite who don’t want us to think he can. We must support the best man for the job and make him electable by voting to elect him. Iowans proved it can be done — we just need the moral courage to do it too.

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at rebecca@howtosaveyourfamily.com.

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