- - Monday, November 5, 2012

Mitt Romney is the man for the moment. His career history indicates that he’s never met a challenge he hasn’t overcome. From his personal life to his business record, whether saving the Salt Lake City Olympics or serving as Massachusetts governor, he has excelled. Now, he is willing to take on the major challenges facing America that threaten the immediate and long-term well-being of the nation.

Looking back, certain leaders — George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan immediately come to mind — emerged at a time when our nation desperately needed a man with unique gifts and abilities. Critical times require exceptional individuals, leaders whose character, abilities and experience equip them to tackle the nation’s problems. They lead not for political expediency, their own glory or to build up their own egos, but for the sake of the nation’s future. History is replete with instances when a particular leader made, for good or ill, an enormous difference morally, socially and economically.

Numerous pundits are saying that never in the history of America has there been such a clear choice between two different philosophies as in the worldviews of the two 2012 presidential candidates. The stakes of this election are enormous.

President Obama has made it clear that he wants America to look more like Europe. He has apologized for what he calls the nation’s past mistakes. He told a Russian leader that he would have “more flexibility” to work with other nations during his second term, when he didn’t have to face re-election. He has distanced the United States from both Great Britain and Israel, two of our strongest and closest allies. Every day, revelations about Benghazi, Libya, are looking more horrific and disturbing in what they tell us about the state of our foreign affairs.

The Democratic platform states that it “strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion.” They “oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.” The goal regarding abortion is no longer to make it “safe, legal and rare.” It’s been a long time since Bill Clinton talked about making abortion “rare,” and the left ignores all the evidence that even legal abortion is hardly “safe.” Through Obamacare, taxpayer funding for abortion is mandated, even though the Constitution and Bill of Rights proclaim citizens’ God-given, inalienable rights to conscience protections and religious freedom.

In contrast, the Republican Party platform declares: “We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.” Further, the Republican platform endorses both “a human life amendment to the Constitution” and “legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.” Republicans not only believe that the unborn have the right to life, but that the elderly, disabled and infirm also deserve protections. The GOP platform opposes “the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

Obamacare’s fine print calls for a nonmedical panel of political appointees constituting an Independent Payment Advisory Board that will decide whether grandma is too old to get the heart surgery she needs and whether Uncle Jim is eligible for a knee replacement.

For the first time in history, we have a president who will not defend marriage, an institution that has been the foundation of strong societies across time and cultures. Mr. Obama and his party support “marriage equality” and are overturning centuries of support for natural, heterosexual marriage and families in order to “secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples.” The Democratic Party platform also condemns “discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples.” In an arrogant and unconstitutional action, Mr. Obama arbitrarily instructed the Department of Justice not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, even though a president is constitutionally bound to defend the duly enacted laws of the United States.

The Republican Platform and Mr. Romney support “a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” They also believe “that marriage, the union of one man and one woman, must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage.” Mr. Romney and the Republicans promise to “enforce and defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act in the Armed Forces as well as in the civilian world.”

These examples clearly illustrate the vast chasm between the basic beliefs and values of the two major political parties and the two presidential candidates in this election.

In addition to their philosophical differences, the candidates differ in their management styles and views about government expansion, taxation, growing the economy and job creation. The national debt is more than $16 trillion. It has increased nearly 60 percent in the past four years alone. This number is incomprehensible to most Americans. Economists call the debt and deficit “generational theft.” We are literally robbing our children and their children of their economic freedom and their future. Mr. Obama and the U.S. Senate have unlawfully operated without a budget during his presidency. Mr. Obama has been unable to gain the necessary votes from his own party to pass his budget (they refuse to go on record for fear of public revolt). Nonetheless, he continues to advocate more taxing and spending as the way out of the fiscal crisis.

In contrast, Mr. Romney believes in balancing the budget, cutting spending and reducing government expansion. He has proved he knows how to handle budgetary crises. In 2003, when Mr. Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts, the state faced a $3 billion deficit. By 2005, the Bay State had a $1 billion surplus as well as a “rainy day fund” of $2 billion. When Mr. Romney left office in 2006, there was a balanced budget and rainy day fund without a cent of taxes raised on anyone. He did this as a Republican with a Democrat-controlled legislature. The unemployment rate also fell from 5.6 percent to 4.7 percent. He has promised to make the same kind of budgetary transformation nationally as president.

The nation faces a clear choice. It is the most critical one in the lifetime of every voter in 2012. It is not a stretch to say that the importance of this election is beyond mere partisan politics — it is a matter of national survival.

All the signs point to Mitt Romney as the man for the moment in the 2012 election. If he can do for the nation what he did for Massachusetts and what he did for the Salt Lake City Olympics, he will have a place alongside Ronald Reagan as a modern-day leader who was pivotal in the survival and prosperity of America.

Janice Shaw Crouse, a speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush, is spokesman for Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee and author of “Marriage Matters” (Transaction Publishers, 2012).