Culture Challenge of the Week: What Women Need to Know
The liberal media have done their best to try to stir up insecurity among women. They've lobbed endless accusations of a Republican war on women, charges that myopically focus on birth control — as if women's votes can be bought with free pills, patches and prescriptions.
When Ann Romney took the stage at the Republican National Convention, however, she reminded women that there are better reasons to cast their votes. She gave three: love, trust and commitment. Three words that come together in the man she married, Mitt Romney.
It's an adage that holds true: You know a man by the company he keeps. Ann and Mitt Romney have kept company, so to speak, for more than 42 years. During that time, they've known and relied on each other to an astonishing depth. During that time, Mrs. Romney's experiences confirmed for her why her husband is the man America needs now.
How to Save Your Family: Look Deeper and See What Counts
This election is about jobs, yes. But the solution to our troubles requires more than lengthy legislation, it requires, Mrs. Romney says, three things.
First, love. Mrs. Romney began her convention speech saying, "Tonight, I want to talk to you about love."
Americans are a people increasingly fractured by distrust, division and Democrat demagoguery. To heal our country, we need leadership from a man whose character is deeply rooted in love for others. Mrs. Romney has seen it in action.
Love prompted Mrs. Romney to marry Mr. Romney at age 19 and move across the country, far from family and friends. Love blossomed into life, and the young Mrs. Romney finished her college years cuddling a baby and chasing a toddler. She learned that the love between a couple doesn't shrink as more people come into their lives, it grows.
As her family expanded to include five rambunctious boys, Mrs. Romney watched her husband put aside his needs and preoccupations to be a dad who was deeply involved in his children's lives in a way that only a mother appreciates. She watched love fuel Mr. Romney's outreach to other couples, church members and needy people in the community, and to quietly prioritize their needs over his.
Love eventually led him to minister within his church community for 10 years in Massachusetts, supporting church members in both trials and joys. Although the Romneys are part of a faith group to which I do not subscribe and even categorize as not truly Christian, I deeply appreciate that they are committed not just to loving others but also to giving sacrificially to others as well. I'm not looking for the best Christian to be president of the United States, I'm looking for the most qualified person — and the first qualification I look for is strong character built on love for, and belief in, the dignity and intrinsic value of others.
When Mrs. Romney tells us that our country's future depends upon "love so deep only a mother can fathom it — the love we have for our children and our children's children," she knows the man she married has what it takes.
Second, America's solution demands trust. How can we move forward, how can America get up each day to work harder to make things better, if we cannot trust the man who leads us?
Mrs. Romney knows something about trust. During the dark, depression-filled days following her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a disease that could rob her of her ability to walk or even care for herself, Mrs. Romney was vulnerable. She was frightened. She was very, very sick. She feared a future of dependence and frustration, of family suffering because she could not care for them.
What helped her get back up and try again? Trust in God and trust in the man she knew would stand by her. "I needed him desperately," she says.
Many people in America are frightened right now. Their savings gone, their retirement funds depleted, they see the government safety net sagging, collapsing under our debt burden. America needs a leader, desperately.
Mrs. Romney urges us to believe: "You can trust Mitt. He loves America. He will take us to a better place," just as he did for her during those rough times.
Finally, Mrs. Romney reminds us that America's solutions require our leader's commitment (and experience!) to do whatever is needed. When Mrs. Romney couldn't get out of bed because of her MS, and later when she battled breast cancer, she learned the power of Mr. Romney's commitment. He did what was needed. He got the job done.
Mrs. Romney speaks from the heart when she says, "This man will not fail. ... This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can't be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard."
He's been doing that for Mrs. Romney and their family, church and community for 42 years. So perhaps America's women would do better to stop listening to the liberal media and instead look at the record of a man who has lived a life of service to others.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.