Vision, courage, and principles
a moral compass
Eric LaMont Gregory
Columnist, Fayette Advocate
"What makes America unique is that we have free people, and it is the job of government to protect that freedom"
"Who is a leader," Congressman Paul Ryan asked the crowd of some 5000 who gathered to see the presumptive Republican presidential and vice-presidential nominees on stage together in the Delaware County community of Powell. "A leader is someone who has the vision, courage and principles, a moral compass, to guide them."
You know, we've got a big decision to make as a country, this is a clear choice and its not just about this election or the next four years. Its about what kind of country we are going to have for the next generation and for ourselves and our families. Do you want four more years of the same?" In response to Ryan's question the crowd enthusiastically replied, "No."
"If we copy European governments," Ryan continued "we will get Europen results, and we will transform this country into something it was not designed to be."
When asked about Romney, small business owner Brad Loetz, said he was hopeful, and liked the fact that Romney had, "practical business experience, he knows the importance of the balance sheet. But, you know there is a lot of difference, even with a candidate like Romney who has run some large corporations, when you are the president and have to be concerned with all the large corporations and the small ones in the entire country all at the same time. The scale of the problem is the challenge." Brad attended the event with his thirteen year-old son, Evan. I asked Evan what he wanted to be in the future and he responded that he had no idea at all. However his father said when he takes his son to the office with him, they have a spare room and when he is there they put a post it note on the door with his name, and his father believes that his son's intention is to follow his own foot steps and occupy his father's office someday. Brad Loetz's company helps electronic inventory systems communicate with each other to help manger the flow of materials between companies. "I like the fact that Ryan is a numbers guy, and developed a budget plan, I may not agree with everything in it, but it is obvious that Romney picked him because they wanted to take things in a different direction."
Carol Brown's daughter graduated from Miami University in 2010 with a degree in marketing. She could not find a job in her field so she took various part-time jobs and saved up enough money to buy her first house which she rehabilitated and sold, and now she is working on her second property. "I work part-time now doing demos, but during my career I was an air stewardess with TWA until they went out of business. It was a good company to work for. I voted for Obama in 2008 but now it is sad, there was so much hope that he could make things better, but now it is just sad. I hope Romney wins and can make the hard choices and cut the deficit. Its just so sad that there are less jobs now."
Popular Local Congressman Pat Tiberi was the first to take the podium, ideally situated in the center of the audience. Tiberi stressed the importance of this November's election and what was at stake for his district, this state and the country as a whole. US Senate candidate Josh Mandel was in brillant form, "I am running against a candidate that has held office since the time of Richard Nixon," he explained, "if we want to change the country we have to send people to Washington with a different vision for the country." Mandel has overcome a ten point spread in the polls which existed just after the primary. Ryan exorted the crowd to help elect Mandel to the US Senate.
Tami Longaberger lit up the crowd with a spirited talk about the now world famous basket-making company which she assumed the leadershiop of from her father. "My father was one of twelve children," she began, "He built his company and in the process helped to build America. Small businesses are the backbone of the US, they are run by people who just get up every morning and get on with the job. We don't ask someone else to build our businesses for us. We know who built America, we did. I am not a politician, at the same time I know that the people we elect had better have an understanding of what makes this country. So we can unlock the great engine for creating jobs, and bring real paychecks to real people and communities."
"In 1984 banks were willing to lend money to businesses, unlike now," Don Hill stated. Don was an engineer and later started his own manufactuers' representative company. He retired ten years ago and sold his comapny to his employees and they are still paying him. His wife Melisa is a dental hygenist. "I am just concerned that if Obama gets re-elected, Biden will remain just a heartbeat from the presidency. I know that Romney cannot do a whole lot when he first gets into office, but I believe that things will be headed in the right direction, it is about the character of the man." And, when asked about Ryan, Don Hill explained," it means that Romney has a plan and Ryan is a part of it."
Governor John Kasich drew thunderous applause when he said, "I cannot wait until he (Ryan) gets in the ring with Biden. We need business leaders in government, and the winter olympics were going down the drain, Romney took them over and saved the games, and that is testimony to his leadership. Romney and Ryan are a team and they are here to save the next generation, this is our legacy."
Sheila Smith was born in Wales and also lived in the County of Merseyside between Liverpool and Manchester in Northwestern England before coming to the United States in 1960. "I am a permanent resident and would become an American citizen, but it is complicated," she said, "You see I am a loyal subject of the Queen, and I love it here in America, it's complicated." I told her that I lived in the UK for some twenty-five years while at Oxford and like many other Americans wondered about the implications of supplicating to the Queen as a requirement of entering Oxford to study. "I believe that Romney represents the kind of values that are important in a leader, and there is also a lot of confusion in America about how the National Health Service of England operates actually."
Romney was given a warm and enthusiastic welcome as he approached the microphone. "Women in this country are more likely to start a business than men. What makes America unique is that we have free people, and it is the job of government to protect that freedom." He stated that there was a big gap between what the current president promised and what he has delivered. "We are going to put someone in place to get the job done."
"This is a nation that celebrates individual initiative, and it is the freedom of individuals that we will protect," Romney stated and then returned to his five point plan to re-invigorate the middle class in America: An energy policy that exploits all our enery resources, oil, gas as well as coal; making sure that workers have the skills for todays and tomorrows jobs by putting kids and teachers first in our educational system. Concentrating on fair trade practices to make them work for America, and realising that the growing middle class in this hemisphere south of us holds great opportunities for American business. He also laid down the gaunlet to one of our biggest trading partners China, stating that, "their cheating by failing to deal with the value of their currency has consequences." He promised to cut and cap federal spending and lay the groundwork for a balanced budget.
And to his fifth point whose theme ran through all the remarks of all the speakers, "I will champion small business, and deal with the regulations that are crushing business in this country. Over regulation has brought new business startups to a thirty-year low
in this country, I will make it easier for entreprenuers. And, America will again be that shining city on a hill," Romney concluded.
5000 people came out to see Romney and Ryan in Powell, Ohio