Every generation hopes for a leader that transcends the self absorption and indecisiveness that consumes the political discourse at various critical times in history to become a beacon of clarity and direction to the benefit of all. The founding of the nation, so fragile in birth, received a framework for all future leaders through the calm and steady George Washington. The country was consumed with insurmountable philosophic division in 1860, leading to Civil War, discovering a leader in Abraham Lincoln, who achieved the impossible task of translating the country’s original founding principles into a more modern version that restored unity when all thought it lost. The nation found in Theodore Roosevelt a unique vehicle for the country achieving a position as a world power while restoring the promise to the individual citizen of a fair shake in their own world. In its greatest test ever, buffeted by the twin catastrophes of great depression and apocalyptic war, the nation was steadily and safely led to the position of superpower by Franklin Roosevelt. Finally, out of a crisis of confidence in which many thought the nation’s best years behind it, Ronald Reagan restored a nation’s vitality and in each individual promise for a better tomorrow.
Every generation hopes for such a leader, and this generation is no different. The current crisis is self created, with a burgeoning national debt progressively suffocating all flexibility for addressing the nation’s needs, and inevitably draining the nation’s life force. Like all previous crisis situations, the political landscape is filled with pretenders and charlatans, deniers and demagogues, mediocrity and downright mendacity. The simplistic contribution of a self absorbed population to its own ills in welcoming an entitlement Trojan horse into its own future, feeds the comfort of all the sunshine patriots who claim the crisis is overblown or simply addressed at a later time.
The numbers are staggering – a 14.2 trillion dollar national debt, equal to the gross domestic product and expected to double within ten years, 4.6 trillion in US debt held by foreign countries, an indescribable 113.2 trillion dollars owed future generations in unfunded liabilities, and an estimated incurred debt per citizen of 51,000 dollars. Yet, the recent response of both congress and President was to pile on further debt and unfunded liabilities a a record level in complete disdain for the gathering storm. No leaders here, and certainly false and fatuous hope and change.
Like earlier times a leader has arisen from unassuming quarters, a back waters district in southeastern Wisconsin, and with no other calling than his profound desire to assure a nation worth inhabiting for his own small children. This leader, Paul Ryan, (Ramparts People We Should Know #4), has decided to put into action against all odds a means for this nation’s salvation. He has determined like all great leaders before him, that the position to lead is in front with clarity and courage. Like all great leaders he will face a storm of resistance and undercutting, and will be abandoned at times by his erstwhile friends, afraid of the heat. He will be impugned by the chief pretender, who adrift in a sea of his own inconsistencies and lacking in any semblance of original thinking, will see him as a threat and look to destroy him. Like all great leaders before him, I think Paul Ryan has realized that it is his time and his calling to bring America back from the brink. He has stated that his quest is not a personal one, but I foresee the willful force of history calling him to assume the mantle that he has to this point denied. Unfortunately for Paul Ryan and his desire to be an initiator but not the vehicle of change , he will soon find out, that he is the right one, at the right time. Paul Ryan is about to realize his own truth….A Nation’s Duty Calls.