Alexander's Column

A Romney-Ryan Revolution?

The Formula for Shock and Awe

By Mark Alexander · Aug. 23, 2012
“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate – look to his character.” –Noah Webster (1789)
It'll take more than a slogan.

There’s a major storm heading for Tampa.

No, I’m not talking about Isaac, the storm we hope will stay offshore or dissipate before making landfall. (Memo to Republicans: When planning future conventions, consider a location somewhere outside of hurricane alley at the height of hurricane season – a region that has suffered considerable loss of life and hundreds of billions of dollars in storm damage over the last two decades.)

Nor am I talking about all that turbulent hot air that emerges from Joe Biden’s mouth whenever he’s near a microphone. Biden is the centerpiece of Obama’s “counter convention” next week and will arrive in Tampa Monday in an attempt to overshadow the Republican confab. (Memo to Republicans: Paying any attention to Joe Biden might ultimately be a waste of political capital, as Obama may just be desperate enough to tap Hillary Clinton – or any other reasonably sober and cognizant humanoid – as VP for his 2012 ticket. Or it may just be that Biden is confused and thinks the Demo convention is in Tampa!)

No, the storm I’m referencing is the Romney-Ryan ticket, about to make landfall at the GOP Convention in Tampa. I hope this political storm develops into a record-breaker that rains shock and awe on Barack Hussein Obama’s campaign for re-election. But if the Romney-Ryan combo is going to pink-slip Obama, just as Obama’s policies have pink-slipped millions of Americans, this ticket will have to break from the conventional Republican formula.

By now, you already know what you need to know about Mitt Romney’s policy positions. My colleagues Michael Barone, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Reagan, Thomas Sowell, David Limbaugh and Dennis Prager have all written outstanding commentary on Paul Ryan and the enormous strength he brings to this ticket.

The question is, will Romney and Ryan unveil a winning strategy in Tampa?

To defeat Obama, the Romney-Ryan duo must contrast our great Legacy of Liberty with the oppressive socialist doctrines advocated by the Left. They must energize the largest conservative grassroots movement in history and enlist the support of American Patriots from all walks of life. They must alert our countrymen that we are on the downside of the fatal cycle of democracy and that the only way to circumvent the certainty of tyranny is to restore constitutional integrity.

It’s notable that the last Republican “RR” revolution was the restoration rebellion unleashed by Ronald Reagan in 1980. If there is to be a Romney-Ryan Revolution, then I suggest Mitt model his acceptance speech after Reagan’s acceptance speech in 1980, and hold tightly to its timeless principles.

Reagan’s remarks then are remarkably applicable to circumstances today, and should form the outline for Romney’s speech.

Then, Reagan declared, “I want my candidacy to unify our country; to renew the American spirit and sense of purpose. I want to carry our message to every American, regardless of party affiliation, who is a member of this community of shared values. … Never before in our history have Americans been called upon to face three grave threats to our very existence, any one of which could destroy us. We face a disintegrating economy, a weakened defense and an energy policy based on the sharing of scarcity. The major issue of this campaign is the direct political, personal and moral responsibility of Democratic Party leadership – in the White House and in Congress – for this unprecedented calamity, which has befallen us.

"We need rebirth of the American tradition of leadership at every level of government and in private life as well.

”[Our Founders] pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to found this nation. Some forfeited their fortunes and their lives; none sacrificed honor.

“Isn’t it once again time to renew our compact of freedom; to pledge to each other all that is best in our lives; all that gives meaning to them – for the sake of this, our beloved and blessed land? … The time is now, my fellow Americans, to recapture our destiny, to take it into our own hands. But, to do this will take many of us, working together. I ask you tonight to volunteer your help in this cause so we can carry our message throughout the land.”

Need Romney say more?

Romney-Ryan must cast their campaign in the mold of Reagan, who simply asked, “Are you better off now than four years ago?” and they must follow it up with a bold free-enterprise plan for economic recovery. They must boost American morale, and speak plainly about Obama’s failed socialist regime. They must pledge to end Obama’s distorted vision of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

They must not “pivot toward the center,” as was the case with failed “establishment Republican” presidential candidates John McCain in 2008 (we issued the same advice then), Bob Dole in 1996 and George H.W. Bush in 1992. The Republican “status quo” didn’t cut it then, and it won’t cut it this time. Nor will the campaign theme, “We’re not Obama.”

Romney and Ryan are good communicators, but in Tampa and onward, they need to communicate great things. Recall what Reagan said in retrospect on his successful effort to lead the nation back from the edge of complete economic collapse: “I won a nickname, the ‘Great communicator.’ I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn’t spring full bloom from my brow; they came from the heart of a great nation – from our experience, our wisdom and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries.”

Finally, if Mitt Romney can successfully articulate the difference between Rule of Law (Liberty) and rule of men (tyranny) in the context of the grave state of our union today, a majority of Americans will choose Liberty. If he is not sure how to communicate that, he can borrow Paul Ryan’s copy of The Patriot Post’s Essential Liberty Pocket Guide. Or he can borrow the copy that Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, carries with him everywhere he goes. In fact, Mr. Priebus asked us to send 14,000 copies of Essential Liberty to Tampa, to be included in the welcome packages for all convention delegates and official guests.

Romney should center his campaign on the message of Essential Liberty, so that our countrymen will, once again, grasp the substance of Thomas Jefferson’s counsel, “We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.” A good place to start would be insisting that all elected and appointed officials at every level of government abide by their oath to “support and defend” our Constitution.