So now the Democrats’ theme is “dangerous incompetence.” This is the soaring vision they offer the American people, as the nation records the 53rd month of growth since the end of the last recession in November 2001; as the S&P 500 is up 60 percent to 1300 from 800 at the start of 2003; as home ownership is reaching new highs; as reports come in that venture capitalists are throwing money at Silicon Valley startups again; and as President Bush’s riverboat gamble in the Middle East still hasn’t collapsed as predicted.
Yes, things are pretty bad, all things considered, and it is inconceivable that the American people can put up with the incompetence of President Bush and his Halliburton lackeys much longer.
But will the Democrats actually deliver on competence?
This is a party that does not show the least interest in improving the competence of the many government programs they have promoted and expanded over the years. In fact Democrats oppose all reform of the social programs we support with our tax dollars. They are opposed to reform of the nation’s schools by breaking up the government monopoly. They are opposed to the reform of Social Security to transform it into a genuine savings program. They are opposed to reform of health insurance with Health Savings Accounts. And they are holding up further reforms of welfare that build on the stunning success of the welfare reform of 1996.
The truth is that Democrats do not care about competence. They only care about their power. They cannot consent to reform of the vast government that they have built up over the years. It is the basis of their power. So they are reduced to talking about competence.
Competence is the tactics of the status quo, of making the trains run on time, of making incremental improvements in efficiency. It is important.
But manliness, the confidence in taking risks, is the essence of the human adventure. Each human family begins with a calculated risk.
The United States was founded on a calculated risk. And we know that President Bush is willing to take the big risk, to play big ball rather than “small ball.” His tax cuts were a risk. His Social Security reform is a risk. The Iraq adventure is a risk.