By Pam Gulleson
I come from a family of builders. My grandfather was a mason, a skilled bricklayer, who built the school, and many buildings on Main Street, in my hometown of Oakes. How did he build those buildings without the benefit of modern technology? He did it brick by brick, one upon another, and he worked with others to get the job done. It was hard work, but he had a vision of the community he was building, so he rolled up his sleeves and got at the task.
Now, at a time when our nation is facing some of its most difficult challenges, the political vision and will needed to get us back on track are in short supply.
As Americans, we have faced up to tough times and tough problems throughout our history, and dealt with them head on. Think of the men and women who built this nation. They had a vision of what had never been, and said, “Why not?” They homesteaded farms on the prairie, started businesses, and built the schools, churches, and hospitals that grace our communities. They brought us power, paved the roads, and built the factories that made America strong. They fought in brutal wars to preserve our way of life, and came home to continue serving their communities as volunteers and leaders. We owe them every opportunity we have.
So, how can we repay their sacrifice & service? By taking up their mantle of leadership. I believe that we need to address our greatest challenges head on. Instead of lamenting all that is wrong, let’s build on what is right. Instead of drawing lines in the sand, lets work together to find solutions. The future of our country is at stake.
We need a national energy policy that gets us on the path toward energy security. We need to direct our innovation and resources to fully develop all of our domestic energy sources–wind, oil, coal, solar, hydrogen, renewable, natural gas – everything. We’ll create jobs and wealth and bring security to this nation.
Debt and deficits make us less competitive and hold us back from advancing this nation in world market.We need to stop the political postering and adopt a plan of budget and tax reform to address spiraling debt, declining revenues and wasteful spending. Preserving Medicare and securing social security needs to be a priority.
Let’s start building things in this country again. We have the best workforce in the world. We need to challenge the leaders of this nation’s great companies to invest in America again. We need to remove the tax incentives that encourage moving these companies out of the country, and bring those jobs back home. We need to provide incentives to start up businesses and entrepreneurs to create new jobs for Americans.
These things, and more, we need to get done in order to get our country back on track, and to continue building the American dream that is our heritage. Now is not the time to say, as some do say, that we can build no more. Now is not the time to dismantle that which has been built. Now is the time to build upon the foundation that has been laid. Now is the time to improve on that which we have been given. Now is the time for a vision that sees a future of economic strength and broad based prosperity. Now is the time for leadership that takes inspiration from the past to create a vision for the future.