I was able to get a front row seat at AEI today, as Chris Christi delivered a speech on fiscal discipline. He essentially articulated of the achievements obtained by means of holding fast on conservative policy without fear of "public backlash" on doing the right thing, and the need to extend such principals of leadership to the federal level.
Most memorable to me shall be the Q&A session, considering that I was able to personally ask him a question. My query pertained to the notion that before the third rail is to be de-electrified, some republicans argue the need to target "low hanging fruit" first. To win so called "symbolic" victories before public opinion can permit the green light on reforming the true threats of insolvency found in entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare.
As I had hoped, Christi's response was one of optimism that the political game had indeed changed, and with it, the time has now come to throw away the old playbook. When he first started his job, he too was told that his approval ratings would be punished for the bold decision of "talking to people like adults" regarding their government expectations; to explain to constituents that they've been lied to and deceived all these years, and that the time to climb out of the finiacial hole shall be rough but fully necessary. Such honest tactic has rewarded him according to Christi (who now enjoys a 54% approval rating), such courage is working for Andrew Quomo in his backyard of the state of New York (enjoying a 77% approval with a platform that mirror's Christi's), and such courage will work on the national stage.
To this particular concerned citizen, the account was a shot of optimism. At last a politician no longer looking to make excuses. It is well known that there isn't much "low hanging fruit" out there in the form of earmarks to begin with, and for many who voted for fiscal discipline in 2010, a fear remains that "spending cuts" will once again amount to nothing more than inconsequential trimmings.
To paraphrase Christi's theme on the topic of fighting the necessary battle, we must understand that people will feel lied to and decieved as we explain the bad news regarding beloved programs. They will initially boo and jeer at the messenger. As leaders for financial solvency, it is up to us to explain that they have every right to feel that way, considering they've been lied to and decieved by generations of politicians. It must be explained that we who are the first to be telling people the truth. Do that, and such courage shall be rewarded.
Were only there were more politicians out there willing to take the risk of leadership that our impending crisis requires. Time shall tell of those who were willing to answer the Governor's call.