As a Mitt Romney delegate from Maine to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August, I was greatly impressed and moved by the display of American patriotism and love for God and country openly displayed by prayers, speeches and song each day of the four-day event.
Speakers and performers presented a refreshing unity of diversity in personality, talent, sophistication and experience in the arenas of government, politics, business, education, sports, entertainment, military service and culture.
Yet, when we arrived back at our hotel, sometimes after midnight and again in the morning, we watched the national news as if there had been a filter placed on television, radio and print media because the truth of what was really happening at the Republican National Convention was not evident.
The political filters and spin doctors of the mainstream media were continuing to present a biased, narrow and distorted view of the Republican Party and of our presidential nominee Romney.
It was, therefore, very encouraging when, along with 70 million other viewers, we saw the same Romney we had met at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, unedited, during the Oct. 3 debate on national television.
This was and is the Romney who is the best candidate for America:
* Less government. These are the key questions: Do you want more government or less? More spending or less? More regulation or less? More welfare or less? More power for unions or less? More taxes or less? Less oil drilling or more?
* Bipartisanship. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney worked with an 87 percent Democrat-controlled Legislature and was able to pass a state-based health care initiative. While opposing federal health care mandates, Romney, proved he is a 10th-Amendment, states-rights advocate, able to work both sides of the political aisle.
* Economic recovery. Romney will rebuild the foundations of the American economy on the principles of free enterprise, hard work and innovation. His plan seeks to reduce taxes, spending, regulation and government programs. It seeks to increase trade, energy production, human capital and labor flexibility. It relinquishes power to the states instead of claiming to have the solution to every problem.
* Taxes: fairer, flatter and simpler. Regulation: cutting the red tape. Trade: open markets on terms that work for America. Labor: free enterprise, free choice, free speech. Spending: smaller, simpler, smarter government. Sound money.
* Foreign policy. Peace through strength. Strongly stand by our allies such as Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Colombia. Stop Iran from developing or acquiring nuclear weapons. Don’t enter into treaties or agreements that will not be honored or put the U.S. at a disadvantage. Never publicly announce military withdrawal dates from a theater of action. Allow our allies a faster path to becoming NATO members.
* Paul Ryan. Ryan is more than a vice presidential candidate. He is the author and intellectual founder of the modern Republican agenda. There can be no more profound and articulate a spokesman to defend and elaborate the Romney agenda to America and to hold the office of vice president of the United States with dignity and integrity.
On Nov. 6, we can choose to either: (1) stay on the path of division and bankruptcy, leading to a godless European-style nanny-state, where the growing tyranny of government intervention and control stifles individual thought and initiative in favor of the collective mind, will and emotion; or (2) work together to return to the path of American exceptionalism, where the unique and basic American values of liberty, “In God We Trust” and “E pluribus unum” can and will overcome the destructive assaults of radical leftism and Islamism.
At this critical moment in the history of our great nation, it is my belief that a vote for Romney is a vote for America and restoration of the values and policies that made America the beacon of freedom for individual rights and liberty in the world.
Hayes Gahagan is a former state senator from Aroostook County and serves as chairman of the Aroostook County Republican Committee. He ran as an independent for U.S. Senate in 1978.