My fellow Americans, my fellow Republicans:
The 2012 election is not a contest between two men, but between two entirely different visions of America. President Obama and I are simply the standard-bearers of opposing and, may I add, irreconcilable visions of what America is and should be.
The Republican party and I represent American values as they have been understood since the founding of our country. The Democratic party and President Obama represent different values. This does not make any Democrat, let alone President Obama, less American or less patriotic than any one of us here. But millions of Americans who love our country hold values that emanate from elsewhere.
How could it be otherwise?
Given the influence of academia, Hollywood, and the news media, of course many Americans have embraced more of the French Revolution’s values than those of the American Revolution.
And, to make things worse, too many Americans of the last few generations have never learned what American values are. Schools stopped teaching them. And many parents did as well.
Let me be specific: American values are not a matter of any individual’s, or newspaper’s, or professor’s opinion. We can surely have different opinions about how to realize those values, or how to apply them in any given situation. But American values exist beyond personal opinion. They have been enshrined for nearly all of American history on our coinage and our bills, not to mention in our hearts and in our minds, and emblazoned on the walls of Congress.
They are: Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum (From Many, One).
The Democratic party seeks to replace liberty with equality. Not equality before the law — that we all believe in. Not the equality of human worth — all Americans believe that all men are created equal. But the Democratic party and this president believe in material and social equality — and for them this equality is a greater value than liberty. That is why they seek to control more and more of Americans’ lives — in other words, take away more and more of our liberty — for the sake of some utopian ideal of equality.
The basic liberty to keep the money you have earned is the most obvious example. For most of American history, when some of our fellow Americans honorably earned more than others, they were not resented, they were emulated. But in the eyes of today’s Democratic party and in the eyes of our president, such Americans are to be resented — and as much of their money as possible must be taken from them — in the name of equality (sometimes referred to as “fairness”).
Our opponents do not value prosperity as much as they value equality.
And instead of a society rooted in God-based values, the Democratic party seeks a society as devoid of reference to God as possible. God can barely be mentioned in our nation’s classrooms. I do not think it is a coincidence that in a little more than one generation we have gone from students asking a blessing for their teachers to too many students abusing, sometimes even cursing, their teachers.