It's been said that there are two types of people in politics: those who want to be somebody great, and those who want to do something great.
Clearly President Barack Obama is the latter. During his first presidential campaign, Obama made the point that “Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not, that Bill Clinton did not.” Obama said he too wanted to be a transformational leader.
He wasn't kidding. The president has gone a long way toward “fundamentally transforming the United States of America,” and with a second term he doubtless will attempt to consolidate his gains (Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, et al). He will continue to tax, borrow, spend and regulate his way toward European welfare-statism. Most disturbingly, he will continue to aid and abet the sexual revolution, favoring policies that lead to family disintegration and the attendant rise of the Hubby State so key to Democratic electoral success.
Fortunately, it's not just President Obama who wants to do something great. Other political leaders are in fact doing great things — transformative things — in statehouses all across the country.
In Wisconsin, for example, Gov. Scott Walker decided it was worth it to challenge government unions. In Indiana, transformational leaders passed right to work and enacted the most sweeping school choice program in the nation. Are you aware that more than half of Indiana's student population is eligible for private-school vouchers?
Ditto for Louisiana — more than half of their students now qualify for vouchers.
Kansas policymakers this year enacted the largest tax cut in state history. Gov. Sam Brownback — who is serious about eliminating the income tax altogether — used “his political capital and GOP majorities,” The Wall Street Journal noted, to advance “a reform agenda worth the effort.”
In Oklahoma, despite GOP majorities now bordering on the obscene, we have yet to see anything of Barack Obama or Scott Walker proportions.
I would suggest that now is the time. A committed leftist is in the process of fundamentally transforming the country bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers. “Our nation is at a tipping point,” says Oklahoma House Speaker-elect T.W. Shannon, “and I truly believe Oklahoma can be a light for the rest of the nation to follow.”
He's right, and he intends to develop “a conservative, free-market, limited-government agenda that will create strong, prosperous families and grow our economy.”
New Jersey's no-nonsense Gov. Chris Christie put it well at this summer's GOP national convention: “We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something.”
Our experiment in ordered liberty is at stake. It won't do for Oklahoma's political leaders to “play it safe by adjusting the rudder slightly to the right and enjoy the ride until you term out of office,” as my colleague Michael Carnuccio put it.
“We live in a day and age when we need leadership — the kind that is strong, bold and transformational.”
Dutcher is vice president for policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a free-market think tank.