By J. Robert McClure III, Ph.D., JMI President & CEO
There is an old military axiom that says “The maximum effective distance of an excuse is zero meters.” With the recent election’s candidate rhetoric that was bandied about by many of those now newly elected officials, there are no more excuses.Numerous candidates regularly invoked the names of Reagan, Thatcher, Hayek, Von Mises, Friedman and Jeb Bush. Terms such as free markets, private enterprise, deregulation and supply-side economics were all over the campaign trail as candidate after candidate understood voter sentiment and mined the state for votes.And now comes the hard part. Those duly elected at every level who have promised greater liberty while requiring more personal responsibility must now govern. Here in Florida, for good or for ill, Republicans have increased their control over the state government, with the governorship, the entire Cabinet, and veto-proof majorities in both Houses.In his Inaugural Address Governor Scott sounded the right notes when he said “…some say the answer is to expand the role of government…It’s the wrong approach…Government has no resources of its own. Government can only give to us what it has previously taken from us…prosperity comes from the private sector.” In Washington, though the extension of the Bush tax cuts resulted in a less than perfect bill back in December, it is heartening to see the rhetoric move towards ideas that “limit spending” instead of “raising revenue”.Shortly after the election, I was in Pensacola addressing the Gulf Coast Economics Club, and I told the audience that November 2nd was an important first step but that the Institute was not founded on trust in politicians but rather – in broad terms – an understanding of the universal hunger for freedom.JMI staffers heard story after story of friends educating their children and grandchildren about the Founders, writing letters to the editor and opinion pieces in the newspapers, penning and contributing to blogs, calling television and radio programs, hosting events in their homes and attending rallies on the courthouse steps. We must remain engaged in those efforts to transform both our state and our country and continue to do the things that have proven to advance the cause because the Left is not going away quietly.Politicians can talk until the actual governing begins. But all of us have been around long enough to see far too many candidates run for office promising less government intrusion only to get to Tallahassee or Washington, D.C. – drink the water – and govern in diametrically opposite fashion from the way they ran for office… But now – at least in the Sunshine State – there are no more excuses.