From the Chair’s Desk: “The Country We Carry in Our Hearts is Waiting”

While President Obama and Democratic governors across our country focus on creating jobs and expanding opportunity to move America forward, a new strain of Republican governors, legislators, and candidates — better financed than ever before — are determined to take America back.

Unlike the longer and better traditions of the Party of Lincoln, this new Tea Party of Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and others pledges allegiance to a very small, narrow, exclusive idea of America. An America that can only create opportunities for a few. An America of the one percent, by the one percent, and for the one percent.

In these challenging times they gain power by appealing to our economic fears, but they govern with a backward-looking ideology.

Instead of doing what works to create jobs and expand opportunity, they put all their energy into concentrating wealth, limiting opportunities, and restricting freedoms: rolling back voting rights, rolling back women’s rights, rolling back access to healthcare, rolling back worker’s rights, rolling back the promise of shared responsibilities, and expanded opportunities for all — crafting a future of restricted freedoms where the highest of possibilities are limited only to the few.

This is not some scary tale of what they might do. It is what they are already doing in those states where they have taken power. They are doing it in Florida, in New Jersey, in Wisconsin, in Ohio, and more recently in Virginia.

That’s why this upcoming election is so important. We can either choose to follow the direction of these Republican governors who want to take us back, or we can continue to move forward.

I think we will choose to move forward, because the country we carry in our hearts — the country we work to build up — is not a small, narrow, or limiting place. It’s not a place of less.

Like our parents and grandparents, our idea of America is something bigger, something larger, something broader. It’s a place always growing more inclusive, and yes, a place growing always better–if we chose to make it so.

As that great American, Bruce Springsteen, said, “the country we carry in our hearts is waiting.

Jobs. Opportunity. Now.

Gov. Martin O’Malley