When you get past all the rhetoric and slogans in this year's Senate election, one fact is clear: the choice is between a powerful champion of modern liberalism and a relatively unknown Republican.
Ted Kennedy stands for an ideology that has failed the country and that needs a massive overhaul. It is an ideology of big federal programs, a belief that the nation's problems can be solved once the government takes matters in hand. The result? Massive government debt and a strengthening of poverty's grip on our inner cities.
Digging the country out of this mess of debt and decay is the next great task for our government. Frankly, success is less likely with Kennedy in the Senate. Romney, for all his political naivete, has instincts that lean in the right directions cutting the government down to size and restoring personal responsibility.
This doesn't mean that Kennedy hasn't helped the lives of many in Massachusetts. You don't last for 32 years in the Senate without learning how to slip a program in here and save a base from closing there. And those new federal programs and reopened bases mean jobs here in the Commonwealth.
But the fate of Massachusetts rides with the fate of the nation. All the perks and perk Kennedy metes out may delay somewhat the disastrous effects of his liberal policies, but those effects are inevitation.
We too, are proud of Kennedy's role in the Senate as a champion of civil rights and women's equality. But those fights have largely been won and now the battle has moved to different fronts. Today, the pressing question is how to lift up the underclass. On this issue, Kennedy offers little that hasn't already been tried unsuccessfully.
What about Romney? His platform is essentially that of a fiscal conservative with moderate social views. He couples advocacy of welfare reform and tough crime legislation with support for gun control and the right to an abortion. All in all, a sensible package.
In all honesty, though, the platform of a first-time candidate is useful only for showing general tendencies. We believe Romney's tendencies are solid.
In contrast to his scandal-plagued opponent, Romney boasts a Boy Scout image, backed up by an untarnished record in business and family life. He has been a dedicated husband and father and an honest and successful business leader.
Thus, the race boils down to a contest between an aging, professional politician who is long past his prime and a promising, if untested, leader with solid character and a sensible vision. Ted Kennedy has worked hard for 32 years, but his ideas haven't kept pace with the times. We think he's earned his rest.
The future, on the other hand, should belong to Mitt Romney.