05 Jan 2022

Rx for the USA: More Indiana…REALLY!!

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How in the world did this nation arrive at the point that a rather vanilla state – an island of bland tranquility residing in the middle of chaotic Great Lakes states – could be the model to remedy our national malaise?

The PolicySmith offers the following for consideration.  Tumult is not Indiana – it has none of the zany antics of recent Michigan governor Granholm and current governor Gretchen Whitmer, nor the bizarre notions offered by Ohio’s leaders from super-lib Sherrod Brown to John Kasich’s discordant take on Republicanism. 

Nor does Indiana have the wacky politics of Minnesota (Jesse Ventura, Islamic squad members, a history of Mondales and Humphreys and so on). It has none of the contentiousness found in Wisconsin’s Madison and Milwaukee, nor the conflagrations of Kenosha and Waukesha – and especially absent are neighbor to the west Illinois’ history of incompetents – Jay Pritzker – jailed governors, hyper lib senators (Durbin and Duckworth) nor anything approaching Chicago mayor and Beetlejuice look-alike, Lori Lightfoot.  New York, the other Great Lakes state, is its own singular parade of horribles — Cuomo, deBlasio, Schumer, ad infinitum.

In contrast, Indiana goes peacefully about its business between Illinois and Ohio – it’s known for the wry humor of Herb Shriner in the 1950s, the effervescence of the great comedian Red Skelton who hailed from Vincennes, and a pass through by Abraham Lincoln on his way from Kentucky to Illinois. 

Even Indiana sports mascots are relatively tame – The Indiana Pacers of the NBA, the transplanted Colts formerly of Baltimore, the minor league hockey franchise – the Checkers.  Harken back to the early 1900s and the Indianapolis Negro League baseball team – the Clowns.

Finally, the single most qualified — experientially, temperamentally and fiscally sound —  Presidential (non-)candidate, always doggedly reluctant, is the current president of Purdue University in Lafayette.  Also the former Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels (who received more votes for governor than any in state history), serving Purdue since 2013 has made student affordability and success top priorities. His fiscal efforts and support have resulted in student borrowing declining by 32 percent.

Before his widely acclaimed two-term governorship, he served as chief of staff for Senator Richard Lugar, was senior advisor to President Reagan and served as Director of Office of Management and Budget for President George W. Bush.  His fiscal discipline is legendary as is his humility.  Weather permitting, he typically rides a bicycle to the office.

This prudent, self effacing law school graduate, statesman, author and businessman has received many accolades.  Many have inquired into his potential candidacy for President, his Coolidge-esque response is that his wife Cheri is averse to the notion, he honors her wishes.  The U.S. is the poorer, but Purdue, Indiana and especially the Daniels family are the richer.


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