It seems to me that what is missing in the top two contenders for the Republican presidential nomination is passion.
While Ron Paul speaks with passion of the Federal Reserve and Rick Santorum speaks with passion about life, Newt Gingrich speaks passionately mostly about Mitt Romney; and Mitt, it seems, merely speaks in sound bites.
I don't know about you, but I want to see them seek to build their own shining city on a hill such as that my dad envisioned, and not simply attempt to recreate that vision and make it their own.
I want them to stop speaking merely in sound bites, but rather to speak to me in parables to which I can relate. I want to feel their speeches, not just hear them. It needs to be more than "I'm not Mitt," or "I can beat Obama." I want them to convince me they really mean what they say, not what they think I want to hear.
If indeed Newt and Mitt can find the passion of Rick Santorum, and even that of my dad, they will go a long way towards winning not only the Republican nomination, but also the presidency itself. As many readers know, I have endorsed Newt and traveled with him on the campaign trail as a private citizen, but he can do better in this respect.
We Americans prefer to hear the real truth, not what politicians want us to hear. In the era of Barack Obama the message we hear from Washington is, "Trust me, we know what is good for you."
That's the message of tyrants, as many who lived under Hitler and Mussolini discovered as they were herded into concentration camps.
In those dreadful times, Germans, Italians and others under their rule were fed slogans such as those seen on signs above the entrances of concentration camps: "Arbeit Makt Frei -- Work Makes Freedom." To the Nazis and Fascists, freedom and death and work and slavery were conflated with respect to individuals; all that mattered was the state.
One of the early signs of an incoming dictatorship is a government's attack on the Christian church. Tragically, we are beginning to see something like that now, in the Army's attempt to censor chaplains -- to tell them what they can or cannot say in their sermons.
The government in this case appears to believe that it is superior to any religion -- that it is entitled to overrule the doctrines of faith by which all legitimate religious organizations live. We must, in their view, submit our articles of faith for government review and tolerance.
Accept this and bid freedom of religion farewell. Let's find the passion to make Obama a one-term president.
• Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press, 2011). Visit his website at www.reagan.com, or e-mail comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.