Americans are momentarians. We have become a people who live for the moment instead of aspiring and planning for our nation's future while providing the best quality of life for the present.

Today we live in the present, reveling in the latest trend, consumed by celebrity and viewing the world through a screen be it TV, PC or BlackBerry. For examples of how we should behave for our great nation, we need not look far, after all, a people of courage, vision, optimism, hope, tenacity, and sacrifice founded and built our country.

A nation perpetuates its future by preparing for it. We are at a critical crossroad to our destiny.

Do we remain the greatest nation on earth or cede that mantle to others?

Do we stand by and let the world pass us or do we take stock of our condition and vow to meet any and all challenges with the same spirit and determination that every past generation of Americans has done?

We have a responsibility this coming November to make choices that will commit us to maintaining our greatness not for the sake of title or power, but instead to give new vitality to every great principle that has made us the beacon of hope for so many for so long around the globe.

Now is the time for all Americans to rediscover a sense of duty and purpose for our own and our nation's future. While we face many difficult challenges ahead, there is no challenge we cannot meet and overcome if we put our collective minds and hands to it.

America is parched. We thirst for leadership that will understand the challenges that face us and take them on with the sole purpose of accomplishment.

Our nation faces tough problems including economic strife, high unemployment, energy challenges and dependence, national security threats, immigration, and a continuing environmental disaster in the Gulf just to name a few.

Many of our woes are self-inflicted. Over-extending family budgets, skyrocketing personal debt, failure to plan for our energy needs has made us irresponsible. It's too easy to blame government for all our ills. Many of the challenges we face are a direct result of our momentarianism.

Today, America is in search of leaders, people who will form a government and lead us with the same sense of vision, hope, and optimism exhibited by Presidents Reagan and Kennedy.

In the early 1960s President Kennedy declared that America would have a man on the moon by the close of the decade. At the time he made that statement we did not have the technology possible to achieve such an unthinkable goal. Many scoffed, but many more were inspired.

Our nation was put to the test. Government was incentivized and business delivered. And the consequences are far reaching: Look at how many of the products we use today that were developed out of that effort.

Even though Kennedy was not alive to see his vision become reality, he still gets the credit for having achieved it.

Our leaders must possess that same vision, hope, and optimism. We want to be led. We want to be inspired. We want to be hopeful. We want to be challenged. Our elected officials must seek bold accomplishments not just for his time in office but for future generations of Americans.

No great accomplishment is without hardship. My parents faced it during World War II but my generation has not. -- Well, not until now.

Our immediate and long-term future requires our attention and action. If we are content with living for the moment then we have to resign ourselves to the fact that the best days of our country are to be found in history books.

A call to action is what is needed. That call must come from leaders with the experience, vision, and determination to get things done without regard to political and personal cost.

I submit that no truly great leader was appreciated in his or her time. It is only after the passage of time that greatness can be truly identified because that greatness does not lie in the moment.

At the end of the day, We the people determine our ultimate destiny.

Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to the Fox Forum.

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