We know America is on the wrong track.  We’ve lost the fresh hope of “morning in America” and forgotten the sage counsel of “ask not what your country can do for you.”  We’re beaten down.

There are too few jobs and those that we have face an unstable future affected by European recession and a cooling Chinese economy.   Our schools fail to prepare many children to compete in international markets.  Some of our neighborhoods are decaying with foreclosed homes.  The Arab Spring, our exit from Afghanistan, Pakistan’s schizophrenia, and an inevitable Iranian-Israeli dustup will likely send waves of terrorism into the U.S.  The $14 trillion in federal debt is a powder keg waiting for an inflationary match.  Entitlements for health care, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are overpromised.

We suffer in desperation and anger.  What to do?  Some of us stew quietly doing our job and others feel that parading in protest might help.   But our real need is obvious.

We need a leader with a thoughtful vision for our nation’s future — focusing on jobs, financial prudence, economic growth and security.  The leader’s vision will be a 21st Century American dream.  It will be short, clear, and motivating.  The leader will speak truth, yet need not specify all the details.  The vision must assign each of us a working role that lets our senses of dignity, hope and unity grow — for it is our true nature to do a job well and in harmony.  The vision will highlight strengthened freedoms, genuine opportunities and shared hopes.

Americans are a greatly capable people.  When motivated and capably led, we can quickly repair the wear and tear from miles and years of being dragged along the wrong track.  We just await the right leader, the most relevant vision, and an honest role for us to perform.

Alan Daley is a retired businessman living in Florida.  He follows public policy from the consumer’s perspective