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The Last Word

A Yearning for Normalcy

By Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson

After eight years as Governor and a full year of campaigning for President of the United States, it is about time to shift gears. While I will continue to write and speak on the risks ahead for our country and the GOP, I do want to reflect on the historic opportunity I have had to lead this state and to campaign for the highest office in the land.

Of course, this column is about the last word. And, yes, the voters had the last word and said perhaps another time. While my campaign was not able to go the distance, we did make it to the Iowa Caucus which allowed me to forcefully make the case that we need effective leadership on border security, energy production and national security.

I pushed for a return to “normalcy” where leadership is bringing out the best of America and not governing by chaos-driven turmoil every day. People are worn out from the inability of Washington to work together and get things done.

My journey campaigning across the country also gave me an appreciation of the strength of America, our love of freedom and the willingness of Americans to sacrifice for our liberty and the common good. In Exeter, N.H., I spoke on the same stage that Abraham Lincoln made a speech in his campaign for President in 1860.

These links to our past remind us of our long struggle to keep our democracy on track.

In Iowa, I walked through dozens of town squares with memorials to those who gave their life for our country during wartime. I met people in every town who prayed for our nation and our leaders. All these experiences inspired me and gave me hope for our future.

During the campaign I visited with an Iowa farmer who paid me the highest compliment I have ever received as a political candidate. I told the farmer about myself and then asked about his crops and his challenges. At the end of the conversation, the farmer looked at me and said, “Asa, you are running for the President of the United States, and you seem normal.” I learned that there is a yearning for normalcy in the conduct of government and public affairs.

There are many that want to reduce the chaos and increase civility. I hope my normal campaign for President will inspire a new generation of leaders to return to principle and service for the public good.

During my travels over this last year, I also was able to showcase our successes in Arkansas. These included lowering the individual income tax rate from 7% when I was first elected down to 4.9%. We led the nation in computer science education, created over 100,000 jobs and kept our trucks moving during the pandemic. We raised teacher pay and transformed state government to make it more efficient and effective.

But one of the greatest moments I had as Governor was working with the Arkansas Trucking Association to pass a historic highway plan that added over $300 million per year to improving our roads and highways. This would not have been possible without the support of the trucking industry and your association.

Ronald Reagan had a plaque on his desk when I visited him in the Oval Office in 1986. The plaque simply said, “It Can Be Done”. All in all, we had a pretty amazing time getting things done by working together.

Thank you.

Asa Hutchinson is a former governor of Arkansas and a recent Republican candidate for President of the United States.

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Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

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Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
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