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Charles Rehn - Democrat for President 2004

A Conversation With America
Questions That Must Be Answered
Web Edition (c) 2002, 2003 Charles Rehn All Rights Reserved




What Makes Us A Nation


I love the sense of rich lore and romantic idealism I get from reading essays and speeches by great leaders of ours and other nations. Reading these things gives me an opportunity to consider the world in a way that is removed from the partisanship and passions of the day.

I think of it like "getting back to basics": remembering what was on the mind of those people who wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and comparing the benefits and dangers they discussed to current events.

I make no apologies for being a bit idealistic and corny at times. I'm like that about America. I think everyone is, deep down inside. 

We have an image, and a vision of America, and when we are in uncertain times, we find ourselves questioning if the vision we have is like the vision of our neighbors next door or people in a state 1500 miles away. We wonder if we fit in. We question our own judgement and seek external validation.  We surrender that "gut-feeling" that rarely fails to inform us of the difference between right and wrong

That uncertainty causes us to give greater priority to individual survival and security, and our unity breaks down or gives way to fear in the form of over-reaction and political division.

That is a time when we, as a nation of people, need to know what we have in common, and can rely on.  We need to know that we are joined by a common commitment to certain priniples and values, that, when universally applied, provide the collective wisdom necessary to make correct decisions and intitiate appropriate actions and responses.

I believe we are in one of those times.  It is a time when heretofore accepted goals of our society are being questioned, not as a means toward more frugal and responsive government, but as a means to implement a fundamental difference in ideologies that is not being explained by our government, or agreed to by us citizens.

It is occurring without respecting the will of an informed citizenry. It is being installed by a few who think they know better and defy the failed history of their methods.

To assume I am speaking of a simple distinction between Republicans or Democrats would be incorrect. I'll discuss what I consider to be the use of class warfare tactics and its purposes in more detail in another chapter.

For now, I'd just like you to join me for a moment in taking a deep breath, forgetting about the opinions of other people, talk show hosts, politicians, people like me, and give some thought to what the world would look like if it was the way it's supposed to be. Remember, this is all about what you think, how you think it should be. 

Then, consider all the times you've felt pressure to do something that wasn't quite right, but possibly has become the generally accepted way of doing things. Or, were expected to look the other way at certain practices that you clearly disapproved of, not out of preference, but because it simply wasn't 100% above board.

Finally, acknowledge that there is no such thing as perfection. Perfection is a vision, something worthy of vigilant effort, like a landmark protruding above all else on the horizon to guide you whenever you lose your way as you travel through life and participate in Democracy.

I doubt anyone would completely agree with everything I believe and the way I express it.  But I want to share it with you anyway, so you can understand more of what I believe, what I stand for and what I am committed to. 

Then you can think about what you believe, and, whether you support me as a candidate or not, you can decide what things we agree on that can make us partners toward resolving those things we feel differently about.

So, here are what I would consider to be the top three universal type of thoughts I have about what makes a country, a nation and a representative government. I thnk they make for a good place to begin toward, let's say, putting our house in order, and making a house a home.

What Makes Us A Country
1) Sovereignty and dominion over an area of defined and recognized boundaries.
2) Agreement to our collective right and responsibility to secure and defend ourselves and the people of our country within our borders
3) Agreement to the benefit of a common and  responsible governmental structure
What Makes Us A Nation
1) People declaring their unity of ideology expressed through conduct intended to honor a core set of inclusive universal principles and values, and a commitment to defend them on behalf of our nation, ourselves and others despite preference, opinion or advantage
2) People committed to the well-being and empowerment of fellow citizens
3) People willing to agree and disagree with the understanding that compromise and negotiation of preferences allows for them all, but the compromise of principles for preferences and expediency endangers us all.
What Makes A Government Representative
1) The willingness and wisdom to forego personal preference, ideology and opinion in order to give priority to the will of the people and the benefit of citizens, tempered by the intent of the Constitution (If a representative believes the people are opposed to something good, it is not a failure of the citizens to understand, but a failure of the government to credibly inform them.)
2) The will and commitment to repel corruption of every kind at every level, and the courage to remind its citizens that they are an integral part of the checks and balances of government
3) Transparency that informs and empowers partnership


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(C) 2002,2003-2009 Charles Rehn Jr IV  All rights reserved