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
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
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
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.