RNC Speeches Stir Patriotism
I firmly believe that I am not alone in the effects the speeches of my fellow Americans had upon me. It is for the sake of my own personal need to give substance to my reactions that I take the time now to share the personal revelations, subtle implications, and overt truths that I took away from these speeches.
First and foremost, I made it my goal to listen to the words and ideas my citizen brothers and sisters shared from a perspective much larger than myself. I pushed the envelope of my ability to grasp the significance of the moment and placed the shared thoughts within the context of our nation’s entire history and place in the world. I didn’t just listen to the words being spoken. I listened between and behind them. I listened to the echoes of the generations before us whose own love of country and their posterity brought us all to this moment. And I listened ahead and realized the profound significance of the actions that what we as a citizenry do today with regard to maintaining our own moral foundation and that of our country. Listening to Ann Romney and Chris Christie, I experienced the deep unity of brotherhood, zeal, and call to duty that was so clearly emanating from their hearts. I’ve listened to many a political speech, and I won’t say that there weren’t moments last night when I was distinctly fed bits and pieces of pre-canned political sound bite or simply awkwardly worded phrases. But the sincerity and the true patriotic precision of the thoughts and ideas that were shared was undeniable, and I know they found their mark in millions of hearts beyond just my own.
I believe for the first time ever that I found myself able to truly have faith in the political system. Faith that, though the Republican Party has long been aptly thought of as a club run by white male cigar-smoking elitists, that it truly does show all the signs of developing a new younger, truly grassroots composition. Faith that, despite the fact that we were duped in 2008 and have been subjected to three years of purposeful national downgrading on every front by our elected leader, the collective and innate worshipful love of freedom held dear by the vast majority of Americans will prevail in November. Faith that we will, as a single and united body, exercise the miracle of freedom our founding fathers so lovingly and carefully preserved for us and restore the composition of our government to one that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. I believe that, despite the obvious flaws that we will always find in any institution where mankind is involved, the people of these United States of America still remain a good, moral, freedom-loving society who will defend her with every fiber of their being, from enemies both foreign and domestic. Ann Romney and Governor Christie, who by no means are the only voices of inspiration to have been heard thus far and nor will they be the last, succeeded in provoking a level of hope in me last night that we all need to feel.
I mentioned the restoration of the composition of our federal government, but in fact the restorations in which my faith has been rekindled are multiple. Putting men and women in office who have their own moral compasses clearly grounded in conservative values is one thing, and a vital thing. But this one hope leads to many others as well, such as the hope of backing out of many of the progressive roads our country has been taken down for the past few generations. Remember one such road America went down back in 1920, when the political establishment of the time decided that they would help make America a better place by outlawing the production and sale of alcohol. By 1933 it had become obvious that this was an error in judgment and directly went against the grain of freedom in this country. We the people repealed Prohibition and corrected the error. As we did so then, so will we now identify these erroneous paths and restore our way.
We find ourselves today steeped in many such errors that have been bound into law and/or policy. The legalized murder of innocent unborn citizens; the burden of a tax law so bloated and incomprehensible that it requires specialized lawyers to interpret it; the socialization of the medical industry forced upon us by the democratic elitists who held dominion over the federal government three years ago; the incessant war on the very religion from which the principles of this nation received their being; the reckless and purposefully irresponsible spending and out of control growth of government; the overreach of the federal government into private corporations in the form of buyouts and takeovers; the blatant cold civil war being waged upon sovereign states by our out-of-control federal government; and the president of the United States being allowed to ignore, override, and sidestep the Constitution he swore to defend and uphold. These errors that we have permitted to come to pass by our past apathies and inactions, we can and will correct. The restoration of this country in which I have great confidence and hope must and will result in a return of America to her core principles and morals. I believe that in November we will express the changes to our government necessary to reverse these dead end laws and circumstances that have led us to a place where we can see our own destruction just over the horizon. Listening to, between, behind, and ahead of the words in the speeches I heard tonight, these are the things in which my faith firmly lies.
The speeches last night provoked a sense of nostalgia in me as well, taking me back just four years to what I affectionately think of as my own political awakening. I often think of it, trying to pinpoint just exactly what happened in my mind to take me from a man whose only political mantra was “I could care less what the government does, as long as they don’t interfere with my life”, to “ I am part of this country, not a bystander!” I believe that I have to give the credit for my awakening to Barack Obama, though at that time I viewed him as someone who was going to fundamentally change America and American politics for the good. His freshness, his distinction from the political elitists I had grown accustomed to ignoring caught my attention and brought back into my remembrance the passions for my country I had long since packed away. As the speeches last night caused me to ponder my own awakening again, I realized that I hadn’t simply awakened from a deep apathetic sleep in 2008. Rather, I had finally begun to see my America in her true beauty and light, and had begun to fall in love with her. After all those years of taking her for granted, now I saw her for who she was to me and more importantly, who she was to my children.
As to why it took me so long to comprehend her, I primarily blame my government funded public education. It had every opportunity for twelve long years to plant in me the true seed of patriotism that was rightly mine to foster. But it did not. Oh, it took me through the motions and made me pledge allegiance to my flag without ever explaining to me that I was promising to be on America’s side no matter what the cost. It compelled me to memorize names and events and details of America’s history, but gave me no context for them within my own life. It explained to me the origin of America as a nation, but never conveyed the meaning of the blood and sweat and tears that were spilled over two hundred years on her behalf. It told me about the Declaration of Independence, but focused solely on the economic issues listed there and ignored the religious and moral complaints of the colonies that were Britain’s primary offenses against us. Public education robbed me of my heritage, and when I finally realized this far into my adulthood, I began to seek it out for myself. In 2008, those efforts blossomed. Last night, they bore fruit. And as I must give Barack Obama credit for the initial true pangs of love I felt for my country when he ran for office, I must also give him and his anti-American mindset the credit now for the fruits of my patriotism.
The theme of the RNC this year is “WE BUILT THAT!”, and a proper juxtaposition to Obama’s own opposing point of view it is. Not only did we build this nation, but now we must rebuild it. Restoring America isn’t about accomplishing some goal, or reaching some milestone on some given day. Precisely like the maintaining of one’s health and balance is a daily event, so too is the maintenance of America’s freedoms and the integrity of her Constitutional foundation. The effort I put into running or eating right or getting enough rest is great! But it’s only enough for today, for tomorrow my body will place the exact same demands of good maintenance upon me, lest I forfeit the good health I enjoyed yesterday. Those who came before us fell in love with their America too and, for their and our sake, did the work necessary to keep her strong and healthy on a daily basis. They are old or gone now, and the mantle now belongs to us to do the same. Accept your role in this great nation of yours, welcome the civic calling of America and the responsibility she pleads with you to bear for her on a daily basis. Be strong now, and show yourselves men and women, true sons and daughters of this miraculous and unique nation of people and ideals. Look in the mirror today and every tomorrow, and show yourselves to be American Patriots.
I can’t wait to listen to tomorrow’s speeches!