Ok, you know I am wound up if you are getting something like this from me. In general, for quite some time I have avoided getting into what I felt were often, heated, emotional, non-logical arguments over political parties and candidates. Let’s face it – I, like hopefully most people, cannot be adequately or accurately portrayed by a single party line. However, this year something happened. Actually, the “something” has been happening for some time, gradually creeping into our lives as we were seduced by the apathy brought on when things are pretty darn good. I am actively, vocally involved this campaign, because I believe this particular election is the most critical; the most important, election in 150 years. I am convinced we are at a crossroads. The economy is important, and a fundamentally powerful part of the overall equation. But this is about more. This about whether we remain a free, democratic country. Whether we will continue to be a land of opportunity for all people regardless of their social status or demographics. A country that values hard work and families and caring. This is about whether the American dream is finally placed in a box and buried out back.
Four years ago a new President was voted into office with the promise of “hope” and “change”. He was not my choice, but he was the President of the United States of America. I am first an American. As I mentioned above, I am not described by a party. Believe it or not, I have been a registered Republican, Democrat and Independent at different times in my life. So regardless of whether I voted for the new President , after the election I was going on with my life, with some hope, however slim, that maybe, just maybe, some of the promise and rhetoric about “reaching across the aisle” and bi-partisan approaches would actually be realized. Perhaps progress to reign in a financial sector ruled by cronyism would be made. Lip service to small businesses would give way to positive actions. Because only through bi-partisan discussion, agreements and lawmaking can you truly solve problems that unite a country instead of divide it. This is important.
Results and actions speak for me far louder than words and always have. What is clear to me is we have a government that is more divisive than any other we have seen. A ruling party that spews such hate and vitriol, and lives under a double standard for appropriate behavior. That promotes such a general meanness and pettiness. A ruling party that derives its power from cronyism, fear and dependency. A ruling party that promotes resentment of success and hard work, and thrives on and encourages the divisions that occur when fanning the flames of misunderstanding. A ruling party that despises the thought of a family or a community working together. A ruling party that drives censorship of thoughts and opinions. They will decide what we should think, who should get what and how it should be distributed.
I believe this strongly. So strongly, I am breaking my code of silence and privacy. I am joining the local Republican Party Office and I don’t know what all I can do, but I am going to do so something. Yes, I have long working hours. I travel a lot and don’t get to spend enough time with my family. But for the next two months I am going to do something – stuff envelopes, make coffee, answer questions. And since I am breaking my silence, I am going to go so far as to ask each of you to do the same. This is too important to sit back on a sofa and bellyache about what is happening – we have to do something constructive. And I will try to do it in such a way as to be inclusive. To spout insults and vitriol back is a losing, partisan proposition. To get people to come together on the issue of a United States of America is our objective, not to get a quick “feel good” over having a better insult than the “other guys”.
The Republican Party set the right tone at the convention, and we heard from a number of exciting, articulate, successful and yes – inspirational – young governors, senators and congressmen, and finally – businesspeople! I watched this group of people and was encouraged and energized. There are people out there like me. That believe in the things I do. Which raised the question – what am I going to do about it? Sit back and watch, complain and hope “they” all go out and fix things? I don’t think so. I have to do my part, and here is why. If in each city, suburb, or community in America, there is one person as concerned as I am, and we can fire up 10 or 12 people to take up the cause, we can keep the American Dream from dying before our very eyes. And I am convinced that if I do nothing; if we do nothing; and this ruling party is re-elected, all the hopes and dreams I have worked so hard for, all dreams I have for a better life for my child, for a good life for my family….all of those die. We can’t let that happen. And, to parody Patton’s quote about “at least you won’t have to say, I shoveled shit in Iowa”; when my grandchildren ask me “grandpa, what did you do in the great election of 2012”, I won’t have to say, “Well, I drank Lite beer on my sofa and complained about how bad things were”.
It is easy to find your local offices. Just type in “find my local Republican headquarters” into a search browser. Or start at the state level by your state plus “gop.org” (E.g. http://www.pagop.org or http://www.azgop.org and so on). Give them a call and get started.
I hope you are with me.