Readers to my blog will know I enjoy Glenn Beck. I know he can be a bit crazy but I agree with a lot of what he says. I don’t have time to write much today but I love this new “refounding” message he is talking about. The idea is our country can have a rebirth by reaching back to the principles and values of the founding. Beck is offering anonymous truth-telling with the hope of finding 56 people (the number of the original founders) that are willing to weed out excess and corruption. He talks about atonement and that we can get off the disastorous track we are on both financialy and morally. I will write more later but I was moved by Beck’s message. I love my country, and I want it to be back to the values we started with. My worry is that Beck won’t be able to find the 56 people in Congress willing to stand up. More and more it seems politicians are finding ways to stretch half-truths or outright lies to the American public. We’ve even reached a point where Governor’s can run off to Argentina without telling anyone and not get punished, where news shows have to air fact-checking, “keeping them honest” sessions after the President’s speeches, and where the Christian principles this country was founded on are treated with disdain and contempt. Before we know it the family is going to be watered down to nothing, our freedoms will be curtailed and there won’t be anybody to trust leading our nation. It’s sad that we turn tea partiers into extremists, town-hall visitors into non-patriots and brave soldiers into potential terrorists. I hope beyond hope that Beck is right. I pray for it every night. I will be curious for your thoughts. Will write more later.
My friends, you are reading the blog of a right-wing extremist. At least that is what the media would have you believe. On April 15th I proudly attended a tea party held in Provo, Utah. Along with 700-1,000 concerned citizens I gathered in the cold snowy weather to protest for the first time in my life. As I have mentioned many times on this blog- I am not a die-hard Republican. In fact, I have realized lately that I lean more Libertarian than any other party; however, I do not define myself by a party. I define myself by my core values of faith, charity, integrity, hard work, and liberty. I have a deep patriotic vein within me, and I feel the United States of America is a sacred land. I believe it was founded by men inspired by God as a sanctuary for freedom.
What does freedom mean? I don’t know what it means to you, and I could go on a mini-rampage about the various theories, but I will spare you. I can tell you what freedom means to me.
One of my favorite books is called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs or Linda Brent. In this stirring narrative Harriet Jacobs tells her story of fighting for freedom. Even as a little girl Harriet Jacobs refuses to concede the idea she is a slave- that she is property. Despite terrible trials she keeps the pursuit of freedom as an unending goal. Eventually she ends up hiding from her owner in a garret under her grandmother’s porch for 7 years- watching her children grow up, unable to mother them or help in any way. Why does she do it? Because she believes that freedom is worth the price. Of course, such a price should not be required of anyone, but it proves the point that freedom is a precious gift from God- worthy of sacrifice.
Harriet Jacobs wanted the chance to pursue happiness- to create her own life. That is what she and many others fought for. One of most famous phrases from the Declaration of Independence is:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
To me this phrase means that we are born equal and with the same potential for greatness- the same potential to pursue happiness. This is something Harriet legally did not have but she created it anyway. The triumph of her character would not be stifled. Just imagine what she could have done without the grasp of slavery trying to throw her down. Amazing. In many ways our current President, Barrack Obama, is proof that the potential for greatness is available for any American. He is the son of single mother who grew up in Hawaii. Of course, he is also the first African American president. Nothing stopped him from becoming a success.
So, back to my extremist activities. I believe this country is great. I want to keep it great. I want to be able to pursue happiness- to be free to own a business, raise a family, or live singly and happy. It is my opinion that the current over-spending in Washington is removing some of that ability from my life. They want to burden me with debt, regulation and my neighbors mortgage- something I resent as I have sacrificed to be debt-free. I feel strongly that 12.8 trillion dollars in debt (caused by both parties!) is drowning our country’s future. My sweet nieces will not be able to pursue happiness the way I have and certainly not the way the founders intended.
We have become a country that has twisted the Constitutional idea of equal creation with equal outcomes. Perhaps part of this is a result of the unequal beginnings groups such as African Americans, women, and other minorities clearly had. For years they had an unequal opportunity to succeed; therefore, the outcome was inherently unfair. Government intervention in such a situation is appropriate and fair. Today’s situation is mostly different (and where it isn’t intervention is still appropriate). For the most part, equal opportunities exist for all but naturally so do unequal outcomes. This is part of life in a free society. The government has decided to step in and create equal outcomes, which is not only costly but it strips freedom from citizens under the guise of equality. Because we are unwilling to see people (and yes big corporations) fail we are piling on more debt each second. We forget that part of freedom is the potential for unhappiness too.
It is my belief in freedom that pushed me to attend my first government protest- coined a “tea party” by the organizers. The tea party refers to the Boston Tea Party of the Revolutionary War, where angry citizens dumped tea in the Boston harbor because of the unfair tax Britain was imposing. This was a violent act perpetrated by men who were angry at having their freedom to chose taken. They were angry at being forced to pay for programs and a government they didn’t want or believe in. They felt their voice was marginalized and ignored.
In this modern movement the protesters ALSO FEEL MARGINALIZED AND IGNORED BY BOTH PARTIES. Instead of doing something violent, however, these men and women including myself peacefully gathered. I was proud to be there. I was proud to be waving my sign, and I will never forget the moment of connection I felt with my country. It was a great moment.
On a lighter note, it was also a lot of fun. I brought my sign and a couple of boxes of warmers and made friends with the crowd. I even got a few hugs! My friend Bethany Maddox and her family were there and we cheered together. It was interesting that even in Republican Provo, UT there were democrats in the audience waving signs. This is about anti-spending, not anti-Obama, or anti-Democrat. It is about pursuing happiness which according to some very wise men is my “unalienable right”. These were not weirdos or extremist as the media would have you believe. It was men and women who want small government, want less taxes and believe both parties have let them down. This is how I feel and I will do whatever I can to continue in this cause- even if it means running for local office down the road. It is like they said at my rally as they announced “This is the end” someone said “No, this is the beginning”. That is how I feel, so I guess this extremist is going to keep on being extreme until I see a difference. I am going to do my part that’s for sure.
Jason Chaffetz (who I just love) spoke at my event and here is some video I took of what he said. (sorry you can’t see him and the camera is shaky but you will get the idea).
Here is Jason again. I agree with what he is saying. He is the kind of representative I believe in.
The tea party was wonderful!! I encourage all to take part in anyway you can.
Before reading this post- if you get annoyed at political discussion stop reading now. This is just my opinion. I simply found something that motivated me to be a better person, and I wanted to share it with all of you. Take it or leave it!
Everyone knows I love politics. I enjoy hearing different opinions and arguments on all sides. I have always liked the passion behind a good debate. I am not sure why- just have. If the opportunity presents itself I would love to someday be a public servant in some small way. This would not be for my personal glory but to serve my country and support the values I believe in. Why does the idea of public service seem to be lost on our society? The early founders were practically forced into service and now the career path of a politician often feels like the journey of a Hollywood celebrity.
I think both parties are equally guilty of this game, which is why neither seems to care what public opinion currently thinks. For instance, nobody cares that the public has resoundingly opposed the stimulus package- from November on this has consistently been the case. A recent poll said the support for the package was below 37%. Another sign of discontent is that President Obama’s poll numbers have fallen dramatically in the first 100 days and they are now below President Bush’s at the same time in his presidency. Despite such disapproval nobody in Washington is listening. In fact, many of the politicians seem to think the American public is not educated enough to understand such tough economic conditions. If that is the case than your job as politicians is to educate us!
The problem is many in Washington not only think we are too stupid to understand what they are doing to our economy, but they think we do not care. In my last entry on the stimulus package I posted a video with Senator Charles Shumer. In it he calls the American people “the chattering masses” and says “the American people don’t care”. I found this statement shocking in its candor and disgusting in its implications. And remember this is not some no-name senator. It is the 3rd ranking democrat in the senate. My fear is that he was stupid enough to say what all the Senators and Congressional Representatives feel. They think we don’t care.
What if they are right? There are certainly a lot of people who don’t care enough to vote. The ones that do, rarely take the time to be informed on issues- even though such efforts only take a minute or two. It has always boggled my mind! Do they not understand issues like the stimulus bill effect our lives? They effect ALL of our jobs, investments, property, families and certainly our education.
I am not saying that everyone has to agree with me but CARE! If anything was gained by the election of President Obama it proved that American’s could get excited about a candidate and politics. For several months people watched debates instead of sitcoms and commented on interesting issues. Although I did not vote for President Obama, I felt the excitement of a candidate of change. Now I wonder- what has he changed? Not much. What promises has he kept? Not many. To name one failed promise, he swore time and again on the trail to stop earmarks in bills. Now the spending bill he signed has over 9,000 of them! 9,000! With the President’s current popularity I do not buy his excuse of needing to sign an “imperfect bill”. He had the political capital to at least reduce the earmarks and he failed to do so. I will also add that 40% of these earmarks came from Republicans, so they are equally guilty in ignoring what America wants. In fact, the Republicans are trying to make the Democrats seem like the bad guys while still sneaking in whatever spending of their own they can get in.
I am not writing this to bash President Obama or any other politician. I have hope for them all. Perhaps foolishly, I believe most of them are good men and woman with the right intentions; however, many have forgotten who they work for, and what we as Americans stand for. They have gotten so caught up in money- that it has become a type of panacea for every wound. Just throw more money at a problem and it will all be made better! Selfishness, greed and a loss of vision is leading us into debts both morally and financially. In a sea of money and political correctness, these politicians seem to have forgotten the fundamental values of honor, freedom, integrity, faith, justice and hard work that our government is there to support.
To be honest, this spending bill was making me depressed. I felt like no one was listening to me and millions of other Americans who find it crazy and irresponsible. Even the socialist nations of France and Germany are refusing to go along with the big spending! Now China has expressed worry that the $1 trillion in US treasury bonds they own is a bad investment. The Chinese, the French, the Germans, the majority of Americans all seem to think this is a bad idea! Why doesn’t anyone care?
Well, I found someone who does. I am not usually a talk radio/ tv news person. I love NPR and feel I am an Independent on most issues. However, I happened to catch the latest Glenn Beck Show on Fox News, and was very inspired with what I saw. I have heard Beck speak and been impressed in the past but this was something special. In the program he talks about his feelings after 9/11 (thus calling it the 9/12 project) and then contrasts with his current feelings. He talks about how no one is listening and how nobody in either party can be trusted. He asks every American who still believes in this country to send in their photos- he gets millions. He interviews Iraq veterans, 9/11 victim families and gives 9 principles and 12 values that exemplify the American spirit. I agree with every one of his 9 principles and 12 values. If I worked for a year to summarize my own values and principles in regards to this country they would end up the same as Beck’s. I love that he isn’t afraid to declare his belief in God, family, and America!
He actually gets emotional at several points, and I found the whole thing very moving. He tells us to remember how we felt on 9/12, and how we just knew what to do, and how we could help. Those feelings came out of our core beliefs and values. It is these values that will save America- not spending more on lavish programs or shopping to boost consumer confidence. Real confidence comes from an understanding of why we matter- why each of us matters to this country and to God. I can’t recommend the program highly enough. During the broadcast there were crowds all over the country watching and cheering. I wanted to cheer too! Put it on your DVR this weekend or watch it online if you can. It’s not just a political rant. It’s a reminder of what is good about America, and I felt validated by it.
Beck is a member of my church, so perhaps he presents his program in a way I understand. However, this basic message of integrity, service, friendship and courage is one any American can relate too. I promise it is not a partisan attack. Check it out!
The Nine Principles
1. America is good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.