Below is a column based on a monologue on last week’s Freedoms Disciple podcast. You can listen by clicking directly on the links for SoundCloud, iTunes or Google Play.
Election season is now over and sadly some among you will think their work is done and will go quiet until they will see you again in four years. Elections are the time when the lights are on, we give the performance everyone sees, the critics are writing, the supporters are cheering but regardless there will always be a winner and a loser.
Elections have consequences. Those of us who have been around politics long enough know the truth and that is the hard work starts right here, right now.
This is the work very few will see or care about, there are no bright lights and the media will only care about the hot topic of the day. Now is a time we MUST HELP WIN THE ARGUMENT on the ground! We will discuss many of these arguments over the coming weeks and months but for today I want to focus on the role of your people on BOTH sides of the aisle and how each of you react to politics.
On so many issues America, you have two choices ahead of you and I am going to lay them out for you here. You can choose the path I am very familiar with and follow the examples of countries like Ireland, Europe and historically the rest of the world, or you can follow the example set by YOUR country, by YOUR ancestors and by YOUR Founding Fathers.
Path One – Follow Ireland, Europe & ROW
Politics in places like Ireland and Europe is generally very boring and some of what I am going to outline should sound very familiar to you. We have a political left and a political right who fight for power and the media will always favor one side over the other. Both sides including the media act like it’s a war (which to them it is), and their only focus is on winning. It is never about principles; it is never about giving more power, freedom or responsibility back to the people.
The issue can be foreign policy, trade, homelessness, healthcare to pensions – both sides agree on the underlying principle and that is government is the solution. However they will fight to the death on the policies discussed and ensure it is their policies that are enacted. Simply put, in Ireland and Europe we have the big government policies of the left versus big government policies of the right and both suck.
Both sides will view anyone who opposes them as their political enemy and someone who must be at the very least insulted and demeaned in public and at worst crushed and have their creditability destroyed.
In Europe we regularly dehumanize the individual to a point where an individual is nothing more than a vote, a label or belonging to a party. We forget their life, whom they are connected to, their experiences, emotions and actions. Simply put you are either with us or you are against us. You can be a complete dirt-bag in society who everyone hates, but if you vote the right way or support the right causes – everything is okay. Likewise you can be a good person, who lives their life in a peaceful moral manner, but if you are on the wrong side of the issues, you will be destroyed.
There are two additional points that are critical to understanding the European way of life:
1 – Prior stances mean little to nothing in Utopia. Just because you voted the right way the last time and we were allies, does not mean you escape future wrath if you oppose me in the future. We can be friends on an issue like homelessness (currently a hot topic issue in Ireland) and work together to create a government plan, but if you oppose me on another issue like taxes tomorrow, I may still seek to crush you.
2 – There are no principles in Europe as we live under man’s law. Your loyalty to a party / cause will not always be intellectually consistent. Today you are be for raising taxes because you are in government, but tomorrow you could be for cutting them. Yesterday you might have been against abortion and today you are for abortion in certain circumstances and tomorrow you will be for abortion for everyone. At every stage of the argument your loyalty will be demanded.
Simply put, politics in Europe all boils down to one thing regardless of which “side” wins – power, growing government and winning re-election.
The American Way
The second path is one you have travelled and started travelling over 240 years ago. It is one of the reasons you are unique and exceptional. If you have ever listen to my weekly podcast, you will notice I finish each show the exact same way by quoting DeTocqueville and reminding everyone who listen’s that America is great, because American’s are good. Historically and for many today I believe America is different to Europe and the rest of the world. Even when the chips are down the vast majority of your people are good.
You have a long history of historic events facing your nation and you always came back together after them. The land YOU live is the land that came together after your revolution and formed a more perfect union, you came together after the Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and you have come together at countless other times in your vast history including The Great Depression, Vietnam and more recently 9/11.
There are countless reasons for this coming together but I want to point out a couple:
1 – America truly is a giant melting pot and the vast majority of you believe all men are created equal. It is this believe that has allowed you to do something most other nations will not do – celebrate the individual. America has always unleashed the individual and said there is no glass ceiling and you can achieve anything you want. Other nations have had and still have a form of class system, where if you don’t live in the right neighbourhood, have the right parents, belong to the right club or have the right education, your opinion won’t count. When you have that system in place, how can you believe all are created equal or celebrate the individual?
2 – The basis and understanding that we are all created equal has led American to be respectful, civil to each other and even defend those that they disagree with. America has had many uncivil elections (read the words spoken between John Adams & Thomas Jefferson), but you don’t see the other as enemy and when the dust settles everyone goes back to being an American.
It is this attitude that helped make 9/12 one of the greatest days in your history. It was a day when your nation mourned and healed as one. On that day there was no left or right, no enemies – Only Americans.
Conclusion & My Role
The future is in each of your hands America. You can follow the path that leads to the failed policies of Europe or you can return to the path that made you America and an exceptional nation.
My role is the same as it has always been. I will continue to speak out with my weekly podcast and my writings for the principles I believe in. I will promote to anyone who wants to listen that:
- America is an IDEA!
- America is an exceptional nation
- Trilogy of Freedom
- Share stories based on your founders and principles that made you the nation you are today including a belief in the individual, the power of freedom and free market economics.
Lastly I have always believed that the success or failure of America will never come down to who is in the White House, who controls Congress, or who is sitting on the Supreme Court. Other nations like Ireland and nations in Europe are defined by who has power. Your nation is defined by your people and America will only ever stop being great when your people stop believing and promoting your principles.