I was born in Manitoba, Canada (that’s north of North Dakota), where my parents had a small farm equipment manufacturing company. In 1975, the company building burned down as the result of an accident. Hot sparks and paint do not mix! After a brief stay in temporary quarters, my family and I moved to North Dakota in 1978. I remember that my father was very impressed with the business- friendly attitude of the American banker and city officials who helped us get a new business set up in our new town (during the malaise at the end of the Carter administration). Of course, the fun came to an end a few years later when my dad’s business could not survive the recession of ’80-81.
After high school (‘81) and college (‘87), I was a casual observer of the political scene without becoming very involved, as I had life to live. Since employment was impossible with a B.A. in Sociology, I reverted to the training of my youth and became a welder. Many jobs, a lovely wife, a child, and 25 years later, I noticed that my adopted country was not the “Land of the Free” and the “Home of the Brave” to which my family first came.
The Bush 43 administration gradually woke me up, the final call coming when the housing bubble burst and the economy went into its slide into recession, with TARP and corporate bailouts along the way. Then came a Presidential election and Rick Santelli’s rant in Chicago. I realized that “We The People” needed to shake things up in Washington if we wanted life to be any better for us and our kids. I heard about a local tax-day event that was being planned and decided to check it out. The organization for that event turned into the local Tea Party, which I joined and subsequently met Ben Froland, a key contributor to the beginning of the Fox Valley Initiative (FVI).
It was through this association that I realized I needed to do some studying so that I could converse better with people about what our country means and how to put it back on the course that our Founders began. I started my education of the Founding Documents with a seminar sponsored by FVI and put on by the National Center for Constitutional Studies and its president, Dr. Earl Taylor. The primary lesson I learned from the seminar is that both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution have all of the answers we need today, if only we could get more people to study them and recognize the original intent of the great men who wrote the documents. As a Catholic Christian, I have an appreciation for documents that are “inspired.” I believe the people who came up with our Founding Documents were inspired.
I believe that if “We The People,” and the politicians who we hire to represent us, will turn back to the ideas enshrined in the Founding Documents, the U.S. will quickly return to being the “shining city on the hill” spoken of so eloquently by President Reagan.
The first idea we need to get back to is the sanctity of life, the first of the “unalienable Rights” listed in the Declaration of Independence, obviously held in high esteem by the Founders. Without this primary idea, our country devolves into a culture of death where we have little regard for anyone that cannot speak for themselves or anyone we deem not worthy of consideration.
Another of the primary ideas we need to get back to is the protection of personal property. This starts with the products of individual labor and extends to defining a national border and the enforcement of this border. Without this simple concept, we don’t have an identity as a sovereign country. In order to be truly free we must have both a respect for property rights and national borders.
As do many of you, I believe that the Obama administration must be replaced in order to have any chance of saving this once-great country from continuing its slide into Socialism and into crushing debt from which there will be no return. Are Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan the answer? Gov. Romney was not my first (or second) choice and I would like to ask Rep. Ryan a few questions but Pres. Obama must be defeated! The challenge remains with “We The People” (as it always has) to get as many Originalists into positions of power as possible at all levels of government.
As important as our governmental leadership is, so too are our non-governmental institutions. These include our houses of worship, our schools and universities. Alexis de Tocqueville noted that “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” He also said that “The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other.” In the Progressive era of our society we have too many of our population abandoning religion and, therefore, faith and morality. Conservatives need to take back the institutions that educate and form our children into moral and productive citizens.
I believe sites like TheGraph.com and the TEA Party are vehicles to turn the USA back to the ideas and ideals enshrined in our Founding Documents and the key to all of it is education. We must educate ourselves and others and identify/support people and institutions that can help return our country to the confines and freedoms codified in those two documents that started the American Experiment and transformed a fledgling group of colonies into the world’s most influential society in a mere 130-140 years.