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For Your Consideration

As we begin the New Year, I want to wish all of you a happy and prosperous new year.  I know that many might say this is trite in our modern society but considering the number of…  jerks I thought I’d try something different.

I also want to ask for your consideration.  Some might say I would beg your indulgence, others that I am giving you fair warning.  Regardless, I ask that you read my words and give my ideas consideration.  I have stood by silently observing for some time, that silence is at an end.  Let me explain.

In 1776 our fore fathers declared their independence from Britain and forged a new nation, and for all that they wrote in the Declaration of Independence it really is the preamble that grabbed my attention.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.  (Emphasis mine.)

Since the early 1990’s, I have sensed a growing divide in our nation.  In fact, I was convinced that a second Civil War was brewing.  Looking at that simple statement by our founders one is forced to consider if we are reaching another point in time when one people will dissolve the political bans that have connected them with another.

However, my views were also based on dogmatic beliefs.  It was also during the 1990’s that I came to discover what I truly believed.  During that time the excellent book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, came out and everyone was reading it so they, too, could incorporate the principles into their lives and achieve success.

My good friend George and I were discussing this book while out for a drive.  During that trip, he asked me what my core values where.  I couldn’t answer the question.  I was saved by the fact I hadn’t reached that point of the book yet but it still stopped me cold.

Oh, I could have said something snappy like, ‘I believe what is in the Bible’, but I had to reject that statement because rape, murder, and incest are in the Bible and those certainly aren’t my core values.  It was the simple fact that I couldn’t quickly articulate those values that gave me great pause.  It also changed the entire course of my life.

I realized that much of what I believed was not because I had sought out the truth; rather, I had blindly embraced dogmatic beliefs without any real search for truth on my part.  This wasn’t blind faith, it was a blind acceptance of what I was told.  I set out to change that after that drive with my good friend.

My search uncovered my true core values.  Those core principles are Honor, Courage, Strength, and Spirit or Passion.  That search for truth didn’t end with this discovery.  It has stayed with me and become a core habit that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

I seek out truth regardless of how it might upset my world or life view.  I have had to change my perspective on many an issue because new information has come to light.  For example, the excellent book ‘Day of Deceit’ has changed my view of the historical account of the events surrounding Pearl Harbor.  I highly recommend the book.

But I soundly reject conspiracy theories.  Rather, I question with boldness official accounts.  I pressure those in power for more transparency.  I reject party loyalty in favor of firm principles.  And should those that are elected fail, I hold them to account, regardless of party.  All of this is grounded firmly in solid principles.

It is those principles that have driven me to become more vocal about what I am seeing from those whom we have entrusted with power.  It is because of those principles that I am compelled to speak out and speak loudly.

I’ve lived in several places in this nation, driven and ridden across even more of it, met countless people in my journeys, even lived overseas.  Through all of that I have come to believe that this Republic, this nation, this people, are truly the greatest on earth.

Oh, we may not come in first in a bunch of categories but that is not the true measure of who we are.  I’ve seen the heart of us.  We are a generous and forgiving people.  We care deeply for others and despite the bad apples among us, we thrive and prosper.  To truly understand who we are, look at our responses to catastrophe.  The very heart and core of us is exposed and it’s a beautiful thing.

And that heart of us is worth preserving.  Earlier I mentioned that opening preamble, but what follows next is equally as important and instructive.

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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. (Emphasis mine)

So often I’ve heard a desire to simply abolish our government and well I understand this sentiment.  However, we forget that we have the power to change or alter it when it fails us. Too often we simply want to give up, quit, or throw away the government we have simply because it doesn’t suit us or seems impossible to change.  It’s important to remember that we have the Right to alter it, not just abolish it.

I believe the Republic is not the words we write, the laws we pass, or the buildings we erect; the government is the people.  As Abraham Lincoln once intoned, it is of, by, and for the people.  I believe that our Republic is damaged and in need of tremendous repair. I also believe that it is worth saving because of the principles upon which it was founded and because the people, the core of who we are as a nation, are worth it.  It is these beliefs that compel me to speak up.

I have stood by in silent consideration for some time.  Partly to study and consider that which was before me, partly because I did not want to add to the cacophony without adding value, partly because I needed to know that what I said conformed to the principles I adhered to.  That silence it at an end.

I ask for your consideration as I express my views.  I ask that you set aside emotion and consider my points and attempt to understand what I am saying.  You may find that your views are dogmatic beliefs grounded on nothing more than desire and when you honestly seek the truth, regardless of where it leads you, you might be surprised at how your views change.

I’m certain to irritate and probably piss off those on both the Left AND the Right.  I may also irritate you because you might find that my posts are increasingly political in nature.  I would remind you of a great quote by Pericles who stated,

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”

Personally, I don’t have an interest in politics, but because it takes a deep interest in me, I have taken an interest in it.  If my posts bother you, please feel free to block my feed or remove me as a friend.  When you do though, ask yourself if your views are dogmatic or are they based on a honest regard for principles and for the truth.  I’m challenging you to be better as a person, not tell you that you are wrong.  I’m sure you’ve enough people willing to take on that role.

I believe that when a people are truly free, they can pursue happiness to their hearts content.  When government is tightly bound, its people are free, but when government is unrestricted, the people are bound.  I believe when a people are truly free and unrestrained by needless regulation that innovation and prosperity abound.

This Republic is worth saving because Freedom’s Charter, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, are designed to protect the core of this nation, its people.  At our core, we are a kind, generous, forgiving, industrious, adventurous, and innovative people.  Yes, we have a lot of flaws and failings but like a great classic car, we are worth restoring.

So, as we begin this New Year, I would ask for your consideration.  There is a lot I believe, too much to share in a single post, and I will be sharing both those beliefs and what I consider to be practical solutions to real problems we face in the months to come.  There is a lot of work to be done and I have been silent long enough.

Comments

  1. George Turk says:

    Nice Peter, you have my vote. I liked this quote:

    I believe that our Republic is damaged and in need of tremendous repair. I also believe that it is worth saving because of the principles upon which it was founded and because the people, the core of who we are as a nation, are worth it.