Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

Vote Tuesday November 3rd!

usflagIt’s that time of year when election signs have been outnumbering the real estate, yard sale, and lose the weight placards which pop up around intersections.  Incumbents smile at everything you say and actually claim they’re glad you said it.  Newcomers to the political scene state they are going to straighten things out and you can be pretty sure someone wants to stretch your budget just a little more with new taxes or fees.

The electorate is a funny thing.  In most cases we will travel around the world to fight for democracy, but we sometimes will not take the time to vote in an election.  Voters recognize a name on a ballot and cast their vote, sometimes without any real knowledge of those candidates’ views.    The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has held three candidate forums to give our communities a chance to hear those views and the local papers have done a great job of focusing on their qualifications.  Now it’s up to the registered voters to decide who will lead their communities.

Some may ask, “Why bother to vote?”  Our local government affects our homes and businesses directly.  Local government provides the fire and police protection, takes up the trash, and sets the tax rates.  Through zoning, they determine what type of business locates where, how they operate, and how they market that operation.    Perhaps no single election will impact your business and your life as much as this local election where you have the opportunity to elect town officials and school board members.vote

On Tuesday November 3rd, please take the time to vote for the candidate of your choice.  Make your own decision that best represents your views and interest in town and education matters.  Weigh carefully how their election could impact your business and your family.  Remember – the only bad decisions are made by those who don’t take the time to make them.

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November 2, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye to the Gipper

This article, written in 2004, appeared in the Lake Norman Chamber newsletter.

 Last month, June, marked an anniversary in my life.  It was a dozen years ago that a small town boy from Rock Hill, South Carolina was elected president of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees).  Many of you are probably familiar with the Jaycees.  However, for those of you who may not be – the Junior Chamber is a civic organization for young people in more than 100 countries with 200,000 members worldwide in 6,000 communities.

 In 1992, I was elected National President in Portland, Oregon.  It was a closely contested election running against a Jaycee from Arkansas and another from North Carolina.  While the election was a moment to remember, perhaps my real thrill was meeting the keynote speaker of the convention that year – Ronald Wilson Reagan.  While Reagan was four years removed from office, he still carried the confidence and charisma that people remembered fondly last month.reagan00011

As the incoming national president, I had the opportunity to meet with him firsthand, sharing lunch in a very informal setting.  Reagan captivated our group with stories and anecdotes of his days in the movies and in public office.

In our encounter, he retold a story I’m sure he used on many occasions about the farmer and the attorney.  As his story went, a farmer in an old pickup truck and an attorney in his sports car collided on a back country road.  Immediately after the collision, the farmer leaped from the truck and asked how the attorney felt.  The attorney, woozy from the collision, was a bit shaken.  So the farmer reached behind the seat of his truck and pulled out a bottle of whiskey.

 “Here, take a swig of this, it’ll make you feel better,” said the farmer.  The attorney agreed he felt a bit better.  The farmer encouraged another sip, and then another, until the attorney felt pretty darn good.  The attorney, feeling pretty spry now, thanked the farmer for his kindness and inquired if he wanted the last little bit from the bottle.  The farmer, with a grin on his face, said, “Nah…I’ll wait till after the state trooper arrives.”

The ancient Greeks believed that character was formed in part by fate and in part by parental training, and that character was exemplified not only by acts of bravery in battle but in the habits of daily conduct.  In our brief meeting I was captured by Reagan’s charisma.  His optimism, drive, and spirit made a profound impact on me as I began my year as national president.  Our theme “Wake Up America!” encouraged young people to get involved in their communities – take part in the political debate regardless of their partisan affiliation.

Last month, Reagan’s death hung heavy on my heart.  I felt like I was reliving the death of my grandfather who shaped so many of my views and beliefs.  Both were men of character, simple and down to earth men, who seemed to understand themselves and focused on their objectives.  They were men of character from a time when character was held in higher esteem than it seems to be today.  A time when character was king.  There will be debate about Reagan’s legacy.  Some will praise him and others will say he fell short. 

I know how he made me feel about my community and my country.  And that’s his legacy to me.  Thank you Gipper.
Addressing the U.S. Junior Chamber 1992

Addressing the U.S. Junior Chamber 1992

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Remarkable Journey – Strom Thurmond

This article was written in December of 2006 following the death of U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond.

 

Last month two significant events occurred which had a profound impact on Americans and southerners in particular.  One was a dramatic Supreme Court decision ruling that racial preferences can be used for undergraduate and law school admissions.  Just a few days after the Supreme Court decision, in the little South Carolina town of Edgefield, a political giant slipped away.  Strom Thurmond left a huge footprint on American politics.  The only write-in Senate candidate ever elected, Thurmond transformed the political landscape of the south.

 

Thurmond supporters cannot defend the segregationist views of his past.  In 1957, he led a 24-hour filibuster on a civil rights bill that still ranks as the longest speech ever on the senate floor.  However, this same Senator abandoned his separatist rhetoric and in 1983 voted to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday.  In 1987, when the government was considering defunding the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, King’s widow called on Senator Thurmond.  An hour later the Senator had preserved the commission and had doubled its funding.

 

I met the Senator while I was president of the South Carolina Jaycees. Jaycee chapters organize many of South Carolina’s parades and festivals and the two of us found ourselves in outdoor events across the state.  Two years later, while President of the United States Junior Chamber, our organization was holding a Governmental Affairs program in Washington, DC.  A member of my staff called Senator Thurmond’s office to inquire whether he could coordinate a tour of the capitol for the fifty state Jaycee Presidents and my Executive Committee.  The staff member said they would check and call back.  In a few minutes, my secretary informed me Senator Strom Thurmond was on the phone.  The Senator said it would be an honor to lead the tour himself.  For nearly two hours, my state Senator took our group on a journey through time.  A journey he had made through his years of service to our state and country.strom00011

 

By now it is quite evident the pride I have of the elder statesman of my native state.  Could he have done more for civil rights when he had the opportunity?  Yes.  Could he have said, “I’m sorry for my earlier views?”  Absolutely.  But when many politicians let their words speak for their intentions, Thurmond’s actions spoke louder than the words.

Race is still used in hiring and admissions.  People of all colors practice it when they choose where to shop, where to dine,  and where to vacation.  Strom Thurmond spent seven decades in politics and while he could have done more for civil rights, he changed the way people felt about each other.  Some day because of leaders like Strom Thurmond and Martin Luther King, Jr. we will realize it’s not enough to be equal in the eyes of the law, we must be equal in the eyes of each other.  Let’s hope that day is soon.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I am a Republican

The time was 1992 and in the town of Vienna, Virginia, the newspapers ran a photo of a group of people held at bay by armed guards.  That may not sound that unusual, but these were not rioters or protestors.  They were Christmas carolers.  You see, the town of Vienna had outlawed the singing of religious songs on public property.  So, the men, women, and children had to sing “Silent Night” behind barricades.  It sounds much like Eastern Europe under communist rule instead it is the country built on freedom of religion.

 

The country where a plaque honoring the confederate dead hanging in the Texas State Capital is looked upon as insensitive and a sign of racial prejudice but a photo of a nude woman, arms outstretched, symbolizing the body of Christ is depicted as art and subsidized by tax money.

 

Our country, where the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have developed a 90-minute video depicting the mutilation of cattle to show at the entrance of Burger King, but many of the same protesters support the right to “Choice” and support partial birth abortion – a procedure that is performed in the second and third trimesters and entails inducing a breech delivery with forceps, delivering the legs, arms, and torso only, puncturing a suction curette into the skull, suctioning the contents of the skull as to collapse it, and completing the delivery.  A partial breech delivery is not considered a “birth” at common law, where it is the passage of the head that is essential.

 

America, where students are forbidden to pray at a commencement address or a football game but a state supported school, Penn State University, allows a student run event known as Sex Faire to take place where sexual games including “orgasm bingo” are conducted and the festival features anatomically correct gingerbread cookies.

 

While I am a committed Republican, the roots of my political resolve are founded in the Democratic Party.  I was only four years old, but I can still remember quite vividly, when my mother made me sit still long enough to witness the caissons making their way down the road, carrying the body of America’s slain President.  I can still see the picture of John F. Kennedy that hung in my great grandmother’s den.  My great grandmother Feemster’s maiden name was Rosie Agnes Lee and a cousin of Robert E. Lee of Virginia.

 

My great great grandfather John Jacob Adkins was a soldier in the War of Northern Aggression, also known as the Civil War.  John was not fighting for state’s rights or to defend the institution of slavery.  John and his sons, and daughters, worked the fields themselves.  They had no slaves.  John, like the majority of southerners were defending their homeland from invasion from the North.  Much like his father’s father had fought for the same principles in the Revolutionary War.

 

Both sets of my grandparents were ardent Democrats who believed that Franklin Roosevelt had saved the country.  They had weathered the great depression.  My grandfather Feemster hoping a train and taking odd jobs where he could find them and my Grandfather Russell working the fields as a farmer when we wasn’t putting his time in at the local mill.  They were products of an impoverished south, laid waste after the War Between the States.  They did not have the benefit of a college education, but instead were students of hard work and adversity.  But their faith in God, promise of future, pride in their heritage, and commitment to the ideals of the Democratic Party were never shaken.

 

John Kennedy, seemed to symbolize the essence of the presidency, as he  found his place in my grandmother Russell’s home, adorning a window box with small pictures of close relatives and a small silver figurine of the late president.kennedy0001

 

I was ecstatic in high school when a little known southern governor proclaimed his candidacy for the high office of President.  I thought it was “cool” and actually volunteered to put bumper stickers on cars, distribute posters, and hand out fliers during his successful campaign for President.

 

Given this rich history with the Democratic Party, why did I turn to the Republican Party?  There was no “Road to Damascus”, no instant conversation.  Rather it was a culmination of education in school, service in civic clubs, and exposure to political figures that figured in my resolve.  An individual can follow blindly into a political philosophy because that’s the way his or her family always voted….or they can closely examine their own philosophical beliefs and compare them to our present day political party’s platform.

 

What do I believe?

 

I believe that faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life, that we exist to glorify God and use our talents for his…or her greater glory.

 

I believe this country was founded on freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, and that while Government should not dictate what religion we observe,  the fact is this country was founded on religious principles.

 

I believe in individual accountability – that each of us are responsible for our own actions. 

  

I believe that discrimination in any form is wrong.

 

I believe that nearly all of our problems are created by people, and that only people, not government, can solve these problems.

 

I believe in limited government, a strong military, tax reform, and encouraging faith-based organizations and volunteerism in our civic clubs who work tirelessly for those who need a helping hand.

 

I believe in the inalienable right of every American to bear arms.

 

I agree with the Republican platform that states that today’s tax code is dysfunctional.  It penalizes hard work, marriage, thrift, and success – the very factors that are the foundations for a lasting prosperity.  Our Federal taxes are the highest they have ever been for a peacetime America and taxes at all levels of government absorb 36% of the national net product.

 

I support President Bush’s tax cut, which will stimulate our slowing economy, double the child tax credit to $1,000, and eliminate the marriage penalty.  We need to encourage entrepeneurship and growth by capping the top marginal rate, ending the death tax, and making permanent the research and development credit.  We should encourage capital investment and savings which is at a dangerously low savings level for young couples.

 

As the president of a chamber of commerce, I can attest that small business create most of the new jobs in this country and generate more than half the gross domestic product. According to the Small Business Administration, 25.5 million small businesses in America employ more than half of the country’s private work force, create three out of every four new jobs, and generate a majority of American innovations.  Providing health insurance is a major challenge for these small business owners.  Almost 60% of uninsured workers are either employed by small business or are self-employed.  I agree with the 2000 Republican National platform that calls for the 100% deductibility of health insurance premiums and letting small businesses band together, across state lines, to purchase plans through chamber of commerce or association plans.

 

Republicans recognize that the role of government in the new economy is to foster an environment where innovation can flourish. I applaud the Republican Congress, who last year pushed through the Internet Tax Freedom Act that put a moratorium on new Internet taxes to ensure electronic commerce would not be smothered in its infancy.

 

reagan0001When looking at education, to borrow a classic query from Ronald Reagan, “Are we better off than we were eight years ago.”  The sad answer is no.  At a time when our country enjoys remarkable economic growth and a world of opportunity, test scores suffer, American colleges and Universities are offering remedial courses and U.S. businesses are unable to find qualified and trainable workers.

 

I support the Republican plan to raise academic standards through increased local control and accountability.  We need to expand parental choice and encourage competition by providing parents with information on their child’s school, increasing the number of charter schools, and expanding education savings accounts for use from kindergarten through college.  We need to help states ensure safety by forcefully prosecuting youths who carry or use guns and the adults who provide them.

 

But we must recognize that it is not the teachers who are to blame for many of our challenges to the educational system.  Teacher pay and benefits are central to attracting and retaining qualified educators.  We are losing the battle of attracting young educators when they can obtain better wages by choosing another, more lucrative field.  Financial incentives such as lowering the points on a new home, a dream for many young couple, could attract young people to a career in teaching.  A single point could mean a four to five percent wage increase for a young person.  We need to establish longevity pay to keep some older teachers on the rolls just a little longer, providing our children with the education they need and deserve.

 

Since 1992, Social Security’s unfunded liability has increased from $7.4 trillion to $8.8 trillion.  Its trustee’s project by the year 2015, there will not be enough cash coming from payroll taxes to pay currently promised Social Security Benefits.  In the eight years of the Clinton-Gore administration, there was a lot of talk but no reform of the system.  I believe that Social Security must be reformed and I support the Republican Plan to allow personal savings accounts to be the cornerstone of that restructuring.  Today’s workers should be free to direct a portion of their payroll taxes to personal investments, netting higher return rates, for their retirement future.

 

Choice is the key and any new options for retirement security should be voluntary, so workers can choose to remain in the present system or opt for a new system, which could yield higher returns.

 

I support President Bush’s efforts to repeal the Death Tax. Hard working Americans should not live in fear that the fruits of their labor will fall into the hands of the government rather than that of their children.  It is a double tax, which is imposed when you earn the money, and again when you die.  Supporters of the tax say it only punishes the rich.  But in essence, many of the rich avoid the tax through a gaggle of Attorneys and CPA’s through estate planning and financial loopholes.  In actuality, it is the families of long held family farms or the inherited small business that cannot come up with the funds to pay the tax.

 

I believe that a strong and well-trained American Military force is the wold’s best guarantee of peace.  While we remain the preeminent super power in the world and no one can question the commitment of our fighting men and women, recruiting lags, and our well-trained personnel have left in record numbers.  Our dedicated military that continue to serve on our behalf are compensated with pay, which is 13% less than their civilian counterpart.  Thousands of military families are forced to rely on food stamps and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said that 2/3 of the nation’s military housing is sub-standard.  We must restore the health and vitality of the American Military, increasing wage and benefits, and ensuring they have the training and equipment to carry out their mission.

  

Why am I a Republican?  I have watched as election after election the Democratic Party pitted race against race, social class against social class, and old against young.  If the Republican Party is elected….race relations will be set back to the Jim Crow era.  If the Republican is elected, they will cut Social Security benefits and make it difficult for seniors to receive their Medicare support.  If Republicans are elected, they will give a big tax decrease to the rich but increase taxes on the poor and middle class.

 

This most recent presidential election was most evident of this and perhaps the most striking instance was an ad run nationally by the NAACP which inferred that George W. Bush was in part responsible for the James Lee Byrd hate crime in Texas and at the very least…light on the enforcement of harsh penalties for such action.  The commercial was at best misleading and at worst reckless and inflammatory.

 

President Bush and the Republican congress are well on their way to passing the much-needed tax cut.  They will repeal the ergonomics legislation, which is having a dire on our manufacturing and small business community.  I applaud the President’s support of the military and his commitment to our armed forces and his call to set up a commission to study and make recommendations on Social Security reform. 

 

We must overhaul the tax code, simplify it, and repeal taxes such as the death tax, and the marriage penalty. 

 

And the Lord spoke through Joshua saying, “I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and the olive groves which you did not plant.”  We have inherited much…and much is required in turn.

 

The soil of this country is wet with the sweat of the indentured servant, who toiled in his labor to pay off the debt incurred from a trip to the New World and a land of opportunity.  A soil soaked with the tears which ran down the cheeks of the black slave, a child pulled from the arms of her mother, a husband separated from his wife.  A soil stained with the blood of the American soldier, fighting against foreign foe, sometimes neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother.  The soil is nurtured with the blood and bones of those slaughtered native Americans, whose land was stripped from them.

 

Ours in not always a pleasant history.  Great injustices have been done to the Black American, the Native Indian, the southern family following the Civil War, Japanese Americans who were interned in prison camps during World War II, and females who were treated as second class citizens during much of country’s history.  But we should not strive to cover up our history, allowing revisionist to rewrite our past, but to remember and learn from the injustice.

 

Perhaps an individual who had the greatest impact on my personal philosophical and political belief was Ronald Wilson Reagan.  While President of the U.S. Junior Chamber, I had lunch with perhaps America’s most optimistic supporter.  I can still recall, his address to our Jaycee Delegates at a National Convention when he said, “Many people look back fondly on our past and talk about how good things used to be.  But I believe America is a country of tomorrow and I believe our best days are before her.”

 

I too believe America is a country of tomorrow, where opportunity abounds for those with the initiative to seize it.  Where there are no hyphenated Americans, only Americans.  Where we no longer pit class against class or race against race.  Where we are all acknowledged as one race…the human race.

 

A country where entrepenuership and hard work is rewarded.  The less fortunate are assisted and the elderly are shown the respect and afforded the benefits they deserve.  Where every child is given the best education available.

 

I believe in one nation……under God…..Indivisible….with liberty and justice for all.    

March 24, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Following the Moral Compass

JR EwingMention the word “Dallas” and depending on your age, your mind conjures up thoughts.  For some the Dallas Cowboys football team.  Still others will think about the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.   And for some of us, we will remember the eighties television soap which pitted J.R. Ewing against the rest of the world.  Not long ago, I picked up the paper and read where the television series is being revived as a motion picture.  The screenplay written, we will once again likely see J.R. up to his old tricks.  J.R. Ewing, played by Larry Hagman in the series, was a notoriously dishonest and conniving businessman.  Friends, business associates, and family members were all fair game when it came to putting together his deals.  In one episode of the series, J.R. stated, “Once you give up your ethics, the rest is a piece of cake.”  In essence, for someone who places no value on ethics, anything goes.

My grandmother Russell rarely missed an episode of Dallas.  She would shake her head and say what a little devil J.R. really was.  Each week she hoped that little brother Bobby, who had the moral compass in the family, somehow got the upper hand.  He rarely did.  Years later, I remember having to make a particularly hard decision when I was President of the United States Jaycees.  It was a decision which would have a major impact on the chapters across the nation.  Politics ran deep and deals were flying here and there as everyone looked out for their particular state or region.

I remember calling my dad and he listened quite a while as I explained what was required, what concessions would have to be made, to make the deal.  My dad responded, “Son, sometimes you may have to make those concessions and stand for something that is less than what you had hoped.  But you never have to surrender your ethics.  They guide you and will continue to serve you throughout your life.”

Today, community and elected officials are caught up in bitter partisanship.  Local issues, school boards, county commissions, and even the state delegation find themselves in partisan bickering or disagreements.  In many instances, everyone is searching for the same result, just a different approach to get there.  Let’s hope they discover they don’t have to surrender their ethics to gain consensus.  Our communities, our state, our children are depending on it.

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Spinning Away

spinningRemember when spinning used to be something you did when you were a kid going round and round on the playground Round-A-Bout?  Today, its taken on a whole new meaning.  Spin is what political handlers do when they tell you what you “really” saw and heard after you saw and heard it.  Watch any national debate and immediately after the event is over, political advisors are falling over themselves to get to the nearest microphone to tell you their side of what just happened.

Many of you have read the stories of my Granddaddy Russell.  Granddaddy was a farmer who could pretty much see through anybody’s spin.  I know firsthand because I considered myself a “master spinner” from the time I could talk.  Grandmamma didn’t call it spin. She claimed I was just flat telling a story.  One afternoon, I was giving my best spin on how the grades marked on my report card didn’t accurately reflect how well I was doing in school.

Granddaddy sat down, took off his hat, and took a long swallow on his ice water.  I knew that was a sure sign I was in for one of his colorful stories. Granddaddy asked, “Billy, have I ever told you about Uncle Earnest’s chickens?”  “No, I don’t think so,” I replied.

“Well, your great uncle had these chickens in a large hen house when they  started to fight, wounding and killing each other. One day, Earnest got this advice from a retired state representative who lived up the road and always had an answer for everything.     “Add some uncooked grits to the chickens’ food,” said the stately politician, “it will calm them down.”Kenny_Delmar_as_Senator_Claghorn

After a week Uncle Earnest came back to the sage and said, “My chickens continue to die. What should I do?”   “Add apple cider to their drinking water, that will help for sure,” said the representative .  A week passed, and again your uncle went up to see the wise man. “The dang chickens are still quarrelling. Do you have any more answers?”

“I can give you more advice,” answered the retired politician. “The real question is whether you have any more chickens.”     Like the boy who cried wolf one too many times, eventually my uncle realized while the retired representative had a different remedy for the same situation, his chickens would one day run out.  While my grandparent’s love was boundless, eventually my stretching the truth would have its limits.

In any election season with all the reasons why you should support or oppose something – you need to ask yourself – Does it benefit my family, my business, and my community?    While you may not have a child in school, does paying for school construction benefit our thriving business community?  What about mass transit?  According to the City of Charlotte, the average Mecklenburg County citizen spends about $39 a year to support our transit tax.  Is it worth the price of a” Big Mac” hamburger a month to make sure we have bus service for those people who don’t have cars or who choose to take a bus to their jobs?

It would be a real welcome change to turn on the television or radio and hear an elected official give a response that was free of political spin.  Just a simple answer to simple questions.  Instead we hear someone say this and twelve different people have twleve different interpretations of what was said.  Sometimes I think we’re just spinning out of control.

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Our American Journey

Flag1Last November,  America witnessed more than an historical election.  Regardless of who you voted for, and shame on you if you didn’t, young and old were energized like no other election I have experienced in my lifetime or am likely to witness in the future.  Most of my friends and associates know that I’m personally an unabashedly conservative Republican.  So much so that I once teased a U.S. Airways flight attendant I wouldn’t fly on their jet until they found me one with two right wings.  The day after the election one of my past Chamber of Commerce Chairmen who will remain anonymous …oh, what the heck, let’s call him Charles, left a voice mail on my cell expressing his condolences on the grief he was sure I was experiencing.  I might add he had a touch of glee expressing his sincere regret between chuckles.  I suppose that’s the price you pay for being passionate about politics.

As partisan as I am, it may be a surprise for some to know I worked on the 1994 campaign for candidate Nick Theodore who was running for Governor of South Carolina.  Nick beat a popular Charleston Mayor in the primary and lost in a very close election to David Beasley.  Incidentally, Theodore was a Democrat.  That said, it will also come as no surprise to anyone that I did not vote for Barack Obama.  While we share the ultimate goals for Americans in terms of health care, education, commerce, and national defense we differ greatly in our approach. However, there was no prouder American than myself the day he was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.   

The election itself was just another act in a long play with the changing American landscape as the backdrop.  It began with the early settlers who braved the new world and the Native Americans who had already discovered it.  Paid for by the blood of Americans who died defending it and the immigrants, indentured servants, and slaves who toiled in unimaginable conditions building it. A democracy governed by the people for the people.  One nation, one republic, under God. Our history is replete with human tragedy and shortcomings.  Yet it is the fire which forges our steel as a nation.  One which seeks to rise above discrimination.  To soar among the heavens where only eagles dare.  To speak boldly of our intentions and allowing our actions to speak louder than the words.      Pres Obama

President elect Obama will lead but he is not the answer.  The American people are the answer that unlocks our human potential. When we choose to practice personal accountability, work together for the common good, and treat others as we would expect to be treated we advance as a people and a country. We hold in our hands, our hearts and our minds the destiny of a great nation. This is our moment to be a shining example for the world.  We have the opportunity to live out the beauty of our grandparent’s dreams and embark on a journey unrealized in the history of our great nation.  And we’ve come too far as a people to fail in that task.

March 12, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment