Three years ago, I understood very little of what goes on in the realm of politics in our nation. I was a greenhorn, as naïve as they come, on this point. I’d never really been involved in anything political before. All I knew at the time was there was something about then-candidate Obama’s “Hope and Change” message that sounded like a bold-faced lie sugar-coated for the purpose of misleading and deceiving people. It set up a lot of red flags for me personally, so I made it a point to try to learn more about what was going on. This is what brought it about for me to become involved in conservatism.
I’ve learned a lot in the past three years. I’ve learned that the nature of politics in our country can be incredibly dishonest and deceitful at times. I’ve learned that politics can be a contrary beast, going against basic everyday ordinary common sense. I’ve learned that when it comes to making a choice between what is wise and prudent for our nation’s future versus what is politically expedient, 9 times out of 10, politicians will choose what is politically expedient. This kind of mindset is just very deeply engrained into politics, and it is going to take a long time for that mindset to change.
For those of us who do want to see our leaders make the kind of choices that are wise and prudent, watching them go the path of what is politically expedient time after time after time gets very discouraging and disheartening. There have been more times than I can count when I’ve found myself with a really bitter taste in my mouth, so to speak, watching them floundering around to find a way to cover themselves politically first and foremost rather than to stand their ground on principle and do the right thing. And each time, when the sense of bitterness and discouragement hit me like a ton of bricks, I vowed to myself, “I will back away from this, just go my own way, ignore it, pretend it doesn’t matter”, etc., but after thinking it over, I always came back to the fight. Our nation’s future is at stake, and regardless of my own feelings or how discouraging and disillusioning it may be to see politicians take the path of least resistance repeatedly, if I didn’t accept responsibility to try to stay involved in what ways that I could, I would regret it for the rest of my days. So I came back to the fight.
But not everyone sees it the way that I do. People are different. Some of us can tolerate the incredibly inane nonsense that goes on in politics and remain at least relatively sane, but for others, it simply cuts away at their confidence and respect for those who have been elected into office too deeply, leaving them feeling hopeless and helpless, burdens them down with a heavy weight of disappointment, for them to be exposed to it for any length of time. For this reason, because I know how disturbing the nature of politics can be, I’ve been determined that I wouldn’t judge others too harshly if they decided that they just weren’t able to take on the battle. It is enough to drive a person insane. Those of us who can stay sane have to stay in the fight for as long as we can.
I am hoping that conservatives in general and conservative websites who have this amazing opportunity to sow the seeds of conservatism for future generations will remember that we can’t win people over to conservatism simply by focusing on the negative things or the failures of our leaders day in and day out. We also have to try to present to people the positive side of conservatism, i.e. why conservatism is the better choice to make in the long run, how it can help our nation, how it can help our families, how it allows us to help ourselves rather than being dependent on government for our futures, how it empowers the individual rather than enabling big government, etc. If we focus on the strength of conservative policies, we can win people over for a lifetime, and this is the best hope our nation has in the long run.
Conservatives also need to be realistic about what lies ahead. We all know that spending has to be cut and entitlement reform has to take place in order to get our nation back on the right track. But with unemployment being what it is at this point, it is difficult to know how the job market will respond. We have reason to believe, from historical evidence, that a change in policies will take the pressure off of businesses, leaving them with more confidence to expand and to hire more people, but we have no way of knowing for absolute certainty that this is what WILL happen. So we need to be prepared for the worst as well as the best, and this means being willing to help out our fellow citizens until such time as the economy does stabilize.
I’d already considered this one myself, and have plans in place to start up a small part-time business, not so much for the purpose of bettering my own financial situation but for the purpose of being able to help out to fill in the gap if it takes a while for our economy to pick back up.
Those plans are on hold now. Just about everything in my life is on hold for right now.
Two weeks ago, I went in for a yearly physical. The report I got back from my doctor isn’t good. I have a major health issue that I’m facing. Today, my doctor has advised me that I have to focus on this challenge and keep my stress level as low as possible in the process. My family, may God bless them, is begging me to do this. So I have to retreat for the time being, hoping that, God willing, it will let me stand to fight another day.
I’ll just close with saying that each of you will be in my thoughts and my prayers every day. Stay in the fight. Keep the priorities in the right order. Always consider the long-term picture. Don’t be afraid to try things that are creative and innovative to find solutions to the challenges that our nation is facing.
It’s been my honor and privilege to be here, with all of you. Hopefully, I’ll be back before you know it.