Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why I Jumped Into the Fray

Not long ago, my wife and I spent a quiet Sunday afternoon in the Virginia Piedmont. Set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the area’s rolling hills, green pastures, cornfields, livestock, and winding streams supplied a flood of beauty.

Virginia, I am proud to call you home!

And it isn’t just Virginia. We have also driven up the base of Washington’s Mount Rainier, visited the Olympic Rain Forest, and traveled down the Pacific Coast Highway. We have gazed out over Arizona’s vast Grand Canyon, and hiked the trails of Utah’s stunning Zion National Park. Our senses have been overwhelmed by the fields and farms of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. And the streets and structures of Manhattan, and Washington, D.C., captivated us in yet another, wonderful way.

What a marvelous gift, this America!

But our nation’s physical splendor pales when set against the magnificence of the ideals which make our nation the envy of the world. President Ronald Reagan, in his farewell address to the nation in January of 1989, related this story.

“It was back in the early '80s, at the height of the boat people. [A] sailor was hard at work on the carrier Midway, which was patrolling the South China Sea. … The crew spied on the horizon a leaky little boat. And crammed inside were refugees from Indochina hoping to get to America. The Midway sent a small launch to bring them to the ship and safety. As the refugees made their way through the choppy seas, one spied the sailor on deck and stood up and called out to him. He yelled, ‘Hello, American sailor. Hello, freedom man.’”

Freedom man. That is how many throughout the world view us Americans. And it is the primary reason so many illegally flood across our Southern border.

The brilliance of our Founders beams brighter with the years. Out of their vision flowed a centuries-long plan for generations of Americans to flourish and prosper. Their ideas: liberty through self-government; checks and balances through separation of powers and federalism; protection from anarchy through a Constitutional Republic.

America requires more than good ideas to thrive. We once were a nation of virtue, where everyday people governed themselves and their families from the inside out. We knew right from wrong. We looked out for one another. We left our doors unlocked.

An old adage, oft attributed to Frenchman Alexis deToqueville, claims,

“America is great because America is good; and if America ever ceases to be good, she will no longer be great.”

The failure to secure our borders reveals a different America. It demonstrates the willingness of those in Washington to sell our birthright for short-term gain. Our visionary Founding Fathers dwarf these selfish midgets we call leaders. And we … we angry, frustrated Americans are little more than a late coming mob, rushing to put out a fire that has already consumed a considerable part of the building.

I jumped into the fray to persuade our leaders to secure the border and enforce laws already on the books, and to inspire my fellow Americans to take their place along the wall to defend us against the siege of all—leaders, business people, and illegals—who want to steal our country, this wonderful place we call America.


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