Like many of you, I spent this evening watching the debate on CNN. What really struck me about what I saw was that outside of the ideas being expressed by Ron Paul, the Republican Party has a complete lack of vision. It comes across as a party of convenience, where its own candidates do not support its core principles, and where all it has to offer is haggard endurance in an interminable conflict. It is a party breaking at the seams, because it has lost itself.
I don't know how many of you know this but the first convention for the Republican Party was actually held here in Pittsburgh in 1856. Although imperfect then, people were drawn together by the dual love of their nation and their liberties, and knew that something better could be created. It seems to me that a similar opportunity may present itself here.
While we cannot know precisely how and when this election will end, we do know that the Ron Paul chose the Republican Party as his vehicle, and has stated publicly that he did so because of respect for the tradition of respecting individual liberty. We know that he brought forward his message to reach us and to try to change things. We know that he gave thirty years in this fight for the chance he has earned to get the message out there. What we don't know is just this: What will we do with this gift?
The time of testing is coming for us all where we will each and every one of us have to ask what this movement has meant. Was it about one man from Texas talking about liberty and the Constitution and some kids and some outcasts thinking that this sounded pretty good? Or, was it the birth of something greater: An American renewal and a generational fight to reclaim the liberties that we have allowed to disappear?
From watching tonight, from having been within the party, from having spoken to the public, and from seeing how much we all care, I know that what we are saying is needed. Maybe the message isn't getting through as clearly yet as it should, but when it does, and when people understand that we are offering not only the best, but the only chance to live free, they will stand behind us. But it will not be decided this election, in any one election, and if we are to succeed, we have to accept this.
The opportunity exists for us to accomplish something locally that is both audacious and necessary. We can take the message of Ron Paul, of limited government, personal responsibility, and respect for the Constitution, and transform the political network within the Republican Party to reflect that desire. It will not be easy, but working together, we can do this and I believe we should.
Right now, I know this isn't the question on all of your minds, but I want you to think about this one thing. What does the message mean to you? I cannot answer that for others, but I will tell you that I am here for the long haul fight, as hard as that will be, and I know that others feel the same way. I've seen it, and I have faith. I have faith in our ideas, and I have faith in all of you, because I know you know the truth, and you can't look away from that once you've seen it.
You might get your heart broken. You might cry. You might scream. You might get angry at the whole world for not understanding. But you can't give up, because if you do, you give up who you are, and there is nothing worth that cost. So we fight, but we get smarter, we get stronger, and we make the difference. Whatever happens on Super Tuesday, it is one day, and only one day in a battle that will be fought over many years.
On February 7th, I'm going to host a meeting to talk about where we go through and beyond this campaign, and I hope as many of you as possible will attend. If we let all the strength we have built go to nothing, only then will we truly be done. I hope to see you then.
Until then, keep spreading the message.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
A Time of Reckoning for Us All -- Tom K's call to action, again -- with his outlook in for the long haul
Tom Kawczynski posted: