A few weeks ago, I had a very disappointing conversation with a friend. A conversation that is, unfortunately, far to common. He is, of course, aware that I am running for the US Senate, in Ohio. That is what spurred him to initiate the discussion. He spent a good ten minutes complaining about the condition of American politics. He felt, as most of us do, that the government that is supposed to be servant to the people has become tyrannical an unresponsive to the will of the taxpayer. He’s right, of course.
The troubling part of the conversation came when I asked him to take a petition and collect a few signatures from his friends and family, to help me gain ballot access. “I don’t feel ‘called’ to get involved in politics”, was his reply.
The balance of this note is to every American, complaining about the state of government and our political system, yet unwilling to help in even the smallest way to reform it:
I certainly do understand your frustration, even your apathy, to a degree. But, regardless of whether you are voting Democrat or Republican, you are the ones most deserving of a dysfunctional government. While I will give you credit for voting, if you are in fact doing so, you are hardly contributing to a “government OF, BY, and FOR, the people”.
Here is a nugget of truth I will share with you; I don’t feel ‘called’ to be a politician, nor do I desire to be one. I am, as we all are, ‘called’ to defend my own freedom and that of my family. If the best option for doing so means getting involved in politics, that is what I will do.
We have to understand that the documents that constituted this grand experiment in freedom, beginning with the Declaration of Independence, where purchased at great expense. Many sacrificed everything, even their lives, to usher in a period of unparalleled prosperity that would ultimately effect not just America, but the world. However, the blood that was shed then was but a down payment on freedom.
Our Constitution limits the degree to which government can intrude into our lives, by enumerating exactly what areas it is empowered to address. The Bill of Rights protects our liberty – the freedom of each and every one of us, individually. But, none of our founding documents have the power to protect themselves; that is our job. Each and every one of us is, by virtue of our citizenship, called to defend our liberty. If we aren’t willing to answer that ‘call’, we ought not feel as though we are entitled to any of the benefits that liberty brings.
…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. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. (Declaration of Independence, emphasis added)
I am willing to be, not a politician, but a statesman. I am willing to fight to defend my freedom and that of my children and, by extension, yours. You don’t have to get involved in politics, but you do have to do something, if you want to maintain freedom, for yourself, your children, and your grandchildren. You decide what that something will be.