Thursday, April 10, 2014

Some Speakers Are Better Than Others


With a full schedule, I awoke early this morning looking forward to joining the Commonwealth Club for breakfast at The Radnor Hotel. While I did run a little late, I was there in plenty of time as I was able to get myself a modest breakfast and easily find a seat about five minutes before the meeting began and the speaker was introduced. I even had enough time to introduce myself to the distinguished guest and hand him a bag from his niece that I was asked to give to him. It is interesting how you seems to have, if you look hard enough, an existing connection to everyone you meet (I even figured out the loose connection to Kevin Bacon).

The meeting began like all the others that I have written about in the past with a few words from the Party Chairman and the introduction of the presenter for the morning. However, only a few minutes into the former Governor, Senator, and Attorney General’s talk (yes, he held all of those positions in his career) you could tell that this candid conversation was much different from those for which we had previously been present. Maybe it was the fact that he is no longer active in politics (at least he no longer holds an official office) but it seemed to be much more than that.

With all that continues to swirl around Washington and the divide that seems to widen by the day among the voting public, having someone speak to the unity that is needed, unity in the pursuit of liberty and opportunity and the diversity of this country as a blessing rang a unique tone. Not because it is a goal and a message absent from the party but because it is coming from a man who has been the target of so many attacks from the opposition but remains true to the hope of a country which embraces freedom rather than the overburdened policies and legislation designed to limit opportunity and growth within each free individual.

Hearing those sentiments from John Ashcroft really made me wonder about how this party, my party, is viewed from the opposition and how wrong that pervasive opinion really is. I have seen the people and the actions of this party with my own eyes and know the inclusiveness that is woven into the ideals ad opportunities that we promote. However, I have seen the actions of individuals who do not embody these ideals, tarnish our work and our party. But we do not let that stop us, we continue to support individual liberty and responsibility as a means to unify all of us and open the doors of opportunity to improve the lives of everyone as well as our country as a whole because, in the end, this country does not belong to one party or another, it belongs to us all.

Instead of looking for answers, look for opportunity. Don’t rely solely on the words of others, seek the truth of the matter through your own efforts. And, like Attorney General Ashcroft, focus on what is right (or the letter of the law as the case may be) rather than what is popular. After all, the truths are self-evident if we just open our eyes and embrace the rights of freedom and liberty. The rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should not be negotiated or compromised or regulated by government. We, as a people, must be united in this continued devotion to ourselves, one another, and our country. And finally, remember that the opportunity to embrace our rights should not be ignored or else we begin chipping away at liberty.