Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

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Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ten Years of Conservative Activism in 700 Words or Less - PhillyBurbs.com

     I first became aware of politics a few weeks after 9/11 when I, like everyone else, observed several political leaders putting politics ahead of national security.  I found that to be counterintuitive to my view of human nature so I got involved in our local Republican Party seeking answers. 
     After 10+ years of high-intensity study I’ve concluded that the reason why some put politics first is because some, well, put politics first.  I used to consider politics and leadership synonymous, but now know better.  My instinct is for small government and free markets thereby making me, by definition, a Conservative.
     I found myself getting pretty worked up over the re-election of the current President when it occurred to me that I wasn’t being very Conservative by getting worked up over politics.  I was letting the inherently insidious nature of politics get the better of me until I awoke on Wednesday morning to a new day as a re-born Conservative.
     No longer would politics rule the day as I recommitted myself to unlimited success regardless of conditions.  As the positive vibes circulated about, a renewed sense of purpose shifted into gear.
     It’s clear that we’re a divided nation.  There are those who can be counted on when desperately needed and there’s the other half who’s more concerned with politics over reality.  A friend just sent me a picture of a rally where everyone was saluting Hitler except for one guy.  He was circled with a caption that read, “Be that guy.”. 
     The division, then, is founded in there not being enough of “those guys” currently in America anymore.  Decreasing numbers of people like that guy has remarkably predictable results.  Our failure, then, is in failing to define who we are as Americans.
     I often cringe when I think to my pre-Marine Corps days.  My friends tell me that I’m being overly harsh on myself and that I was a completely normal teenager.  Maybe, then, today’s “normal” is the problem.
     How did I overcome this handicap?  Looking back I’d say that I was pretty average, but with enormous goals.  There was something, though, that I was missing that was necessary for achievement.
     My extreme failure as a collegiate wrestler was the catalyst for overcoming my ailment.  I compared my performance with that of my world-class peers and concluded that the consistent theme of their success was character and integrity.  So there was my answer.  The next stop was Marine Corps Officer Candidate School.
     OCS was a whirlwind of entry into military life when the first eye-opener happened a few weeks into it.  One of my fellow Candidates was dropped for what I thought was a minor integrity violation.  Many of us were already well-versed in integrity before entering the Marines while others had to be taught its value.  Those that didn’t pick it up fast enough didn’t last long - 60% eventually went home.
     The next moment of awakening was a cold day on the Marine Corps Birthday of 1986.  Seemed like any other day until a ceremony ensued like none other.  The grounds seemed to come alive with those who came before us nodding in approval of what we were becoming.
     Serving our nation isn’t required to have this same sense of dedication.  A few thanked me on Veterans’ Day (a few days ago) for my service, but it was I thanking them for I gained more than I gave and am very grateful for the honor.  Hopefully I can keep giving back until I at least break even one day.
     The training continued in various forms for another year until one of my defining moments happened.  One of my Marines got into trouble and all I did in his Court Martial was focus on what he did correctly during his service.
     I remember the other Officers looking at me like I had two heads and then returning to my unit with everyone looking up from what they were doing and then getting right back to work.  Word travels fast, I guess.  I was just being honest, but had uncovered the number one leadership trait which is to go to bat for someone when they’re in trouble. 
     On his final day before being dishonorably discharged he said to me, “Sir, I did it and you were the first person who ever stood up for me in my entire life.”.
     It’s now time for us all to stand up to the best of our ability and available time and rededicate ourselves to being “that guy”.  To separate politics from reality and ensure that others don’t confuse freedom of speech for freedom from thought. 
     Thank you for hanging out with me and best wishes leading by example with the same quiet dignity and purpose as those of days past who are counting on us as much as those yet to come (where I believe our finest moments lay). 

    

 

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