Friday, July 2, 2010

Memories of the Fourth of July

Last Fourth of July reminded me of being at a barbecue at my uncle's house in 1980. It was the final year of the Jimmy Carter years and my first real recollection of having a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach about the state of my country. I was 16 going on 17 at the time. Charlie Daniels had a song out, America. I had been headed toward conservatism in the years leading up to this time, but I mark this song as the first time I officially considered myself "a patriot no matter what."

I still get chills when I listen to the song, especially now that it captures the same feeling today during the Obama years as it did during the Carter years. My country is a strong and proud nation. It has done great things. It has survived the Civil War, Pearl Harbor and WW II, the Cold War and 9/11. It has also come through some rough political times as well such as the late 1960's, the late 1970's and now the late 2000's. We have this uncanny ability to fall asleep at the wheel yet wake up just in time to keep the car from crashing into the guard rail. I know we can do it again.

In 1980, I shot my fireworks off at make believe Soviet divisions in Afghanistan. And despite my disgust at the Carter administration, I believed in the American people. I believed we would get the bum out of office. And we did. Five years later, it was morning in America. I graduated college and went wide-eyed into a world with unlimited potential. The economy was cranking, the job market was great and we were militarily strong. The Soviet Union was on the brink of collapse. What happened to that? Where did that go?

I cry about now, but  I know we have it in us to make it that way again.

In 1986, I was outside with friends shooting off fireworks. I had to go to the bathroom so I went in my house. Ronald Reagan just started giving his "Statue of Liberty" speech. I sat with my parents for entire speech, hiding the tears that started streaming down my cheeks as I beamed with pride and joy over my great nation and the great man who now led it. All was well with the world. God that felt great.

The Fourth of July following 9/11 was a defiant one. I was on my in-law's at the time boat and we were on the lake as the fireworks display started. I felt good because I knew we were taking action in Afghanistan and that George W. Bush had America's back. I knew we would not falter and we would not fail. I still felt good about America. I was not a Bill Clinton fan by far, but I thanked my lucky stars that he listened to Newt Gingrich and signed off on the Contract For America.

Last year was the roughest Fourth of Julys I can ever remember.  I had my Palin shirt, my Gadsden flag and a cooler full of cold beer and good food all ready. Even though it was the beginning of the Obama years, I wasn't going to let his America - a lackluster apologetic weak excuse of a nation - interfere with my celebration of my America - the shining city on a hill. It was going to be my way of declaring Sarah Palin as my real leader and the successor in my heart to Ronald Reagan. I was at Virginia Beach when a friend of mine called me on the beach to tell me that Sarah Palin had resigned.

When I went up to the deck, Stuart Varney replayed Sarah Palin's speech on Fox News. I watched stunned as the pundits talked about a possible FBI investigation and how the frivolous ethics violations had cost her and the state of Alaska a fortune. I was alone in the wilderness. Obama was leading my country off a cliff and my leader just stepped down from her position of power. I felt like I wanted to throw up.

There was a 5 minute period during the entire time I was at my friend's condo when his son was not on the laptop, so I read everything I could about her resignation the next morning which was July 4, 2009.

Sarah Palin called her minions in off the ledge with a tweet (link no longer available - emphasis is mine): "Critics are spinning, so hang in there as they feed false info on the right decision made as I enter last yr in office to not run again...." On her Facebook page, she wrote (emphasis is again mine):
I am now looking ahead and how we can advance this country together with our values of less government intervention, greater energy independence, stronger national security, and much-needed fiscal restraint. I hope you will join me. Now is the time to rebuild and help our nation achieve greatness!
She put her resignation speech on her Facebook page underneath the headline which included these words: "it is good, stay tuned." I read the speech and this line jumped out at me (emphasis not mine - Sarah capitalized the word TRUST):
I do not want to disappoint anyone with my decision; all I can ask is that you TRUST me with this decision - but it's no more "politics as usual".
I'm a political science guy who was taught from the textbook in college. It would have been easy to draw a conclusion that she was done. A friend told me it was her "Checkers" speech. It would have been just as easy to get off the emotional rollercoaster of being a Sarah Palin fan at that point. But she said the right words when she was talking to her fans. She was talking to us. She was talking to me. She was asking me to hang in, join her, TRUST her. And like I did before when the media lies were going un-debunked before the Palinista presence we have on the web today, I decided to listen to her.

I wrote:
Take a deep breath. There are 3 1/2 years left until the 2012 presidential election. A lot can happen. Sarah Palin holds the answer. Whether it works or not is totally up to her now. With more freedom to control her brand, her future will no longer be in the hands of an unchecked hostile media that spreads lies about her.

We will be participants in a future political science lesson that has yet to reveal its answer to us.
I deferred the future to Sarah, knowing that the only way to explain the resignation could not be done until after the fact. Now that it is after the fact, I can explain it. I also know that I was right to trust her.

I put on my Sarah Palin shirt last Fourth of July and flew that Gadsden flag that day. When someone commented on my shirt "looks like your girl's in trouble," I hid my concern and simply told him, "nah, she's just getting ready to run in 2012."

Now that the emotion and the uncertainty of last year's Fourth of July is over. Let's do this again right this time. I'm wearing the shirt again this year and this time I'm really going to enjoy it.

It's a year since Sarah resigned. Since then she has made over $12 million dollars and her PAC has donated tens of thousands to political campaigns across the country. She is a best selling author, Fox News contributor, professional speaker and a documentarian. Did I mention she's in the top tier of contenders for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012? Resignation, smesignation.

In 2010, I will shoot off my fireworks off at make believe Taliban and al Qaeda strongholds in Afghanistan. And despite my disgust at the Obama administration, I believe in the American people. I believe we will get the bum out of office. Five years from now, it will be morning in America. And kid's who weren't alive when Reagan was president will be able to graduate college and go wide-eyed into a world with unlimited potential. The economy will be cranking, the job market will be great and we will be militarily strong. The terrorists will be on the brink of collapse.

It will be morning in America again. Sarah Palin will give her "Statue of Liberty" speech and we will beam with pride and joy over our great nation and the great woman who will be leading it.

-cross posted from Liberty's Lamp

UPDATE: Special thanks to Conservatives4Palin.com for the link.

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