I've been a soldier and a cop for 33 years. I was always the one who knew. Had all the answers. Preached patience, hard work, steadiness and perseverance. Was sought out for advice and opinion. Steady, certain, positive and loyal to my core.
I am a patriot of the first stripe. Always have been. My child followed my path in service to our country. Her husband still serves. My father-in-law has sacrificed his health and years of his life to the cause of freedom. We have laid the life a loved one on that altar. I have an uncle who was captured by the Nazis at the Battle of the Bulge. He came back weighing 100 pounds and never could speak of the horrors.
I am a father and a grandfather. I am a husband and a son. No one is perfect but I have done as well as I was capable. I must have done something right. My daughter is a constant source of fierce pride and she's raising my grandchildren to be intelligent, independent and resourceful Americans.
I have done all I was asked to do and more. Education, service, career, home, family. I pay my taxes, vote in every election, keep my cars registered (and insured) and pay my bills. I am, by any reasonable measuring stick, mainstream America.
I believed. Believed that Washington was populated by men and women of integrity at least. Even if we disagreed it was no more than a difference of degrees and that safeguarding The Republic was at the top of everyones list. I believed in a nation of laws. A place where individual liberties were inviolate.
How is it possible for my country to have alienated me? How is that the leaders of this country can have gone so far that this stalwart believer and defender has lost his faith?
I am uncertain about the future. For my grandchildren. For my very country.
Have I been wrong these many years? Is the Constitution no more than a piece of paper, a 'living document', changeable at the whim of the political class? Is it wrong for a free people to keep the fruits of their labors? Is it moral to allow your vote to be bought? Is that not negotiating for your own self aggrandizement and not for the good of the nation?
For the first time in my adult life I don't know what to do. Can this be brought back in a republican victory this November? Can the Tea Party movement prevail and bring back ethical government? Can and will the States fight the monstrosity that is the health care bill? If they do, can they win?
I don't know.
My opinion is that the bill is unconstitutional but what I think has no bearing on what happens. I think the Tea Party is a red eyed monster that will tear the democratic party to shreds but I may be wrong. Fox News is talking about 37 (or is it 38?) States on board with legal challenges but SCOTUS may not rule as I think they should.
Next up is immigration and cap and trade. A week ago I'd have said they're dead issues. Today I'm not so sure. I just saw a report about 1000 people calling for 'new paths' for citizenship. Not in DC but in Salt Lake City, Utah. Utah.
What I do know is this. I am as angry as I have ever been. I see everything that has happened over the last year as a direct assault on the future of my grandchildren. I see the coming attempts at liberty killing legislation as a challenge to my Americanism. I will not stand for it. I will watch the politicians and contribute my time and money to get those I deem worthy elected. I'll run myself if I must. I will exercise my Constitutionally protected freedoms at every turn. I will make my voice heard and I will force them to listen.
I am a Patriot of the first stripe. If I so choose I am the best friend you could ever have. Or the worst enemy. I am slow to forgive a mortal insult and I never forget.
The democrats have succeeded in what should have been impossible. They have alienated a defender and true believer.
Yet I remain a Patriot, a Defender, a Soldier. But now I have turned my sights toward the enemy I am only now truly perceiving. I will devote all that I have "My life, my fortune and my sacred honor" to defeating the architects of this travesty and to restoring The Republic.
No. In spite of my trepidation I refuse to despair. The glove has been thrown and the challenge laid bare. Take heart my friends. This is a long way from being over. It won't be easy or even safe but mark my words, it will get done.
There is a saying I love that is attributed to The Texas Rangers.
"You can't stop a man who knows he's right and just keeps on coming."
Keep The Faith my Brothers and Sisters. This fight is righteous and in the end we will be victorious. Never doubt that, not even for a second.
I've said before that I am an unashamed Christian man. My Faith sustains me in the dark hours. I saw this passage as I was perusing another site just this morning. Coincidence?
" O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth! Rise up, O Judge of the earth, Render recompense to the proud. How long shall the wicked, O LORD, How long shall the wicked exult? They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly; All who do wickedness vaunt themselves."
- Psalms 94:1-4
The Long Ride continues.