It was a true honor and pleasure to speak this past weekend at General Tommy Franks’ Four Star Leadership seminar dinner and the Western Conservative Summit in Denver. Of course there is one question that continues to be asked, “will you run for president?” Well, I must be honest, I really don’t miss the arena of lies, deceit, and incompetence known as American politics. So let me share some thoughts.
I sat back and watched the horrific treatment of Herman Cain in the 2012 election cycle when it seemed he was a viable threat to the political status quo. The attacks, lies, and accusations that were levied against him were harmful. But it’s a funny thing, as soon as he dropped out, you heard nothing else. Or we can go back and review the “high tech lynching” of Justice Clarence Thomas and how that played out on the public stage. I weathered my own personal attacks 2012, including a TV ad of me with a gold tooth punching white women — and folks thought it was funny.
Politics in America has become the playground of those who will use personal attacks in lieu of serious debate on issues, policy, and solutions. Just look at the hate-filled ads against Mitt Romney.
And what is amazing is that rules, morals, and values are selectively applied in certain cases and dismissed in others — revealing the insidious game of political hypocrisy. Nothing has to be true, just said, and a ravenous media will take it and run countless stories within the news cycle. Why? Because sensationalism sells, not informative journalism and certainly not truth.
I know I have a target on my back because of the actions of my own state of Florida GOP members in the House and Senate who drew me out of the congressional district I represented — and the voter fraud, which occurred in St Lucie County. Even more telling was that no one in state leadership sought to investigate what many on the ground knew was questionable — to include the County Election Supervisor herself. So what’s next? How much more will the forces in politics levy against a simple soldier who served?
When I respond to people that I am praying about running and speaking with my family, these are just some of the considerations. Truth be told, I’m enjoying scouring the news to share my insights and perspectives. It doesn’t matter if I run for office if we don’t have an informed electorate. And I’m well aware there are some who gleefully await the opportunity to impugn my character and reputation – again. Remember in the movie “Gladiator” when Maximus was told “they have to kill your name before they kill you?” That’s the current environment.
When I sit and look at what America settled for as a president — whom many still defend — it deeply concerns me. In fact, it sometimes brings tears to my eyes. It reflects an America that is lost, and I wonder how far must we fall before we stop playing games and furthering the politics of character assassination?
My life has never been about “me” – it has been about serving my nation, and as I said on Fox News to Brian Kilmeade after ending the election challenge, I don’t need a title to lead. The movie “Braveheart” has a great line: “men don’t follow titles, they follow courage.” And so I will continue to be a statesman, a servant to this Constitutional Republic. Having the title of president would be an immense honor, but is it necessary for me in my life or my service to America?
Does it mean I will NEVER consider it? Nope, but I have to be honest with you all and ask, who among you would want to endure the attacks from those of lesser character? I fully believe in the words of Isaiah 54:17 and am always wearing that “full armor of God” as articulated in Ephesians Chapter 6.
Sadly, this business is ugly, nasty, and my country suffers as a result. I will press on despite the barrage of attacks. I am not deterred in my love of God and country — and service to every one of you.
My story has not yet been fully written and it is certainly not in the hands of those who seek to denigrate, defeat, and disrespect me, my family and my reputation.
So that’s where I am today. I am truly having a blast in this role as a “voice crying out in the wilderness.” If I can serve to better educate and inform the American electorate in order to preserve this Constitutional Republic, well, that is a reward in itself.