I wanted to share with you the theme of the speech I delivered recently to the Parker County GOP Reagan Dinner in Ft. Worth Texas.
It was October 27th, 1964 when Ronald Reagan offered these words, “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”
Those words came from the speech which came to be known as the “Time for Choosing” address. I do find it remarkable and important to note Ronald Reagan never talked about the “fundamental transformation” of America — but rather a restoration of this Republic. His words, “Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp, as it is at this moment.”
Fast forward to today where find ourselves living in this fundamentally transformed Bizarro World of America.
But what is it that we must choose?
First, we must understand the conflicting definition of liberty, as articulated in a speech given some 100 years before Reagan’s on April 18, 1864 by another stellar American president, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln said, “The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name—liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names—liberty and tyranny.”
We must choose for ourselves whether or not we still believe that the individual is preeminent and sovereign in America. We must decide whether or not individuals have the right to do as they please with themselves and their earnings.
Or have we devolved into a sad state of existence where a group of others believe know what is best in determining — by way of collective subjugation and servitude — what they should do with ourselves and our earnings?
It is a time for choosing between the liberty as endowed to us by our Creator or the tyranny of man who seeks to be the grantor and taker of our liberties — the truest meaning of tyranny.
Along that line of thought, we must embrace the ideal of the pursuit of happiness, which is how we achieve our individual liberty. We must choose to reject the progressive socialist mantra of a government guarantee of happiness. As Benjamin Franklin is attributed with saying, “The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.”
When the individual is allowed to pursue his or her happiness and the policies are structured to enable that end, we have empowerment. Conversely, when the government believes it guarantees happiness and creates schemes and mandates in order to achieve its desired ends of social egalitarianism, you end up with enslavement.
The pursuit of happiness unleashes the indomitable American entrepreneurial spirit that built the incredible island upon which I sit, Manhattan, something accomplished in just 238 years. The guarantee of happiness restrains the will, determination, and drive resulting in a people who settle for the crumbs offered from a political elite.
We must choose from restoring the opportunity society and reinstating the economic and educational policies that enables every person born in America — or comes to America (front door preferred, folks) to climb to whatever levels of success and achievement they desire.
We are not a society of classes. There are income levels, but they are not prescribed ceilings or floors, there are stairs upon which one can climb, or sometimes descend. We all claim the need for a safety net, but government prefers to offer a hammock. We must choose an education system that develops the next generation of critical thinkers and productive members of our society — not robotic drones who have been advanced because of arbitrary standardized testing.
The last thing we need is for government to believe that it can be the architect of education structure where the goal is not better opportunity — but rather specified outcomes.
We need an economic plan that realizes that government does not “invest,” it spends. Individuals invest — in their own lives, the lives of their children, in their own future, and in creating businesses — opportunity — and from there comes ingenuity and innovation. Their reward should not be to use methods of legalized plunder to steal way their resources for the purpose of shared prosperity, economic fairness a fair share or any of the other trite, market-tested sound bites masking the policies of wealth redistribution.
For it always results is what Sir Winston Churchill who said, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Perhaps that’s why President Barack Obama has Churchill’s bust removed from the Oval Office — truth is powerful, and immutable.
It is a time for choosing whether we here in America want victors or victims — Winners or losers, champs or chumps? In every case I chose the former — what say you?
But most importantly, we must—and this is imperative – we must choose to retain our Judeo-Christian faith heritage and not be cast adrift as a secular humanist state with no soul, lacking a moral compass and spirit. There is a reason why we sing, “God bless America” — as opposed to that despicable rhetoric of Jeremiah Wright — and we don’t sing “government bless America.”
The drive towards a “separation of church and state” is nothing more than an attempt — a strong and determined one — to separate America from its faith heritage, not an establishment of religion.
Remember, our first unalienable right is life — all life matters, not just black lives as the media and political manipulators would have us believe. And that holds especially true for the smallest and least of us — the unborn who have become the sacrificial offerings of what has become a vile industry. In the West household we have chosen to serve the Lord God Almighty and our Savior Jesus Christ. And we have chosen life.
But more importantly, we must preserve our genetic code, the spirtitual lineage of Herman “Buck” and Elizabeth Thomas “Snooks” West and the legacy they created. We must accept that rendezvous with destiny — the destiny to ensure every subsequent generation has a better promise of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
What is your destiny?