This time of year, a lot of people look back over the past twelve months and evaluate some of the big moments of their life. Where did things go wrong? Where did things go right? What could I have done better? What were some of the unexpected surprises along the way? I could spend some time with you today looking back at 2012 - it was an incredibly eventful year - but I don’t feel like looking back today. On this New Years Day, I want to look forward to the future.
In 2013, all of us are going to have to make a commitment to stand up for our principles. Politicians and liberal pundits are saying that the President and his progressive agenda were given a mandate in November. The White House wants to “increase revenue” (AKA raise taxes), but they don’t want to take a serious look at the root of the problem: out of control federal spending. But WE know these problems aren’t going to be solved in Washington D.C., but in individual homes across the country.
And do you want to know the good news? I’m an optimist. I know the American people still have the resolve, the grit, and the willingness to make the hard choices to get through the tough times that are headed our way. Sure the progressives are making their push, but it’s going to be the people who value freedom and liberty that will be the light in the darkness.
In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote:
THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.
These are the times that try men’s souls, and putting America back on the path of freedom may not be easy - but “the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
So in 2013, what do we need to do?
First, you need to make a commitment. It’s going to be harder than ever to stand for liberty, freedom and small government in 2013. You need to be prepared to stand up and stand firm for the things that you know to be true.
Second, we need to align ourselves with like-minded people who really believe in the principles of freedom. If you look to the Constitution as a guide, you’re likely to find some allies. Why can I sit down with an atheist like Penn Jillette and find common ground? Because we both believe in the same basic principles of freedom and liberty that were part of this country's founding. I guarantee you, there are more people in this country who want small government and personal responsibility than those who don’t - you just need to seek them out and find that common ground.
Third, we need to take back the culture. I said it earlier this year - conservatives have all but given up on culture. I’ve been working with my company on some exciting new plans for next year and beyond that will see us injecting new art, music, and entertainment into the cultural sphere. But I can’t do this alone. If you’re a creator or an artist, you need to be out there creating your art, filming your movie, singing your song. And if you’re not an artist, you can support and share the work of people who are putting their work out there.
Fourth, you need to prepare. I am an optimist, but I also know that with the way things are going in Washington, things could get worse before they get better. Please, take the simple steps that you can. Store some extra food and water around the house just in case there is a storm or a natural disaster. Have a go-bag ready. Make sure your family knows a meeting point where you can all regroup in an emergency. I’m not asking you to go crazy, I’m just asking for basic preparedness.
Finally, in 2013 I want you to be an example. Talk to your friends and family about the things that you believe and know to be true. I’m not telling you to dress up like George Washington and go to every single Tea Party rally in your area. I am telling you to engage people who may not agree with you in a cordial and civil way. I am telling you to give money to a charity or your church so that they can handle the problems we don’t want the government involved in. I am telling you embrace personal responsibility. Have honest conversations. As important as it is to ally yourself with like-minded individuals, the biggest challenge we will face in 2013 is waking up the people who have been brainwashed by the progressives on television, in music, and in the classrooms.
If we don’t show our neighbors, and more importantly our children, a better path, then it’s going to be harder to turn things around. But I believe that we can put this country on the right track, and I believe that in 2013 we will.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful 2013.