As an Irishman and outsider, I have always been both amazed and inspired by the American way of life. When you study history, it's impossible to deny the benefits America has had on the lives of millions around the world. If you want proof, simply research any section of society (travel, communication, medicine, standard of living, hobbies, lifestyle, agriculture, etc.) and how it advanced from 0AD to 1800AD. Now take the exact same section of society and look at how it advanced from 1800AD to 2018. Why did society advance more in those 218 years than the prior 1800 combined?
There are countless ways to answer this question, but the simple version is the idea of America and the principles your founders fought for and died for 242 years ago:
Man is meant to be [live] free and not controlled, government should be extremely limited in power, man has a God-given right to pursue their happiness and keep the fruits of their labor.
Those principles truly changed the world, but principles alone cannot change the world. America needed a glue to bind them all together to be successful and in America that glue is your people. I believe in the sentiments of Alexis de Tocqueville that "America is great because Americans are good".
I have been blessed to visit and speak with groups of people from New York to LA, from Chicago to Texas. Each state is unique, but there are common themes among your people. Americans are more open. You always have this amazing sense of optimism and a dream of future success, you have that drive of always striving for a better tomorrow, and maybe most impressive to me is your never give up attitude. I know very few Americans who would give up if you told them something was impossible. In fact, most Americans would use that as motivation to prove you wrong. It is for this reason alone that I believe America's tagline should be a simple one: Making the impossible possible since 1776.
The other key to America's success is how your people treat each other. You see this best in times of crisis. 9/11 was easily one of the worst days in American history – a day the world stopped and grieved with you. On 9/12, you showed the world the America I know exists – a day where politics and every difference was cast aside, a day when you were simply Americans and you sought to serve each other, love each other, and heal as a nation.
I got to witness this myself last year as I was in Texas after the horrific hurricane hit Houston and other areas. I heard countless stories of people going down to Houston with food, water, gas and others just going down to help and serve their fellow Americans. I even had the honor of speaking with a gentleman whose story I will never, ever forget. He was struggling for both money and full-time work, had no electricity in his own house, yet spent his last few dollars on filling drums of gas and going down to serve others. This is the America I know and love.
For the first time I am truly scared for your future...
America faces many problems today and in the future, but I firmly believe America has no problem your people cannot fix if you understand and follow your founding principles. That being said, for the first time I am truly scared for your future, because of what happened in your country last week and because of how some are starting to react to it. Please let me explain.
Rape / DC
I take rape (or attempted rape) very seriously. I think it is the worst thing you can do to somebody. I am actually rather extreme on this issue as I personally believe if you rape people, society should castrate you and also you should be put into a cell with no video or audio for 5 minutes with the survivor or a family member and let them do anything they want. I believe we need to send a message to society, that rape is never ever okay.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you are fully aware that there are serious allegations against your next SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. I watched every minute of the hearings last Thursday and it was truly nothing short of a national disgrace. Let me share three main reasons why:
If you share my sentiments that rape is really bad, you should be disgusted at how the Democrats have acted in this process. Through the testimony of Mrs. Ford last week we learned several things about the Democrats.
Democrats / Politics
We know they held on to this information for 45 days so it would have the biggest impact on the news and the nomination process. They could have shared this information with the GOP when they received it, investigated it privately and through proper channels and found a conclusion. Instead, some Senators like Dianne Feinstein met with Kavanaugh but did not discuss the allegations and get his response. The actions by the Democrats show they will use anything or anyone to get a potential political gain.
The second issue is the advice given to Mrs. Ford. She was advised to hire a lawyer (Feinstein even recommended some) and their advice was to get a polygraph which any lawyer should know is not admissible in court because they are not reliable. If they were really concerned with the truth and Mrs. Ford, they would have ensured she got the advice of sitting with a neutral investigator to tell her story un-interrupted and seek evidence that supports her case.
On top of this horrible advice are the constant calls for an FBI investigation. The FBI will not come to any conclusion about this case – they will simply provide he said / she said. If they truly cared about the truth and Mrs. Ford, they would give her the solution of ignoring the FBI and going right to the police in Maryland and making her allegation there. If she did, the police would have to investigate it. And, since Maryland has no statute of limitations, Brett Kavanaugh could be charged and if found guilty go to jail.
The last part of this disgrace was the questions from the Democrats to Brett Kavanaugh on the record. If you believe everything said about him, Kavanaugh is a despicable human who has raped women in the past, is evil and people will die if he sits on SCOTUS. You have him testifying in the Senate (under the threat of perjury) and what do you decide to ask him? Instead of focusing on the allegations and seeking the truth, you focus on everything from his drinking, to high school yearbooks, to his weak stomach, farting, and to why he won't join calls for an FBI investigation which will do nothing. I would call it a charade, but that would be insulting to charades.
There can be no denying the Democrats have acted in the most unprofessional and calculating way possible, while two people and their families are being destroyed by the court of public opinion. This is deeply troubling and is worrying about how low the Democratic Party will go to get power. My fear does not stop there. I am also extremely worried about how people will respond. I see two possible outcomes:
Anger / Vengeance
Firstly I can see people reacting in ways consistent with human nature and show emotions like anger and seek revenge. I can see people making the argument that if they don't play by the rules, why should we? You have already started to see this with comments from some on the right like:
- Jerry Falwell: "Conservatives & Christians need to stop electing 'nice guys'. They might make great Christian leaders but the US needs street fighters"
- Charlie Kirk: "The only way to thwart the sinister left is to punch back twice as hard".
- Lindsey Graham: "If this is the new norm, you better watch out for your nominees".
I totally understand this reaction and it is very human. It will not work. This will only lead to America being more divided and following the French Revolution principle of brotherhood. It makes the battle into us versus them and can only be truly ended when one side is totally defeated and hope the side that wins is good. We saw this in the French revolution with the guillotine – can you say who were the good and bad guys in the French Revolution?
America's Founding Principles
The second option is to double down and return to America's founders for an example. Your Declaration of Independence is the roadmap and shows you three ways to actually win:
Today in politics, both sides are great at telling you what they are against. Democrats hate Republicans, Republicans hate Democrats and the media. Everyone can tell you what they don't like – even a baby out of the womb will communicate if it's cold or hungry. America's founders were exceptional because before they listed their 27 grievances against the King, they told you exactly what they were for.
America's founders were exceptional because before they listed their 27 grievances against the King, they told you exactly what they were for.
The battle today is not us versus them, or republicans versus democrats. The same way the battle at your founding was not America versus Britain. If it was solely about beating Britain, you would have followed a similar path to Ireland. You would have defeated Britain, removed them from your country, and then taken a version of their laws. You are exceptional because you chartered a new course that no one else had ever taken. Today's battle, like at your founding, is so much bigger. The battle is liberty versus tyranny or the battle of the laws of nature versus the laws of man.
Lastly, your founders signed off on the amazing document by pledging to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Your founders did everything possible to act with honor and they started your journey towards being an exceptional nation. Honor has always been critical to your culture – it's why y'all have the saying "don't be a Benedict Arnold," which is used to this day. If you need real-life proof of this in action, there is a reason why MLK won and Malcolm X lost and why only one of those men has a national holiday named after them.
I know this path is not easy and plenty will dismiss it, but to finish up may I ask you some questions to reflect on?
- Are the actions of the Democrats bad? If they are, why would you follow them and act like them?
- Can principles be like trail mix? Can you pick and choose the times you use them? Or are principles eternal, and to be used regardless of the outcome?
- If everyone in America abandons your founding principles to win this battle, who will stand for them? How can they survive, if no one uses them?