Report From The Ground: North Carolina
Last week, I had the opportunity to join 50 other young conservatives in North Carolina to promote economic freedom with Americans for Prosperity and Generation Joshua.
Our main goal was encouraging North Carolina voters who agree with us on issues of economic freedom -- Obamacare, carbon tax, etc. -- to get out to the polls on November 4th and vote against Senator Kay Hagan. Sen. Hagan's support of Obamacare has caused the health care plans of 473,000 North Carolina residents to be canceled. She also supports a carbon tax, which increases most prices across the board, from gasoline to groceries -- and refused to support a measure off-setting the carbon tax increase with a decrease in other taxes.
Senator Hagan is out of touch with North Carolina, and the voters know it. Thom Tillis, the Republican candidate, is closing the gap in the polls. If the momentum stays on his side, Kay Hagan won't be voting for President Obama's failed policies very much longer.
Stop It With The Expectations Already!
Guest post by Amy Buchmeyer
The problems facing our nation go beyond one generation. For years as a young person involved in politics, I have received commendation from adults willing to say their generation “messed it up” but mine must “take back the country.” They tell me I am an inspiration and that because they have failed in their duty to preserve my future, I must do my best. My generation must right their wrongs. Readily adults of all ages confess their neglect to stand in the breach and inform me that the only hope rests in me…and my generation.
Over this past weekend I have seen adults idolize the young volunteers who work with me. They are the future. The true freedom fighters. The hope of an entire nation. While I fiercely admire the young people who take time out of their busy schedules to volunteer with Americans For Prosperity, I have come to realize such lauding and expectation do more harm than good for everyone involved.
I volunteered for my first campaign at the age of 9 in 2002. Throughout high school, I campaigned for various candidates, often mobilized by Generation Joshua to key races throughout the nation. I saw the difference young people made. Family friends and total strangers praised my efforts to “save” America (whatever that really means). They extolled my generation. We would fix their mistakes. Like my young volunteers now, my friends and I breathed in the air of expectation as the world around us crumbled.
In reality, all the commendation in the world means nothing when adults, that “generation that messed up,” continue to do nothing. When apologies become excuses for apathy, the problem worsens. I volunteered for my first campaign 12 years ago. Over those years I grew from 9 years old to 21. From a girl to an adult. While happy to praise a teenager’s efforts to save her future, what legacy have those apologizing adults left me?
In 2002, the national debt totaled $6,228,235,965,597.16. Roughly 6 trillion dollars. It now stands at $17,770,123,176,000 with the expectation of reaching 21.0 trillion dollars by the end of the fiscal year.
In 2002, gas cost $1.34 a gallon. In 2014, around $3.67.
Since 2002, over 12,982,740 babies were aborted.
ObamaCare. Must I say more?
Most recently during those 12 years, Americans have allowed an American ambassador in Libya to be murdered without anyone truly being held responsible. They have allowed the IRS to target groups based on their political affiliation. They paid attention too late to save the veterans forced to go without the healthcare promised them. Americans have allowed the sacrifices of hundreds of brave men and women in the Middle East to go to waste as a terrorist organization wreaks havoc on all we stand for.
While praising my generation as saviors and apologizing for their own failures, adults have allowed the government to devastate our futures. What a hoax.
Yet more than our futures fall prey to praise without action. What my young volunteers cannot understand as they stand in their moment of expectation is the extreme pressure to get it right. It is a glorious thing to be praised, but not to feel like everything depends on you. When adults tell young people the future of the nation rests on their shoulders, they burden a single generation with the mistakes of generations. What good is an interest in physics or a talent for drawing when everyone expects you to save the nation? Time and time again I have seen my peers entirely drop out of political circles partially because there is no balance between total commitment to politics and participation in outside pursuits. In fact, I would say there cannot be as long as adults expect you to run for president in 20 years. Not every teenager with an opinion on political issues and a desire to make a difference plans on becoming leader of the free world someday! Such a presumption, though often well-meaning, is condescending and shows little understanding or value for something that ought to engage the interest of every American, not just a ‘nerdy few.’
What goes on in Washington or Madison or wherever your capital may be affects everyone. Doctors, entrepreneurs, burger flippers, and movie actresses. Young and old. Those who can vote, and those who cannot. Putting the pressure on one generation to change the course of a nation not only unfairly burdens those individuals, it neglects the full scope of the problem. All generations must stand firm to make a difference. It is not enough to vote. Older generations must model for younger ones what true civic involvement means. Yes, young people represent the future in that they will someday be old people. That does not mean they should deal with all of America’s problems in the future. Following in their parents footsteps, there is no reason to believe they will act any different from previous generations.
When adults keep kicking the can down the street, they model a behavior for the next generation. Be inspired all you like by a few young people getting involved: they represent a minority. They will continue to represent a minority until the majority of Americans of all ages realize the direction of the country depends on them now, in the present, not some misty future.
Besides continual neglect disguised with apologies and undue pressure to ‘save the nation,’ adults offer one more disservice to teenage activist. They reinforce cultural expectations with their over-the-top praise. Yes, it is wonderful when a teenager shows interest, but what makes their involvement so unusual? Must we celebrate, cajole, and comment every time someone under the age of 50 realizes adults let the government mess up their future? Culturally, young people get treated like children! Young people have the ability to accomplish incredible things. They have energy, enthusiasm, and understanding. Why do we assume the ability to vote magically represents the ability to engage? Don’t expect less out of young people because they cannot participate in a small portion of civic involvement. Instead, encourage those young people around you to discover their potential to directly affect the civic process. Be mentors, be leaders, and be fans, but don’t tell these kids the world revolves around them because they have an opinion and want to make a difference. Similarity, don’t allow other teenagers off the hook. As citizens, they too must play a role in America’s future.
So stop apologizing! Maybe even stop praising. Get involved. Apathy kills a nation. Somewhere in this country another 9 year old girl is discovering a passion for grassroots involvement. What will your legacy look like for her? Will the next 12 years witness more complaints and inaction, or will you take a stand for her future? For her present? I am indignant. You should be too. Stop exploiting a generation with your false expectations and inaction and recognize that you must make the difference. That is what I ask of you.
Once again, I find Patrick Henry beautifully expresses what I hope to pass on in his speech “The War Inevitable”:
“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”
Originally posted by Amy Buchmeyer on 9/1/14 at fernwehscall.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/stop-it-with-the-expectations-already. Used with permission.
The recent Supreme Court decision not to review cases from the Court of Appeals has made homosexual marriage legal in over 30 states. It is unbelievable that only 11 years ago many states banned the homosexual lifestyle Now many of those same states have been forced to accept homosexual marriage.
Freedom's Defenders has opposed Homosexual marriage for the simple reason that God designed marriage to be one man for one woman for life. Even without this biblical reason, it is illogical to accept homosexual marriage so fast. Firstly, no one is being discriminated against by leaving the law as it is. Non-homosexuals can no more marry someone of the same sex than a homosexual can.
One may argue that this is similar to the bans on inter-racial marriage. This is very different from the bans on inter-racial marriage. The definition of marriage was not altered by lifting those bans. The definition was still one man for one woman. We are discussing not just lifting a ban based upon something like skin color, we are discussing changing the definition of a marriage itself. The Supreme Court of Minnesota affirmed this in their 19721 decision Baker vs. Nelson; "Loving does indicate that not all state restrictions upon the right to marry are beyond reach of the Fourteenth Amendment. But in commonsense and in a constitutional sense, there is a clear distinction between a marital restriction based merely upon race and one based upon the fundamental difference in sex."
Unfortunately only four circuit courts are left to rule on this matter: 5th, 6th, 8th, and 11th. Several States within these circuits have appeals pending. We will see what the future holds regarding the definition of marriage.
Same-Sex Marriage is Not Like Interracial Marriage - Family Research Council
Judge Strikes Down Utah Traditional Marriage Laws, Calls Them 'Irrational' - Family Research Council
What's the end goal?
"I'm seriously considering voting for [insert name of Democratic candidate here] because we need to teach [insert name of Republican candidate here] a lesson."
If you're not voting for a Republican because they don't line up with your values, how can you justify voting for a Democrat, who will be more liberal than the Republican 99% of the time? Even if you do find a Democratic candidate who happens to be slightly less liberal then the Republican in the race, voting for the Democrat is supporting the Democratic platform, which is simply unacceptable.
The statement at in the opening of this post is one I've heard echoed many times among the conservative grassroots. I understand their frustration. However, this mindset assumes the end goal is a better Republican party. They seek to "teach the GOP a lesson" by voting Democrat. However, a conservative GOP will not fix our problems. The Republican party cannot save our nation. A principled, conservative Republican Party is simply a means to the end, a tool. The end goal is returning our nation to our founding principles and faith in God, which is the only way America can truly be restored. If voting for the lesser of two evils is unacceptable, certainly voting for the worse of two evils must be far more unacceptable.
Am I saying that we need to abandon the effort of building a conservative Republican party? No! I've actively engaged in this fight and will continue to do so. However, electing Democrats is not the way to save America. To once again become "one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all", we must turn to Jesus Christ, the only One who can can truly restore America.
Stay focused, remember the end goal, and pray for our nation.
Note: I put principle before party. Sometime, somewhere, I suppose it's possible that I may end up in a position where I have a choice between a stellar conservative candidate who is a Democrat, while the Republican candidate is liberal through and through. In that case, I would probably vote for the conservative who happens to be a Democrat. However, such cases are extremely rare.
This post was written by Peter B, and is also posted on his blog at www.peterformichigan.com/2014/08/30/end-goal.
Two Years Ago...
Two years ago, to the minute, I was sitting at the computer, searching through Senate races and state information, making last minute website design changes, and checking up with my friends, Faith in Indiana and Amber in Michigan, to make sure there weren't any additional last-minute items that needed to be accomplished.
The occasion that kept three young Americans up for hours the night of October 5, 2012? The launch of www.FreedomsDefenders.com -- and the launch of a mission.
Three teenagers wanted to make a difference. We had all gotten a start -- in fact, just seven far-too-short hours after I finally made it to bed around 1am, I would be getting up and heading to the Republican Victory Center for a 12 hour day of phonebanking for the GOP ticket, as would Amber. All three of us spent all the time we could volunteering for conservative candidates.
But we wanted to do something more unique -- something with a bigger potential. And so, after much brainstorming, Freedom's Defenders was born.
We wanted to encourage fellow conservatives to not only vote for candidates who lined up with their values, but become more involved by asking their friends and family to vote as well and volunteering for conservative campaigns.
We've learned a lot along the way. We learned to reach more concerned Americans through social media. We learned a lot about conservative leaders across the country. And we learned that we could indeed help to make a difference.
Since then, we lent support to the successful battle to pass Right to Work in Michigan. We've helped in the fight to stop the United Nations agenda in the UN "Disabilities treaty", the CRPD. We're standing for life, and we're standing with Israel. And with an election once again upon us, we're supporting principled, conservative candidates for offices from United States Senate to State Representative.
Thank you for being a part of this journey. We've learned a lot. Our methods have changed quite a bit. Our website has changed -- a lot. We've expanded and added new team members.
But our mission hasn't changed.
We're still a group of young people who believe that as Americans it is our job to defend our freedom through the rights provided to us by the Constitution of the United States of America. One way that we continue to seek to accomplish that is by giving others a way to learn about and help candidates that we believe line up with our Christian values. Another way we can seek to our freedoms is through informing and engaging other citizens so that they, as constituents, can influence their elected officials to vote in a way that protects their faith, families, and freedom.
Stand Strong (Ephesians 6:13)
Peter B. and the Freedom's Defenders Team
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, gave a passionate speech against militant Islam and in defense of Israel before the U.N. General Assembly on September 29. Amidst all the lies and deceptions that the UN often serves as a vehicle to spread, Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech was 35 minutes of truth for an assembly that desperately needs to hear it -- but more importantly, understand and act on it.
Here are a few portions of Netanyahu's speech:
"I come here from Jerusalem to speak on behalf of my people, the people of Israel. I've come here to speak about the dangers we face and about the opportunities we see. I've come here to expose the brazen lies spoken from this very podium against my country and against the brave soldiers who defend it. Ladies and Gentlemen, The people of Israel pray for peace. But our hopes and the world's hope for peace are in danger. Because everywhere we look, militant Islam is on the march. It's not militants. It's nt Islam. It's militant Islam.