I have a confession to make: I haven’t always been a Republican.
It was my senior year in high school. The year was 1976. Jimmy Carter was running for President. Being the democrat I was raised, and the bleeding heart that cries at movies, I began to listen more closely to the political rhetoric.
I wrote my senior paper on Jimmy Carter who I intended to vote for in November, my first election. After graduation in the spring I began looking at the two political parties and found out my bent was far more along incentive and free enterprise and economic freedom than government subsidy and control.
As I worked at my dad’s grocery store with my eye on the future, I realized I didn’t share Carter’s belief system. I didn’t agree with his down in the mouth, pessimistic view of life.
The word of the day wasn’t even in my not very well-stocked vocabulary.
“Dial it down,” said Carter. Your speedometer and your thermostat. Put on a sweater and drive 55. Hunker down. Things will get worse before they get better.
The fall of 1976 in November I voted for Gerald Ford. I was now a Republican. But my philosophy wasn’t fully developed.
During the next 4 long years, I started searching for another way to look at life; inflation was rampant, the Cold War was raging, and everyone was looking for a change. Enter Ronald Reagan and his articulate presentation of a “creative society” and an economic philosophy and a value system I could embrace.
Getting involved my local district (District 8 – Washburn), I had mentors that came forward and helped shape what would become the conservative philosophy that has been with me for the past 40 years.
I’ve been a lot of places and done a lot of things in business and politics, I’ve always been guided by a solid foundation of conservative principles that I learned from my mentors.
As I’ve watched how quickly this country has fallen away from that way of life, I’m more convinced than ever that it matters what you believe and that you have the knowledge and the liberty to defend it!
The opportunities which have come my way are what I want to give my children and grandchildren — the freedom to start their own business, to choose an occupation which fulfills a dream and is the fruit of passion and desire. America was founded as a place where freedom affords a chance without the guarantee of success; a place where needs and problems are met with innovation and creative solutions.
There are no people as capable, as passionate and who are bold enough to stand up for what matters as my fellow Americans and especially those who hail from the highways and byways of North Dakota.
As many Republicans gather in Bismarck this weekend for the state convention. Review the platform, analyze the resolutions, challenge the candidates and vote your conviction.
I look forward to a weekend of camaraderie, healthy discussions and fun. What we are gathering to do is important and is good exercise for your God given rights and freedom.
Join with others who love what this country stands on!
You’re on solid ground.
Washburn, North Dakota