Thomas Paine

Video: Principles and patriots

The text was posted earlier but for those who couldn't be there, here's the video of an inspiring speech...Tom Reynolds, Vice Chair, Town of Newfield and Vice Chair, Tompkins County Republicans, at the 2011 Tompkins County Republican dinner on September 30th:

Principles - from Paine to Reagan

A speech given at the Tompkins County Republican Dinner honoring veterans, September 30, 2011, by Tom Reynolds:

Many years ago, I came home from work and there was a letter on the table.  It started, “Greetings from the President of the United States.”  I had been drafted.  So I did what millions had done before and after me—I shook hands with my dad and took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.  Not just the parts of the Constitution that I liked—but the whole thing. We Republicans believe in the Constitution as it was written, not as Eric Holder thinks it should have been written.

After I got out of the army, I got married, started a family and began a career.  But while I was minding my own business, a movement was taking hold of America; call it what you will—socialism—liberalism—statism. At their core, they’re all about government controlling our lives.  

Republicans believe we should control our lives.  

Republicans believe the Constitution was written to limit government, not empower it.  

During the 60’s and 70’s, liberalism captured our media.  But in 1980, a strong voice echoed across America.  A voice that said capitalism, the free market, the private property ownership system worked.  That America was a shining city on a hill and the last best hope of mankind.    

And we rallied to that voice.  Liberalism may have captured the media, but it hadn’t captured our hearts and minds.  

But of course, the media dismissed Ronald Reagan as a crazy cowboy from California.

And when Reagan applied his economic wisdom to foreign affairs and said the Soviet Union was condemned to the ash heap of history and that it was an evil empire, liberals gasped and said, “he can’t say that!” 

But the people enslaved behind the Soviet Union said, “yes!

We Republicans know that liberalism will fail.  It failed in the Soviet Union—try finding it on a map today.  And remember, USSR stood for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Communist China couldn’t feed its own people until they let capitalism in and now they’re a world economic power.

And I’m sure I don’t have to remind you what a success European liberalism has been. 

Liberals criticize Reagan because—in his era—the rich got richer.  Well, so did most other people.  But in the Obama era, the poor got poorer, as well as the rest of us.  

Obama has made the federal budget a gigantic Ponzi scheme, where he borrows more money to pay back the money he owes.  Frankly, Ponzi was a piker.  We need to rename them as “Obama schemes”.   

One thing we Republicans know that liberals have not yet learned: eventually someone has to pay for everything.

Almost 100 years ago, my maternal grandparents came over ‘on the boat.’  Probably everyone in this room can trace their ancestors back to immigrants.  Think of their courage; they left their families, their homes, their churches and any support system that existed…in many cases, to never see them again.  

But they came.  Not because there was a social services network to greet them. But for the chance for a better life.  And they achieved that life by going to work—by getting a job.  

Republicans believe in jobs, not a lifetime on social services.  Jobs give us dignity.  Jobs increase our self worth.  Jobs contribute to society.  Welfare begets welfare.  We believe in helping our neighbors, but not in a welfare state that condemns people to being slaves of the bureaucracy.  

Jobs are what we Republicans are about!  

And, I might add, my grandparents were legal immigrants.

During the depths of the American revolution, Thomas Paine wrote, “the sunshine soldier and the summer patriot will, in this crises, shrink from the service of his country; but he who stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

We are in crisis!  Liberalism has spread throughout our government and threatens to bring down the very foundations that made us—without apology—the greatest nation in history.  Will we be sunshine soldiers and let liberalism’s false idols destroy all we hold dear?   We must rise to the moment and take back our nation—town by town, county by county and state by state. 

And in 2012—Barack Obama—we’re comin’ for you. 

Paine asked people for their blood. We ask for your time, your sweat, your energy—and yes—your money.  We all know that it takes donations to win elections.  

But we are a party resurgent, even in Tompkins County.  Why, we even have a Republican running for the mayor of Ithaca.  This is our time and our moment.  We must succeed or our nation will endure more years of darkness.

Before we meet, Republicans say the pledge of allegiance.  Its words have meaning and we unashamedly say, “under God.”  But we should not forget the next word—“indivisible.”  We Republicans believe in a United States.  Our opponents seek power by dividing our nation.  Not just class warfare based on wealth, but by dividing us between the ruling class in government and “we the people.”  

Republicans believe in uniting, not dividing, and that “we the people” govern our nation.

Tonight, we honor those that have served our nation, for without their sacrifices, we would not be here.  Over the years, I’ve heard many words of praise for veterans, but my favorite was said by—who else?—Ronald Reagan.     

Reagan spoke on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, at a place called Pointe du Hoc on the Normandy coast.  Pointe du Hoc is a cliff and on D-Day, US Army Rangers scaled that cliff under murderous fire.  They took great casualties, but they took that cliff and the liberation of Europe had begun.  

In front of Reagan were the living survivors of those Rangers, their families, friends and others.  In his simple but elegant way, Reagan praised them and by extension, all the many victories for freedom that America has led.

Reagan said, “Behind me is a monument that symbolizes the daggers thrust into the top of the cliff by the Army Rangers.  And in front of me are the men who put them there.”

Inspired by the words of Paine and Reagan, the deeds of the veterans in front of us and guided by the principles of our party—the principles that made America great—we must leave here tonight revitalized and reenergized.  Not just for the tasks of the next month but for the years ahead.  

With your dedication, the liberation of America has begun.  

Let's just do it!

Thank you and may God continue to bless the United States of America.  

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