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Why I Love My Country

*The following was my opening monologue to start my internet radio show “Gillespie” airing Tuesdays at 7pm on FTRradio.com.  In case you miss the show I will be posting these here every Wednesday following the Tuesday show.*

Party of No. It’s a clever line, isn’t it? So clever, in fact, that I’m actually a tad jealous that I didn’t come up with it. But, sadly for my Democratic friends, it’s just as inaccurate as calling President Barack Obama a “centrist” or a “moderate”.

I’m proud of my party. I love the fact that my party was the original “Party of No” when it came to the issue of slavery. I love that my party worked across the aisle with Democrats in the Senate to pass the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, over the objections of many Democrats, such as Robert Byrd and Al Gore Senior.

I’m proud that two of the greatest presidents in American history were both Republicans, and both of them were crucial for the same reason: they each came along at a dire time for this nation that each loved so deeply. Both Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln were humble sons of the Midwest with dreams that carried them far beyond the fruited plains they walked as boys. They each had a deep abiding love for this country and for what it stood and both saw a unique role for themselves in righting grievous wrongs.

Ronald Reagan was elected at a time when this nation was in danger of becoming deeply divided. This was a man who had lead the state of California through it’s own dark times through the shear force of his optimism and love for the state which had given him everything. In the dark periods of the Watergate era and the mistrust generated by Richard Nixon, he again felt a calling to lead the nation he loved so deeply. The anger, divisiveness and mistrust that he witnessed on the campus of UC Berkeley he later saw repeated all over the nation. Just as he did as governor of California, his intense optimism and belief in what this nation stood for carried us out of the malaise gifted by Jimmy Carter into the era many remember as “Morning in America”.

You see, unlike our First Lady, I’ve always been proud of this country. I look around and I see all of the good that America is and it inspires me even more to help it to become the America we dream of. I don’t gaze around and see land that was stolen from Native Americans who were murdered; I see a country that people float to on pieces of Styrofoam with no food or water for days. I don’t look at the alleged millions of people killed by our imperialism, as our kooky left-wing friends claim constantly. I look at the millions who live in freedom today because America was their staunchest friend and ally. Ignoring the claims of the socialist fringe that capitalism has ruined our planet, I see the billions who have fuller and richer lives and greater opportunities because of it, and because of the one nation on Earth which has always been a beacon for capitalism and the freedom that accompanies it.

America is the nation that millions who were living under the dark cloud of Communism turned to for their hope and inspiration. America was also their model for the nation they wanted for their children when the Iron Curtain was finally ripped apart, thanks in no small part to President Reagan. America is the place where two poor sons of Illinois can grow up to become the greatest leaders of their generation.

My friends, it’s far too easy to choose to see every negative thing around us and use that as a platform to gain supporters. In fact, there is an entire political party dedicated to doing just that. And while I could certainly be accused of pointing a few fingers myself, I do so in the loving manner of one who deeply loves and respects just what it is that causes young men and women by the millions to willingly don a uniform and die.

Freedom and liberty have known no greater friend nor more secure home than the United States of America. Those nations which have joined us in that cause have never known a greater ally, and thousands of American men and women rest under foreign soil to prove that very point. When disaster strikes, it is The Red Cross (founded by American Clara Barton) which comes to the rescue.

That’s the America I know and love, a place where a simple Midwestern boy with no formal education beyond the burning desire for self-improvement can one day lead this nation in it’s darkest time. That this simple Midwestern boy was also a Republican reaffirms that it is my party which can be counted on during those times. I’m proud to be an American, and I’m also proud to be a Republican, in that order.

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