So who am I, and what are my qualifications to address you, my fellow citizens? My qualifications are, in fact, only one: I am nothing more, nor less, than one of THE PEOPLE of this great nation. I hold no office – other than those of husband, father, grandfather – nor do I hold any advanced academic degrees. I am simply an Architect/Master Builder.
However, I do hold – and share with you – the only legitimate power upon which this (or any other) nation, and its government, can ever rest: the power represented by the will of THE PEOPLE. And who was Thomas Paine before he wrote Common Sense? Just a common citizen who published his thoughts….
It will remain for you, as an individual, and as a citizen, to determine whether or not I have spoken here for you and what you hold dear. I believe I do. It will not be necessary, however, that you or I convince any of those who disagree with us.
Those who “have ears to hear” and “eyes to see” will – as they always have – recognize and embrace the truth. Those who have an agenda, or whose party affiliation trumps both truth and reason, will not. Those who, because of pride, cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that they have been misled, will not. There are, sadly, always those who can behold the sun at noonday, and deny that they are seeing it. In the end, they deceive – and punish – only themselves….These are those for whom we have been admonished to pray – and we shall.
We, meanwhile, who have embraced the truth of the inspired system of government created by our founders, can find great joy in sharing our understanding (and joy!) with others. Let us “be about [our] Father’s business”!
“They [the principles of freedom (contained in the Constitu-tion)] should be the creed of our political faith – the text of civil instruction – the touchstone by which to try the service of those we trust [to represent us]; and should we wander from them in moments of error or alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.”
Thomas Jefferson – from his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801
“The principles of Jefferson are the definitions and axioms of free society. And yet they are denied, and evaded, with no small [degree] of success….Soberly, it is now no child’s play to save the principles of Jefferson from total overthrow in this nation.”
Abraham Lincoln – April 6, 1859 – Collected Works 3:375