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A New Freedomism: Reflections on the Upcoming Presidential Campaign

5/7/2004 - 6:00 AM PST

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© Third Millennium, LLC
Keith A Fournier


I write this article at a time when I pray that we will soon see the end of the hostilities in Iraq.

It is Sunday morning and I, like so many others, prayed this morning for a quick end to the war and the safe return of our brave troops.

I prayed for our President, who is a good man, and for all those in authority. I prayed for all those who are suffering, including all the innocent victims of war. I prayed for our Nation on the eve of a Presidential cycle.

I also reflected on my own personal “political history.”

Raised in a blue collar Catholic home, I identified most of my life with the party in America that Calls itself “Democrat”. Yet, ironically it was a Republican Presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan, whose message on the campaign trail and exercise of leadership in Office impressed me into a life of serious political participation.

I simply do not believe that politics is about parties but rather about ideas…and about true leadership.

Before we know it, the Presidential race will quickly be upon us! I am deeply interested in politics. I write this article as a citizen who seeks to expand the great promise of freedom.

Campaign 2004

There is little doubt that our current President will be unopposed for his parties’ nomination. Thus, all eyes, and the cameras of the Press, will probably turn to that party that once purported to carry the banner of the working person and the poor. That is, until they failed to hear the cry of the poorest of the poor, the children in the first home of their mothers womb.

Who will become the Democratic nominee for President? Will that party break with the current lunacy that has co-opted its once proud record of caring for the working class and those with no voice? Will a true leader emerge?

If so, it has not yet happened in the current field. Who knows, maybe a surprise is in the air.

I address this article to both parties. However, I am especially speaking to the party of my roots, the Democratic Party.

It is hard to believe that it was so long ago that an American president faced the Wall that separated not only the people of Germany, but stood as a symbol of the failures of Marxism. Casting aside the advice of many of his trained consultants, he reached into the courageous cavernous heart which propelled his statesmanship and he proclaimed "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

The world would never be the same. That Wall fell like the walls of old Jericho. An American President, Ronald Reagan, carried the burden of history and spoke the Language of leadership. His bold words were backed up by even bolder action. He won that office with surprising support from Democrats like my own people, blue collar, working class folks who recognized real leadership.

We began this new century and this new millennium, filled with much hope for our future. The cold war was over. The economy seemed poised for great growth and the promise and possibility for economic freedom seemed to be opening to those who had so often been missed by its promise.

Yet, now we are now at war with another form of tyranny. The national mood is mixed. The once robust economy is now languishing. The rest of the world seems poised, waiting for what the future will offer, hope or despair, and again looking to America.

Once again, the choice, at least in one sense, lies with us. We desperately need Statesmen (and women), in both major Political parties, who are unafraid to speak the language of leadership and rouse us to follow our “better angels.”

These leaders need, above all else, courage. It was courageous leadership that led to the tearing down of that wall in Berlin and only such inspired leadership can help secure a future of freedom, in America and beyond her shores.

There are walls impeding the flourishing of freedom within the contemporary American culture as well as around the world.

Each of the walls within our shores can stand as a barrier to true freedom by impeding real people and real families from engaging in what the American founders called the “pursuit of happiness” and finding the promise of freedom.

There are many issues and needs to be addressed by the future Presidential candidates. Let me suggest a few:

One need is education. It is time to tear down the walls that keep our children out of good schools and prevent parents from making educational decisions.

Another is affordable and accessible health care. It is time tear down the walls that keep working families from affordable, quality healthcare and keeps the decision making power in the hands of bureaucrats.

Another need is a viable and dynamic social security plan. It is time to ...

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