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By Keith A. Fournier

8/2/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We need to hear once again the kind of message which brought us into the Republican Party - a robust call to true freedom with personal and social responsibility

The Romney campaign has much to draw from out of this visit. Not only in the optics, but in the substance of the meetings the candidate held with Champions of freedom. For example, his meeting with the iconic Lech Walesa, the former Polish President and Nobel Peace Prize winner. It presents him with an opportunity to call America to a new birth of true freedom in an hour when we are disheartened and ready to respond to just such a positive message. We need leaders unafraid to speak the language of freedom again and rouse us to follow what Abraham Lincoln called our "better angels." Lincoln called us to a "New Birth of Freedom". We need to hear such a call again.

Lech Walesa with Mitt and Ann Romney

Lech Walesa with Mitt and Ann Romney

Highlights

By Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/2/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Mitt Romney, Lech Walesa, campaign 2012, Obama, presidential election, political campaign, Poland, foreign policy, Keith A Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - On Friday, January 29th, 2010, Lech Walesa, the former President of Poland, traveled to Chicago to endorse a candidate for Governor. He, along with another Polish hero, the late Blessed John Paul II, helped to bring freedom back to Poland at the end of the last century.

Walesa's sincere Catholic faith informed his courageous stand against a totalitarian regime. His hero, Blessed John Paul II, warned in his writings of what he called the "death of true freedom". He also observed that "freedom itself needs to be set free." Lech Walesa responded to those insights and became a true Champion of Freedom.

In an interview during his 2010 visit Walesa offered this observation: "The United States is only one superpower. Today they lead the world. Nobody has doubts about it. Militarily.  They also lead economically but they're getting weak. But they don't lead morally and politically anymore. The world has no leadership.  The United States was always the last resort and hope for all other nations.  There was the hope, whenever something was going wrong, one could count on the United States.  Today, we have lost that hope..."

Former Governor Mitt Romney just returned from a foreign policy trip. The spinmasters of the Obama reelection campaign are feverishly attempting to disparage the trip with mocking denigrating assessments. I do not think I am alone in saying, 'Enough!" All of this cynical nonsense is growing old and people are growing very tired of it.

The Romney campaign has much to draw from out of this visit. Not only in the optics, but in the substance of the meetings the candidate held with Champions of freedom. For example, his meeting with the iconic Lech Walesa, the former Polish President and Nobel Peace Prize winner. It presents him with an opportunity to call America to a new birth of true freedom in an hour when we are disheartened and ready to respond to just such a positive message.

On Monday, July 30, 2012, in Gdansk, Poland, the very place where a trade union movement was used as a vehicle to topple an oppressive statist system, Mitt Romney was endorsed by one of the historic champions of freedom. Lech Walesa, pounding his strong hand on the table for effect, told the Republican candidate for the US Presidency, "I  wish you to be successful because this success is needed to the United States, of course, but to Europe and the rest of the world, too. Governor Romney, get your success, be successful!"

He continued, "Poland and many other countries will certainly do their best for the United States to restore its leadership position. And after our conversation, I'm quite confident that you will be successful in doing that....Individuals who have struggled all their lives really favor the kind of views and perspectives that you share. Thank you very much for accepting my invitation and I wish you to be successful."

This was a strong endorsement from a man who is a champion to people like me, who left the Democratic Party years ago. I was a "Reagan Democrat" who left the Democratic Party when it rejected the values of the blue collar, Catholic home I was raised in - and lost its soul. It also gave up its claim to represent those with no voice when it refused to hear the cry of our youngest neighbors, children in the womb. The same Party which rejected the Right to Life has announced it will reject Marriage within its Party Platform. So, it now embraces a big government statist economic model along with its overt immorality.

We need to hear once again the kind of message which brought us into the Republican Party - a robust call to true freedom with personal and social responsibility. Twenty three years ago, on June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan, speaking at the base of the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin wall, cast aside the advice of trained consultants, reached into the courageous heart which propelled his statesmanship and proclaimed "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" That Wall fell like the walls of old Jericho. Freedom removed the stones.

Lech Walesa, Ronald Reagan and John Paul II all understood the power and the irresistable appeal of freedom. They helped to topple the totalitarian threats to freedom's advance. Today, we are at war with new versions of tyranny. The national spirit is heavy. America is in a crisis. A once robust economy is languishing under the boot of an increasingly bloated federal government. We have lost our moral compass. We are disheartened and tired.

However, the world still looks to America. We need leaders unafraid to speak the language of freedom again and rouse us to follow what Abraham Lincoln called our "better angels." At another critical time in our history, when we were disheartened and tired, Lincoln called us to a "New Birth of Freedom". We need to hear such a call again.

We have been weakened by a culture of death and use; indoctrinated by what Pope Benedict XVI called a "Dictatorship of Relativism". Relativism is a philosophy which denies the existence of objective truths upon which we can build our life together. When there are no truths there can be no freedom. The antidote to what ails us is a robust return to truth and leaders unafraid to call us to it again. We need to reach down to the foundation stones upon which this experiment in ordered liberty was built and strengthen freedoms infrastructure by asserting again that "We Hold These Truths to be Self Evident." 

The American founders carried a vision of human freedom which they received from the treasury of the Jewish and Christian vision of the human person, marriage and the family founded upon it, and the existence of normative, fundamental moral truths which bind us all together. With those building blocks Western civilization was built. From that foundation we derived the core conviction that we all possess fundamental human rights which were endowed upon us by this God who created us. These rights are not given by any Civil Government; they are, in the words of the American founders, inalienable.

These truths we hold are revealed by the Natural Law and knowable through the exercise of right reason. They have ensured our survival against totalitarianism of every ilk and political persuasion.  They have fueled our economy, inspired our national sacrifices when called upon to reach out beyond our borders and give us the principles needed to properly govern our life together. they provide the materials from which we have built a free society. However, freedom is a "good" of the human person - not some ethereal disconnected concept. Freedom also brings along with its promise, obligations to use it rightly, to do what is right and true.

I just participated in a national call in with a leading surogate from the Mitt Romney campaign. Among the matters discussed was the need for the candidate to offer an inspiring vision.I did not get a chance to comment because there were many before me - and the time was limited. However, if I had, I would have echoed the words my hero Lech Walesa offered Mitt Romney, "Get Your Success"! After his Lech Walesa Meeting in Poland, Mitt Romney should call a disheartened America to a new birth of Freedom. We are ready to respond.

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