This year my goal is straightforward. I am determined to live in a nation where a citizen or politician can openly mention God and country in the same sentence and not expect vitriolic accusations of terrorism to be hurled toward them. And, it will be in the land of my birth because I refuse to abandon America. It is the greatest nation ever conceived of and formed by man. Is that too much to ask from the United States in 2010? I think not.

 The Founding Fathers would gasp if I asked anything less of my country. They would question me sternly about what devolution of rights is defensible? And, they would put me on notice as did Ronald Reagan, many years ago while pointing his finger directly at me in a meeting, stating it was now my generation’s responsibility to keep the light of freedom burning brightly on the hill. I didn’t think much about it at the time because those around me also accepted that the cause of freedom was a noble one and we were ready and willing to listen to our Commander in Chief. Therein lies the quandary; we were “willing to listen.” We faltered in our mission because we didn’t participate. Securing freedom requires the active engagement of all patriotic citizens.

 Like the rest of America, I am severely aggravated with this Administration. But, at the same time, I also am very hopeful about where are heading. Yes, you heard me – hopeful. This is our ultimate wake up call. We in Connecticut just “Dumped Dodd” last week and now are moving on to the Congressional level to “Can Courtney.” Grass roots participation can make a difference and we are proving it in liberal New England!

 Times of great upheaval create uncertainty allowing new patterns of thinking to evolve and the revival of earlier, successful patterns of behavior within a society. A time has not existed in recent memory when the picture is more crystal clear than it is today. One is either for or against the U.S. Constitution, individual freedom, liberty, and those tenets of conservatism that made our country the greatest nation the world has ever witnessed.

 Political battles within the Republican Party pit traditional conservatives against those who argue for a “big tent” agenda. I don’t consider this debate as critical to the national discourse as some would have us believe. We should be talking in terms of unified interests and not solely about our positions on the issues this election cycle. It should be centered on supporting principled candidates, following a platform that differentiates the Republican Party from that of the Democrats, learning American political history well and teaching those lessons to our nation’s youth.

 Almost everyone with whom I speak lately suggests the world is upside down, that nothing is real or makes any sense. There is a reason so many conservatives feel befuddled. We have been sitting silently for too long, assuming the republic would work well on its own, or expecting others to step up to make it happen for us. By abandoning our duties and relinquishing our responsibilities to an overly paternal government we emancipated those liberal forces that opt to remove the distinguishing characteristics of freedom and individual rights from our society and government.

 Children deserve to grow up in a free nation whose people care about bettering the lives of every citizen. I am determined my future grandchildren will be born into that country because like many others this election cycle, I am not leaning back in my easy chair and accepting simply that we are too weak, too lazy, and too apathetic to take a stand and influence the direction of politics in America today.

 With the new year upon us, we must be battle ready to take on the forces destroying all we treasure. Part of the task is tactical. We voters must rid the United States of an Administration creating abhorrent policies aimed at changing our very way of life. The strategic, grand war for conservatives is about creating a culture of participation that will sustain the republic in the coming decades after we vote out those who are part of the problem this fall.

 It beseeches conservatives to acquire the backbone, skills and political will to stand up and say what is in their hearts. When I speak publicly I convey the same message as when I speak in private. People call me brave. This should be the modus operandi of all politicians. It is a shame that honesty in politics is viewed as a unique and often naïve characteristic to embrace. There are a lot of honest people in America who love our country.

 So what is our agenda this year? Is it more talk, more protest, or will it evolve into a positive, pro-activist approach enabling conservatives to take back the House and Senate? This mid-term election cycle affords us a golden opportunity to Take Back Congress. Those of us with the political skill set to help need to mentor the newcomers joining our ranks, make the sacrifice and run for office, speak out often and with conviction and most importantly, do it in a principled way. If we can dump one of the most powerful, long-term Senators here in Connecticut in January of 2010, the rest of America certainly has the ability to vote out their representatives if they are not doing the job on November 2, 2010!

 Are you with me? If not, then you may be a key component of the problem and not the solution. Conservatives compose the majority of American voters. We represent what is good in this country. We must believe we can win. If you and I recognize success is within our grasp and act with conviction, conservative victories will be the reality this fall in New England and across the rest of the nation.

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