The Kent County Republican Party held their annual Lincoln Day Dinner on Friday. The keynote speaker was Lt. Col. Oliver North. Col. North gave a stirring speech, reminding the listener of our country’s foundation and issued a call to its preservation for the future. Some selections from his speech are posted below.
At Fox News… my job is to keep company with heroes… my heroes wear flak jackets and combat boots and flight suits and they put themselves at risk every single day.
No one should ever say “my war was tougher than yours” for all war is terrible.
I see the future of my children and grandchildren being squandered by those people like Arlen Spector, who are in a headlong rush into socialism that was never intended for this country. [Those children] are threatened by a mountain of debt, unrestrained spending, and ever higher taxes, by promises that government can solve every human problem without respecting the sanctity of human life, by government that offers protections of our constitution to our enemies but would take and strip those same constitutional protections from its own citizens, by a government that perpetrates a frontal assault on free enterprise, on private property, and liberties that are enshrined in our Bill of Rights, by a government that disregards our sovereign national borders and our national interests and subordinates the wealth of this nation to a globalist agenda that would restrict the use of our own God-given resources.
Our government is broken and we the people need to take it back.
The Constitution grants limited authority to government to promote and secure the blessings of liberty. A system of checks and balances were established by the framers to prevent government from running amuck. Those who framed our Constitution were counting on we the people to hold our government accountable.
Members of our Republican party often attribute to Mr. Lincoln some very powerful words about how we should be governed. Some of you may have seen them as “The Great Cannots”. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift, cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong, help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer, further the brotherhood of man by encouraging hatred, help the poor by destroying the rich, keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn, build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence, nor can you help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. That would certainly make a great platform for a great party. Unfortunately it wasn’t Abraham Lincoln who wrote those words. They were actually written and penned in 1916 by the Rev. William Boetcker to discourage Congress from enacting laws to implement the 16th Amendment that passed three years before and been ratified in our Constitution. Some of you may remember that. If you don’t now you will on April 15th.
Lincoln did write, however, these very relevant words during his re-election campaign in 1864, and I quote, “Prosperity is the fruit of labor, property is desirable, a positive good in the world is that some should be rich so that others may become rich, and hence, it is an encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.
Lincoln wrote those words and delivered them in the midst of a war. We are now in the midst of a war. He was issuing the call to personal responsibility. That’s what we are about in the Republican Party.
The Republican Party needs to be a place for people who accept our God-given gifts and freedoms, and the responsibilities that accompany them. The Republican Party needs to be the place where people go who understand that this is a land blessed with bounty beyond measure, with resources so vast you can barely quantify them, and that we are the most diverse and productive and prosperous and generous people on the planet because God made it for that and that we have a responsibility to keep that ongoing.
We are going to be better off when government stops trying to spend its way out of debt.
We don’t want to seize what is theirs, to spread the wealth, What we want to do is provide opportunity for all to become wealthy when they use their God-given gifts and work ethic.
We don’t want to become more like Europe. We want to preserve the freedoms that made America what it is, and we need offer no apologies or kowtow to anyone when we say so.
(A recording of the speech is at this link. This recording was drawn from a micro-cassette so the sound is pretty rough.)