But with the rising
And melting wings
But time brings healing
We welcome back
The cherished son
And hear afresh
The founders… “We”
Of God, and truth…and liberty
I signed my name and got a round blue sticker for my shirt. It read, “NOW.” No, not the National Organization for Women, but an urgent call for jobs. In smaller print above, it read, “JOBS HERE, JOBS” and then below…“NOW.” And sure, I was interested in all that; but the main “draw” for this--when I’m not working--sedentary soul was the GOP rock star, the speaker…Mr. Newt Gingrich, himself.
It was all part of a whirlwind tour by the “American Solutions” founder; emphasizing the importance of the coming election... a time for “the people” to actively add their yea or nay to the President’s agenda; a time to hand out pink slips to the unrepresentative, and a hearty handshake to the up-and-comers. And, on that note, we had a few preliminary talkers to warm us up (including the candidate for Gov and lieutenant). But I came…for Newt.
It was a Friday afternoon. There were three of us. Accompanying me...son number one and, as a home-school type thing…I gently insisted that the sixteen-year-old also make a showing. The location was ideal; a convention center merely fifteen minutes from the house. We parked, made our way in, and stood amongst the hundreds. Yes, a conservative looking group, but hardly homogeneous. There was some rousing music to keep interest up and, at the appropriate time, the playing of Lee Greenwood’s, “God Bless the USA.” And, when the song cut-off midway, I was impressed when the crowd continued to sing the lyrics a cappella. There was the leading of the Pledge of Allegiance by a local boy scout and, a member of the clergy besought “divine providence” for His blessing.
Well, if you’ve seen Newt, you know he can talk and, for a few minutes he calmly, rationally, gave us some reminders as to our heritage and our destiny. One phrase stood out: “Freedom is based on faith and no government can come between you…and God.” And then…it was over. And, ringing in our ears as we exited the building was the exhortation to get out the vote. The change won’t come…without the vote.
Some final thoughts: I’ve been a Newt fan for a long time. True, his marital missteps have taken their toll, but I’m also a fan of redemption and second chances. And, since I’ve been aware of the man for decades, it moved me enough to actually…move. Another thing: I pointed out to my young student that the give and take of politics is normal; even welcomed. And, in fact, there were protesters standing at the parking lot entrance (why? I have no idea). Also, I told him we might be treated to a heckler or two (nope). But, overall, a worthwhile jaunt. And, a week from now, we’ll have something else to talk about.