By Gabe Firment
“They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.” Ronald Reagan spoke these words in his famous 1964 “A Time For Choosing Speech” that would launch the “Great Communicator” into national political prominence. Reagan’s words ring just as true today as they did during the tumultuous times our nation was experiencing almost 60 years ago when the future 40th President of the United States warned in his speech that those who would sacrifice freedom for security were destined to a pitiful existence under the yoke of totalitarianism.
With the coming of the new year it is natural to recall the events of the past and look forward to the year ahead. In the next few weeks I intend to preview the upcoming legislative sessions, including the critical three week redistricting special session that begins February 1st to undertake the redrawing of political boundary lines that must occur every 10 years. However, I think it is appropriate to briefly take a retrospective look at 2021 before considering what lies ahead in 2022 and beyond.
As I reflect on my first two years as a state legislator it occurs to me that as President Reagan suggested there are simple answers to every vote I cast, to every decision I must make, and to every question I am asked. The answers to the problems we face are not really complicated – the problem is that so many leaders lack the moral courage to take a principled stand and simply do the right thing. Has there ever been a time in our nation’s history when we have displayed such an embarrassing dearth of courage as the past two years? What happened to the heroic American spirit that led our Founding Fathers to declare their independence with “a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” and to bravely assert that “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor”?
Instead, we have countless citizens in our nation and state today who have allowed themselves to be paralyzed by fear when incompetent D.C. politicians threaten “a winter of severe illness and death” for free Americans who choose to exercise bodily autonomy and not take a vaccine that has been proven incapable of preventing transmission of the coronavirus. At this point in our history it seems that a strong dose of courage would be more beneficial to most Americans than vaccines, boosters, and “science”. I must agree with Winston Churchill who once said that “without courage all other virtues lose their meaning”. If we do not have the courage to act upon our principles and virtues, then we have lost our moral authority and have no right to challenge those who would strip away our freedom and liberty.
Unfortunately, today we are reaping the harvest of years of governing by cowardice, appeasement, and moderation. Parents who show up at school board meetings are branded terrorists, stating that there are only two biological sexes is considered hate speech, and assembling to worship during a pandemic can get you arrested. We have submitted to lockdowns, mandates, vaccine passports, and contact tracing all in the name of elevating the greater good by “temporarily” sacrificing our individual rights. Reagan was right when he declared in his 1964 speech that “Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.”
It would be easy to accept defeat and say that 2022 will be no better than 2021 or 2020, and that we should all just go along with the crowd and accept our fates. However, I cannot reflect on last year without recalling the tremendous acts of courage that I witnessed right here in District 22 and across Louisiana. I am encouraged by the hundreds of men and women in my district who have taken a stand and chosen to sacrifice their livelihoods instead of caving to unconstitutional federal mandates. I have been emboldened by local officials and law enforcement officers who have bravely asserted their independence by ignoring immoral dictates from Baton Rouge and Washington D.C. I have been inspired by concerned parents who show up at school board meetings to fight for their children and stand against the teaching of critical race theory and radical LGBTQ propaganda in our schools. I have been humbled by the resilience of my own children who despite having their lives turned upside down by the coronavirus restrictions have maintained their optimism and hope for a brighter future.
As Christians we know that for those who love God all things are working out according to His divine purposes. However, this great assurance is not an excuse to separate from the world, rather it should be our motivation to engage the world and live fearlessly in service to Him. For as long as I can remember my favorite Bible verse has been Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” My prayer for 2022 is that I can follow this commandment to be strong and courageous and to meet the challenge offered by President Reagan that at the Time For Choosing I will always do that which is morally right despite the political, social, or economic consequences.
Please know that it is a tremendous honor to serve as your District 22 state representative and I am always available to be contacted at (318)765-9606 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy New Year and God Bless!
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