Defining Moments by Pat Sajak

It’s as if President Obama climbed into a tank, put on his helmet, talked about how his foray into Cambodia was seared in his memory, looked at his watch, misspelled "potato" and pardoned Richard Nixon all in the same day. It’s fun to imagine the hand-wringing that must be going on within the White House as staffers try to figure out how to undo the damage their boss has done with his anti-entrepreneurial riff. Defining moments in politics are strange beasts. Sometimes they’re only recognized in hindsight, while sometimes they throw the train off the tracks before a sentence has been completed. Sometimes their effect can be contained and minimized, while sometimes their effect on the political narrative metastasizes. This one is very bad for the White House.

These defining moments take hold most devastatingly when they confirm what a large portion of the electorate already believes. Taken alone, it seems unfair that a single moment, an unguarded remark or a slip of the tongue can carry such weight. They’re often dismissed as "gotcha" moments, but when voters are able to nod and say, "I knew it," these moments stick and do terrible damage. We have witnessed such a moment.


Sticks & Stones

Several years ago, myself and a group of likeminded citizens were labeled “community terrorists” by the superintendent of schools in the district where we lived, worked, and paid taxes. You see, the town wanted to build a new school which it did not need and could not afford. Moreover, the location of the new school would be across the street from a superfund site…the site of a defunct machine shop which had contaminated the ground water and neighboring wells with solvents from leaking storage tanks. Bottom line: the voters rejected the proposal, the school was not built and the powers that be were pissed. In an op-ed for a local paper, the superintendent of schools blamed our group calling us “community terrorists.” We were labeled “terrorists” because we had the audacity to attend public meetings, ask questions, and engage the public in the discussion. BTW: The school was never built and the two towns in that school district have managed quite well.

The point of my story? I have been called names before for exercising my 1st Amendment rights and doing my duty as a civic-minded citizen. Eleven years later I am fighting a similar battle. This time, myself and another group of likeminded citizens who live, work, and pay taxes (fellow patriots) stand against the building of a bigger, more intrusive government and implementing a healthcare program that we don’t need and can’t afford. And we are being labeled “potential terrorists” and “racists” and “homophobes” because we have the audacity to exercise our 1st Amendment rights, attend public meetings, ask questions, and engage the public in the discussion.

If speaking and seeking the truth; if believing in the founding principles; if believing that America and Americans are exceptional; if standing against the fundamental transformation of America…if that brings the wrath of the state sponsored media and the liberal establishment down upon us then I know that we are right and that our cause is just. 

As kids we used to say, “Sticks and stones may break our bones but names will never hurt us.” Don’t let the name calling hurt you. Wear them like a badge of honor. – Lew  –