Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense contains the memorable words, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” In 1776, Paine had no idea how applicable those words would be during the 2004 presidential election campaign.
How can you explain a “documentary” based on lies and distortions that becomes a blockbuster even though the filmmaker, Michael Moore, admitted that his purpose was to ensure that President Bush would not be re-elected? How do you explain that millions of Americans suspended disbelief and willingly participated in the deception?
How do you explain a “move-on” campaign that is spending millions of dollars to discredit a sitting president and impugn the honor of their nation?
How do you explain the vicious personal attacks on the president’s intelligence an Andover and Yale graduate with an MBA from Harvard?
And, after all that, how can those same people whine about a group of military officers who point out that it is highly questionable when a Vietnam military officer receives four medals in four months of service? How can that same officer who repudiated those awards and denigrated his fellow soldiers and his nation’s integrity now portray himself as a military hero and then complain when facts are brought out that shed the light of truth on the events that are claimed to be the basis of that heroism?
It’s enough to try your very soul.
The opening ceremonies and speeches of the Republican National Convention on Monday night reminded the nation that there are times in history when events overtake plans.
As Sen. John McCain said in his remarks, there are times when a leader and a nation have a rendezvous with destiny. After 9/11, President Bush has evidenced what former New York City Mayor Rudolf Guiliani called “principled leadership” because he sees terrorism as the “evil” that it is.
Perhaps that is the problem for the Liberals they don’t want to admit that evil exists. Nor do they want to admit that there is right and wrong in the world.
Few leaders would willingly choose to be a war president. It would be much simpler to avoid conflict and maintain high approval ratings. But some leaders have a rendezvous with destiny and, as Mayor Guiliani implied, it is a good thing that a man like George W. Bush was president of the United States on September 11, 2001. Such times require steadiness, good decision-making and constancy.
It is not a matter of political party; it is a matter of principles and policies.
The things that try our souls are not just those related to terrorism and national security. We have become a calloused nation our nation’s laws condone the destruction of innocent life through abortion; our culture celebrates sexual promiscuity to the point that singleness and cohabitation are considered as “normal” for young women today as marriage and family used to be. Sadly, women and children bear the brunt of these trends.
Marriage and family are also under attack by those who want to throw away thousands of years of traditional marriage between a man and a woman, husband and wife, committed exclusively to each other for a lifetime in order to condone and mainstream sex between same-sex couples. Amazingly, it has become the accepted point of view that opposing same-sex “marriage” is denying homosexuals their “rights.” And opposing homosexuality is both “homophobic” and anti-constitutional.
For such trying times, discernment and wisdom are needed. In such pivotal elections, people need to be involved and informed; they need to exercise their citizenship and VOTE.
As Michael Novak once said, there are things that ought to “sear our souls” and the callousness of our national culture is at the top of the list of things that should “sear our souls.”
The man who will be elected President of the United States must be someone whose soul has been seared; he must be determined to transform not just the evil of terrorism around the world, but also the climate of callousness in America.
Janice Shaw Crouse is spokesperson for Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee. She covered the Republican National Convention as well as the Democratic National Convention.