Monday, February 16, 2015

Lincoln Day Essay by Michelle Holmes

“Utah is widely regarded as one of the best managed states in America. What impact have Republican principles had on the success of our state? How can the Utah model help address the challenges facing America?”

By Michelle Holmes

As a newcomer to the world of politics I have been researching a great deal to discover what my beliefs are and what party they line up with. The more I studied the more I realized that I already knew what my beliefs were, I just hadn’t ever put them into words. When I read descriptions of the values of the Republican Party I realized that was exactly what was in my heart. I’m a strong believer in God, faith, family, and freedom and believe the overreach of the Federal Government needs to be put back in check.

I did not grow up in a traditional home; it was a home of divorce and a home without faith, without a focus on education, without lessons that prepared me for my future and for adulthood. Because I didn’t know any differently, I vowed to leave the state of Utah the first chance I had and never come back.  When I was 16 years old, my mother moved out of the state and left me here. I went to live with my biological father for a while in Reno and was exposed to a life of gambling, cheating, drinking, smoking, parties, drugs, unemployment, greed, slothfulness. It was then that I realized what values Utah had that I didn’t even know I cared about; community pride, serving others, traditional family values, faith in God, a strong economy built on the belief that you should provide for your own family and take care of your neighbor, and a love for the freedom to create your own path in life.

I left Reno after a few months and returned to Utah where I was taken in for a short time by the late Rebecca Lockhart, former Speaker of the House, who had also previously been my church leader. I wasn’t with her for long but I remember her family’s passion for politics and their love of their state and country, and for each other. I wanted to correct my path and follow in the example that she set for me; I wanted a strong family that cared about who they were, what they did, and how they changed the world. She was the first woman in my life that I considered to be a role model.

My path started out rocky and took some unfortunate turns but it has led me to where I am today and I will never leave Utah if I can help it. I plan to spend the rest of my years here, raising my family, expanding my world view, being the change I want to see in the world, and passionately serving my spouse and my fellow man. I have had my eyes opened to the cause of freedom. I have seen the values that Republicans hold dear starting to erode and slip away toward a socialist/communist government.

Utah is one of the last great states, holding on strongly to these values, but we need to hold stronger! I have no doubt in my mind that traditional marriage between a husband and wife who raise their children together gives those children the best possible start in life as they grow to become independent adults. I have no doubt that the rights that we have are not rights that were granted to us by the government, this cannot be, for they were never given any rights other than what the people they represent have authorized for them. The rights that we have must, then, come from a higher power who has authority over all and who is truly the one who granted all men their own unalienable rights and free agency. I believe that we have the right to work and to not be over-regulated and over-taxed. A strong economy comes from allowing its citizens to flourish. I believe in charity as a choice of the free will. One of the greatest things a person can do for their soul is to come to the aid of another. When the government takes our income to divide it up as they see fit, even when that includes taking care of the needy, they have deprived us of one of the greatest blessings and experiences we can have, they take the opportunity from us to connect ourselves to others and to our Maker.

I strongly believe in parental rights, especially when it comes to education, healthcare, discipline, and religious upbringing, and I believe the state and federal government needs to greatly limit their involvement in the roles of parents to that which is only absolutely necessary.

These Republican principles are what I believe turned my life around. The strength that I feel when I follow those values is what motivates me to work harder, get more involved, and give more of myself. The success of Utah can easily be attributed to the beliefs of the Republican Party. Utah is the top in the country for family life, recreation, business, freedom in education, low taxes, college graduation, low poverty and low unemployment. The drive to work and provide for your own family, make education a priority, and give of yourself when and where you can, is something the rest of the country could follow and Utah is leading the way!

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