2015 Lincoln Day Address
by Aaron Gabrielson, Chairman Wasatch County GOP
Where I work we love a book by Simon Sinek called “Start With Why”. It’s a great place to start anything, by asking “Why”. It is the best place usually.
So let’s begin with the question, Why should the Republican party exist? Why are we here today?
Here is my answer to that question:
“The Republican Party should exist to promote the idea that a limited government, dedicated to the defense of individual liberty, creates the most prosperity, peace, happiness, and opportunity to achieve our divine potential.”
It helps to keep reviewing our purpose, otherwise like a airplane that is off course slightly, over time you end up somewhere you don’t want to be.
I feel there is something holding us back from reaching our purpose as a party, and also as a community, as businesses and individuals.
What is holding us back is the politics of fear.
HL Menken wrote “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
Once we are afraid, we can be controlled. We will give up our birthright of liberty voluntarily. No one needs to pry it from us by force, we will give it away freely, even gladly. We will trade those liberties for an illusion of security and protection.
Politics is infected with this fear mongering. It is also used by the media nearly exclusively. News and talk shows use fear as the appetizer, main course and dessert for almost every show. Businesses and trade groups use fear as a weapon to lobby for cronyism and protection from competition. And politicians have found it an indispensible tool to get elected. It is also useful as they establish larger government with more rules, laws, controls, regulations, programs, taxes and tariffs. If you have ever heard a salesman say something is a “limited time offer”, you have seen how fear makes the world work. Citing more examples feels unnecessary, because the fear based method is the rule. Counter examples are hard to find.
So allow me to help innoculate you against this tsunami of fear that washes up on you every day in a thousand ways. Even though the world uses fear to manipulate, the real power still lies with us. Their trick only works if we let it. Let me show you how to fight back.
National Geographic photographer, Dewitt Jones teaches that we should always celebrate what is right with the world. He says “When we celebrate what’s right, we find the energy to fix what’s wrong.”
The message we rarely hear (because it doesn’t sell) is how many things are going right in Utah and the world.
Let me give you a fact that might be surprising. Right now, in the world we are having record peace. Deaths from war have never been lower. Never lower than now. Ever.
That is such good news you would think you might have heard that story. The headline I haven’t seen yet is “Global Golden Age Of Peace!” But the fact remains, and it does get some media attention, but not much.
Here is another fact: global poverty has been cut in half in recent decades. This improvement is not the result of government programs but the fruits of free market activity (but that is a story for another day). Experts expect global poverty to be cut in half again, in the next 20 years.
Lifespans have never been higher in the world, people have never had more to eat, and progress against disease is unprecedented. And to top it off, we live in Utah, which has been recognized as the best managed state in America, which is the greatest and most generous nation on Earth.
There is so much right in the world to celebrate that it makes the negative, fear based message we hear on a daily basis seem ludicrously, hilariously, out of step with reality.
Congressman Ron Paul said “We don’t have to be ignorant to real threats to our safety. We need only to banish to the ash heap of history the notion that we ought to be ruled by our fears and those who use them to enhance their own power.”
I challenge everyone to reject fear and celebrate what is right in the world because we here in Wasatch County have more to celebrate than any people in history.