I hope to represent the great State of Ohio at the We the People Continental Congress. My name is Ron Dickerhoof Jr. For the sake of convenience, call me a “pro-life libertarian” and, if that’s too wordy, we’ll just go with “conservative.”
There’s a quote that’s attributed to at least five different men and perhaps it wasn’t said by any of them. It goes something like “show me a man who is not liberal at age 20 and I’ll show you a man with no heart. Show me a man who is not conservative after the age of 30 and I’ll show you a man with no brain.” If that’s a timeline for the development of political ideology, then I’m right on schedule. When I first went to college fourteen years ago, I was convinced of the fundamental fairness of equal outcomes. When I first laid eyes on my newborn son almost three years ago to this day, it completed a process of transformation to the idea that the only fairness we could and should count on was that of equal opportunity. Since that time, I’ve been tireless in trying to push the age requirement for thoughtful political beliefs back a few years so that others don’t have to wait as long as I did to wake up.
I want to be part of the Continental Congress to continue that work. I have been in awe of the American people’s will to protest a growing tyranny that we have waited too long to confront. Whether it’s online, in the streets, or in the halls of government buildings, the one thing that has most amazed me is how much energy we can generate, together, in defense of our liberty and rights. Now the challenge we face is to take that energy and transform it into action. We can and will begin to change the faces of our representatives in the coming years but we cannot allow this energy to remain only a tool of critique. We the people will assemble this November to show the congress, the President, the Supreme Court, and the myriad of extra-constitutional and flatly unconstitutional federal bureaucracies what leadership really looks like. That is where our energy must go.
Make no mistake, though, because this will be a different kind of leadership than people are used to seeing. This will be a listening leadership. I am a supervisor of a computing support center a few miles away at a rival college to the one in this town. I earned that position by taking a group with a 65% satisfaction rating that solved half of the problems before it and turning those numbers into 90% satisfaction and 80% success without escalation. I did this by listening. Where the previous managers had used regulation and punishment as their main tools, I used communication and empowerment of my employees. Now, in the footsteps of the great technologist Benjamin Franklin, it’s time to take the varied experiences of everyday Americans and use them to form a more perfect government. I have been hearing my whole life but to really listen requires response and dialogue and that is why I am asking for your support, today.
I made a brief reference in my opening remarks to my current political label and that’s something that I’ll make no apology for. On the other hand, I will say that we have something like 300 million patriots in this nation, give or take a few, regardless of what they call themselves. For example, some of those who think they would disagree with me are in Pittsburgh this very moment protesting at the G-20 summit, in essence, the very same thing that Tea Party patriots have rallied against; a loss of our sovereignty to an unconstitutional corporate-statist agenda. Another thing I would bring to We the People Congress is a commitment to and knowledge of methods of communication that bridge the false divide that the elite in this country continue to foster for their own gain and at our expense. I used this experience to write my own health insurance reform proposal and most people who look at it, regardless of what label they give themselves, seem to think it was written by someone like them. I try not to ruin the surprise.
Ultimately, though, the reason I want to represent Ohio at the We the People Congress is because being here today is no accident. It is my purpose. My faith instructs me that so long as I am open to the purpose in my life, I will always be where I am supposed to be. I love my family, my country, and my God and so it’s only natural that I am here in hopes of defending them. Do not doubt that our challenges our great and the road may be long but the defense of liberty is never just about opposing tyranny. Our unalienable rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I stand before you today because the threat to those rights cannot go unanswered but in giving that answer we will affirm the hope of our Founders that the gifts of our Creator will be glorified when government exists to nurture and not limit them. I will continue to stand with you as we “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” We will succeed because we must. As has been said before, a single candle can illuminate a dark room but darkness will never extinguish a room bathed in light. We will be victorious and thank you.