American Pride and Personal Triumph: Thoughts on Day 1 (take 2) of the Republican National Convention

I had a really bad day yesterday. I’m not going to waste anybody’s (or my) time in describing it, but suffice to say, I came home in not the best of moods.

Tuning in to the Republican National Convention, I started on MSNBC, which my wife had begun recording for me until I got home. The team of Olbermann and Matthews (among the least professional news broadcasters in the industry — no mean feat, considering the competition), however, did little to brighten my day. I tuned to CSPAN instead, which I highly recommend to anyone wanting to watch the rest of the Convention without being annoyed by MSM stupidity.

What a breath of fresh air! Every video stirred my national pride, and reminded me why I’m proud to be an American. In stark contract to those of the DNC Convention, the Republican “every-day citizen” speakers discussed not their hardships, and how they expected the government to assist them, but their trials and triumphs — and how the American Dream worked for them.

I was moved to tears with the story of Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor — a story with which I was familiar, but did not fail to impress upon me, and, I believe others, the heroism, integrity and honor of our soldiers. Another stark contrast to a party making headlines by accusing troops (falsely) of terrorizing women and children in the dead of night, and slaughtering innocent civilians.

George W. BushWhen it was President George W. Bush’s turn to speak, his first words weren’t filled with the political trappings expected in a rally speech, but with concern. His first business was that of leadership: passing information to the people of the Gulf Coast, dealing with the business of State by doing, in all things, what he could to ensure the safety of his Fellow Americans.

When he did turn to the reason for his appearance, President Bush reminded me, not why I was voting for McCain, but why I had voted for Bush. He was confident in his positions, no matter what the polls might say. He gave credit where it was due. He remained the man of integrity and resolve that I voted for twice — reminding us in all things why we live in the greatest country on earth.

Fred ThompsonMore than anything, being an unrepentant FredHead, I was looking forward to Senator Thompson’s speech. I was not disappointed, but was surprised. I had conflicting thoughts during the speech: First, the Senator gave me a new appreciation for our Republican nominee for President. Second, he had me wondering, just where the hell was this Senator Thompson during the Primaries?

However, I had little time for regrets. Thompson, being the kind of man he is, never dwelt on his own position, on his own bid for the nomination, or on making the time about himself. In keeping with the night’s theme of “Country First,” Senator Thompson eloquently described a man who is uniquely placed to lead our nation in these times.

John McCainSenator McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as running mate had moved me from merely voting against Obama to actually voting for the Republican ticket. But Thompson’s recounting of McCain’s life — a life of honor, integrity, faith and certainty in the face of more adversity than any single man should have to bear — moved me to being able to proudly cast my vote for Senator John McCain.

It’s true, I don’t agree with some recent decisions by the senator. Indeed, there are things with which I strongly disagree. But more than anything, what we need in our leaders is strength, integrity, honesty, faith and resolve. And these attributes make up the very core of who John McCain is. He is an American first, and one who will, with every fiber of his being, fight for Americans. This may result in some less-than-perfect (even bad) decisions — God knows it already has, as it has with President GW Bush. But I will never doubt his motives, his patriotism or his love for his countrymen — just as I have never doubted it in George W. Bush. McCain is a leader who will do what he believes is best, and if he’s not sure what’s best, he will strive to discover it. This was evidenced in his recent reversal on off-shore drilling, and it is evidenced in the way he has lived his entire life.

In SumLast night’s convention rally was basically what it was intended to be: inspiring, moving and motivational. Every part of what I saw was encouraging. But more than that, for me personally, it reiterated everything great about our nation, and gave me the gift of being able to proudly pull the lever for John S. McCain, come election day.