Dear Governor McDonnell,
This week the eyes of the nation will be on you and your fellow members of the platform committee as you begin your work at the Republican National Convention.
To those who value limited government, fiscal restraint and traditional values our choice as chairman of the platform committee is a source of great encouragement. Your policies as Governor of Virginia have always reflected these beliefs and value. And now with your leadership one of America’s two major parties could very well come out strongly on the side of the principles that have made America powerful materially and spiritually.
AMAC AS A NEWS MEDIA FORCE
So, Governor, we are encouraged by your role.
But we don’t want the encouragement to be one sided.
AMAC today has 340,000 members with thousands of new members joining every month. We were born when the AARP deserted America’s seniors by endorsing Obamacare and health care rationing. And while our members greatly appreciate AMAC’s insurance plans and other services their first priority has always been standing up for America and her beliefs and values. Moreover, we seek in making our members’ voice heard in Washington and throughout the nation not just to adopt resolutions or issue statements but to become a real presence in the news media – a force in the day-to-day struggle against huge deficits and high taxes and government intrusion on religious freedom.
In the recent controversy, for example, over the Supreme Court OBAMACARE decision AMAC was a prominent media player. One of the most important and carefully watched Capitol Hill press conferences on the day of the decision — a “doctors’ press conference” held by six Republican House members who are also physicians — saw AMAC provide the main visual for the cameras. We presented thousands of petitions stacked high before the microphones calling for the defunding of Obamacare — petitions that were later distributed to congressional offices on a district by district basis. In addition, as AMAC’s representative, I was also asked at the news conference to be the third speaker on the decision’s impact. So too, in a lengthy interview at the Fox News studios with reporter Jim Angle I was able to explain the deep harm Obamacare is causing.
Just as important – AMAC had a role in the strategy of Obamacare opponents. Weeks before the Supreme Court decision members of Congress were taking note of our suggestions for contingency planning in case of an adverse decision and even used some of the phraseology. (Our Rollcall op-ed was among the “most read” in that journal and picked up on websites like Real Clear Politics.) As it turned out, the court did not follow predictions and our recommendations made a difference.
In addition, our SAVE SOCIAL SECURITY and SAVE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM campaigns have drawn media attention and gained considerable notice on political web sites and on Capitol Hill. I have attached a description of our efforts here.
PURPOSE OF LETTER — PLATFORM SUGGESTION. A “REAGAN-RYAN” PREAMBLE.
We give you this background because we believe AMAC has an eye for effective news messaging and so we write to you now with a unique and practical suggestion that we believe will gain media attention and perhaps even the notice of history believe in setting this year’s platform apart from others.
So, Governor, while we know many groups write to you requesting support for their own policy agenda — and we certainly hope and believe the essentials of or our Social Security plan and our views on Obamacare and religious freedom will be included in the platform — our focus here is on a larger issue.
Because politics is ultimately NOT about programs and policies but the great ideas, we believe our members and all Americans would find nothing more heartening than a preamble to this year’s platform that in speaking to the crisis of our time pointed to the basic and sustaining notions of American democracy.
Today, we often hear Ronald Reagan’s name invoked as that of a great president. But, surely, his greatness as a president rested on his understanding of the greatness of America.
He continually spoke of American democracy as unique because it rested on the idea that government gains its rights from the people not the other way around. And then he would talk about the origin and source of that idea.
At the start of his administration in 1981 at a moment of great domestic and international crisis, he told the students of Notre Dame University:
It is time for the world to know our intellectual and spiritual values are rooting in the source of all strength, a belief in a Supreme Being, and a law higher than our own.”
Yes, “the source of all strength.”
So too, Congressman Paul Ryan gave eloquent testimony to this same concept in his appearance last week with Governor Romney
“But America is more than just a place…it’s an idea. It’s the only country founded on an idea. Our rights come from nature and God, not government.”
Yes, America as “more than just a place” but “an idea.” And our rights from “nature and God” not government.
Here is the wisdom of the founders and of all our great presidents. Governor McDonnell, we can think of no better opening to a major party platform than with an expression of just these sentiments about the real source of America’s greatness.
Just these words and ideas in a preamble to this year’s Republican platform would not only speak to the American people but renew their spirit. AMAC urges you to adopt such a preamble.
Dan Weber, President and Founder
Association of Mature American Citizens