07.19.2012 0

Visiting real America

By Rick Manning — Sitting near the Washington, D.C. Beltway, it is easy to get consumed by government news.  The latest legislation, regulation or court ruling that turns our nation’s laws on their head either for better or worse.

Every whisper by a policy maker becomes cause for concern or joy.  Every story written, radio appearance made and opinion piece published becomes a measure of your success or lack thereof.  At times, it is not hard to wonder if any of it really matters?

Earlier this month, I got the opportunity to travel to Hanford, California to visit my mother in law, and had a resounding answer to this question.

While working in the backyard, the neighbor looked over the fence (Wilson-like) and introduced himself.  What a concept in 21st century America — having an over the fence conversation with the person living next door.

In those brief few moments, on the day of the Obamacare Supreme Court decision, I learned exactly where he stood on that issue.

Later that day, I was at the building supply store purchasing mulch and one of the employees who was helping me found out that I was from Washington, D.C. during our search for the perfect ground cover.  In the ensuing conversation, I learned that his wife is a Democrat and a nurse who was vowing to not vote for Obama due to Obamacare.  When I let him know that the Supreme Court had decided that the law was constitutional, I thought he was going to cry as he went into mourning for our country.

Sometimes it is good to get outside the calloused compromising world of Washington, D.C. and talk to real people, who don’t follow every nuance of every speech, as they live their lives.  People who love their country deeply, go to work every day, pay their bills and vote when the time comes.

These are the people who pay the taxes that fund all the government enterprises from public schools to welfare to providing body armor for our troops in Afghanistan.

These are the people who trust that our fundamental liberties enunciated in the Declaration of Independence and protected through the Bill of Rights are not trampled upon by avaricious power mongers in D.C.

Some days, I wonder if fighting an uphill battle to preserve our nation’s individual liberties against usurpers is worth it.  Is anyone listening?  Does anyone in America still care about such quaint notions as freedom?

Thank God for Hanford and the thousands of small towns just like it where people still believe in America, take their hats off and put their hands over their hearts when the flag passes, and go to fireworks shows getting tears in their eyes as they think about the sacrifices made by others to protect our nations freedoms.

Sometimes, it is great to visit real America.  I just wish everyone in Washington, D.C. did it more often.  I suspect, that if they did, my job would be a lot easier.

Rick Manning is the communications director of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Rick on Twitter at @RManning957.

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