This speech was presented by Willes K. Lee, Vice President Western Region, National Federation of Republican Assemblies at the Alaska Republican Assembly State Convention and Straw Poll on May 24, 2014, in Menard Sports Center, Wasilla, Alaska.
Aloha. Good morning. Thank you for that generous introduction. Thank you [organizers, hosts, officials], President Angle, conservatives. Thank you, Adele. We are blessed with your music.
I am having so much fun being with Alaska conservatives. Are we among friends? Are there any liberals here?
It is Memorial Day weekend. We’ve already met our veterans who are present. I suggest that sometime this weekend, you each give a prayer not just for the veterans and their family members who you know but all the service members who have died for our freedoms; so that we could be here, today.
I am Willes Lee. I’m an operative, not a speech-giver. I was honored when your team asked me to speak. I’ve been a state Republican Party Chairman and RNC member… and I expect a tomato or a thrown shoe for that. Now, I am an Assembly state National Director and National Federation Vice President. What I mostly do is a lot of grassroots campaigning and political campaign advising. My candidates shake the hands, smile for the cameras, make the speeches. However, this is politics. I could speak for hours. I have a ream of notes but it isn’t much, just really, really BIG print. Briefly, I’ll tell you what I see travelling across our Pacific region and our United States.
Let’s begin, though, with the backdrop of two lines from your Alaska Republican Assembly mission “We believe that all personal rights emanate from God and are therefore unalienable by human institutions. We are staunch defenders of the United States Constitution.”
We make choices. I choose life. I choose the US Constitution… the 2nd Amendment is my personal interest.
We chose the Republican Assembly instead of starting a Third Party.
This is a journey to help turn back the destruction of America wrought by liberals. Five years ago, that meant supporting ‘moderates’ … who then voted with the Democrats.
We keep being told that we have to learn to play well with others. That we shouldn’t be mean and, by that, “moderates“ tell us that we shouldn’t hold Republicans to the same standards and principles which we expect from Democrats. We are not a Third Party. We are not the TEA party, though I’ll bet in this room most of us are. We are Republicans.
However, we have a different job than the establishment. They want to elect Republicans, any Republicans, even liberal Republicans. It’s a power thing. I get it. We are in the business, albeit volunteer business, of electing conservative Republicans. And, we don’t care what the Democrats or liberal media or the Republican establishment tells us. We know conservative solutions solve problems.
There is a reason God has you here, today. There is a reason I am here. I don’t know what it is but I know we’re called to stand for something. We’re called to tell what we stand for.
We elect principle, not a candidate. Candidates, bless their hearts, can talk almost any voter into thinking he or she is just perfect for the job. That’s what candidates do, and I am glad for their silver tongues. We’re not looking for words. We want principle.
Some people think you need power before you can apply principle. We know that from strong conservative principles comes political power. It is weak principles, or the total lack of principle, that got America and the Republican Party where it is now – out of power.
America’s on a little down swing. We have our problems. We have our issues. But, even Obama and Reid and Pelosi can’t kill my America, though they try. America has been great. We’re not now. We’re still the best, and no one here wants to go live somewhere else. Well, maybe where it’s a little warmer. Ours is the best nation in the world, ever. Period. Not by accident.
What we do is politics. It is hard work. It is simple, but not easy. Identify your voters, get them to vote. Your Republican Assembly team is committed to do just that. And, YOU are here. Thank you.
We need an even bigger effort. Bigger is always better. Commit to get a friend involved. Right now. Where you sit. Commit. Talk to your neighbors, congregants, club members, your co-workers, your family members. You’ll need more people involved. Please speak to one of the Assembly leaders today if you have an expertise in some aspect of campaigning, and each of us does. You may have been on a previous political campaign, perhaps you raised funds for your church, or you organized an event at work. Maybe you made phone calls for a community event. I know most of us have done something for a PTA, is it still called PTA? You may be an accountant, youth sports coach, truck driver, cook, secretary.
We all need supporters who know and understand social media and we need more people to … simply knock on doors and tell our story. Years ago, a friend roped me into a lunch hour of phone calls for a candidate I had never heard of. The next week, I was stuffing envelopes. I went home to my wife, who was more experienced than I, and complained “I want to be in politics!” She looked at me and quietly said “This is politics.” Get involved, get committed. Bring your time, talent and dedication to the cause and to a campaign.
Get people registered to vote. I was surprised to hear statistics about Church goers. 25% of our church goers vote. Same as the rest of America. Even with years of such salient moral issues being fought in the political arena and the liberal attacks on our culture, half our congregants are not registered. Half of those don’t vote. Get them to vote. We don’t want our morals decided by government, they shouldn’t be. But, they are. And, we have to take them back.
I stay in contact with Assemblies across the nation. In our Western Region, California completed their state convention. Earlier this month Nevada had their endorsing convention and another chapter is standing up in Clark County. You are all invited to the Hawaii convention in September. Use these assets in other states. Ask questions. Collaborate. Share information. Keep each other informed. This applies here also. Alaska is a big state. Work together, share ideas, post techniques that work and those that don’t.
Alaska. You’re pretty damn independent people. You have to do this. No one else is coming to help. There will be outside money. Already about 2 million dollars, and just reported another 7 ½ million is coming to support the Democrat. People are interested in these races. But, you do this. Get like-minded people registered, get them to vote.
Many of the most pressing issues facing our nation are issues which should be dealt with out of government. But, I tell our Liberty Movement brethren, they are in government. We need to take them back.
I attended the NRA Annual meeting in Indianapolis. We’re making good strides to turn back the anti-rights people. Yes, not anti-gun, these “anti-gun” people want to take our rights. We need to protect these rights.
Mass-killings are terrible. One killing is terrible, by gun or knife. I am especially hurt by the recent incidents on military bases. Obviously, people who indiscriminately murder innocent people are deranged. But, 300 million others should not lose their rights. The recent killings at Fort Hood are so unfortunate and touch so many issues we deal with today – mental health, guns, public safety, safety vs freedom, security, veterans support, deployments to name a few. Three dead, 16 wounded and yet what the media won’t do is use the words of our friend at the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, “The only thing that stops a BAD guy with a gun… is a good guy with a gun.” In this case, it was a good MP who did her job as trained.
One former Mayor hates us. He took away your Big Gulp and now committed 50 million dollars to take away your gun rights and to support gun control candidates. You can help, send your 25 dollar contribution to www.nra.org. We’re going to match his 50 million with our millions of 25 dollar contributions.
I own guns because …. it is my right. We don’t need a reason. I don’t think the Second Amendment is about self-defense, but it is. I don’t think owning a gun is about hunting, but it is. I don’t think the right to bear arms is about sports … but it is. It doesn’t matter why, and we shouldn’t have to justify our gun ownership. The Bill of Rights says I can have a gun, just like I have free speech. I don’t have to justify why I speak or write, I shouldn’t have to prove why I can have a gun. And, it is no business of the government whether I have a gun, or twelve, or what type I choose to have. So, unless you prove that you shouldn’t have a gun, you should be able to have and use a gun whether in the military or as a school teacher, or a single dad, and especially a mama grizzly.
Our nation is founded on religious beliefs, and on the God-given right to practice our religious beliefs. If not, I’d be here speaking with a British accent. We all know that Jefferson never said or wrote that there has to be a separation of church and state. We know Jefferson and all our founding fathers said the state has to stay out of our religion.
Religion, love of life and our families are under attack. I’m more old than young. I have never seen, or heard or read of a time in our history when liberals were so determined to change America to an average, ”normal”’ socialist country. In state after state, election after election, conservatives have taken their eye off the ball. We thought the battle for life was settled and we let Democrats use a judicial fiat 40 years ago to force us to allow abortions. We thought the 30-year fight against mandated national health care was done when Hillarycare went down 20 years ago. We thought gay rights would end with reciprocal benefits and civil unions. The newest old fight is Common Core and the associated sexualizing of America’s education. Don’t take your eye off the ball. I’ve seen and been part of too many problems we solve, and then go back to sleep. The liberals aren’t sleeping. And, that is ok, because now with the Alaska Assembly, conservatives aren’t sleeping either.
Obamacare takes 1/6 of the nation’s economy. It is screwed up. We don’t even know how badly because, like all the times before with this administration, lying has become the norm for our government. When the government tells us 8 million signed up, don’t accept their premise. They lied about Benghazi, they lied about the IRS, they lied about the NSA, several times, they’re lying about the VA, and … they’ve lied about their lies. What makes any of us think they are telling the truth this time? Or, because of the blatant incompetence of a bloated bureaucracy, that they even know the truth? They don’t want to fix Obamacare. Liberals want it to fail. Liberals want a single payer system. And, they are well on their way to getting it unless… we elect the right people to go to Washington and stop them.
We can do this. You can do this. In the military, we, sort of jokingly, say that we never fight a war in a place we’ve ever heard of. We have so many acronyms that they enter into our daily lives – ASAP, SNAFU, SOP. It’s the same in politics. Last quarter, few of us had ever heard of Mesquite, much less been there. Few of us, unless we lived in Nevada, had heard of BLM. Patriots faced down an armed Bureau of Land Management land-grab scheme which would allow Harry Reid and Communist China get richer. We’ll use the ballot box.
We can do this. Don’t question it. You did this with a Mayor from one of the smallest towns in America and made her into Governor of one of the largest states. You did it with Joe Miller in his last primary election. You can do this.
Nationally, we’ll make gains in the House, it would be nice to keep our governorships, we must win the Senate. Begich has to go. We don’t want too many liberal senators representing a state. Joe Miller is the one we need in Washington. Win this with Miller, win this for Alaska, win this for America.
We all need to spend time with like-minded people. That’s one reason to be here, today. Being often surrounded by liberals, and “moderates,” gives us the need for an infusion of conservative fellowship. I got mine at CPAC this year – to name a few: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Ben Carson, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, and a clean-up batter who hit it out of the ballpark, Sarah Palin. We all can’t get to DC, that is literally and figuratively a world away.
Each election year, the American Conservative Union holds a one-day regional CPAC conference. This year, on the west coast, in August, CPAC San Diego, a couple weeks before your primary elections. Go look on www.conservative.org. It is being held 50 years to the day that President Reagan delivered his seminal “A time for choosing” speech. I choose to be there, in San Diego, with conservatives.
We make choices. I choose life. I choose the US Constitution. I choose America. When we leave this convention, let’s go make America great.
God bless Alaska, God Bless the United States and God bless conservatives.