Thomas Paine wrote those words when it looked like we might lose the American Revolution. There were many who were simply walking away from the battlefield and the army. It was a difficult time and Paine was challenging those who despaired to reflect on their own character, to ask the question if they were "fair weather" (sunshine) patriots or had the spirit of perseverance regardless of obstacles and set-backs.
We find ourselves needing to ask ourselves the same questions. We still love our country. We still have a duty to defend the constitution and its principles. We still have wonderful leaders who will fight for our cause. We need to carry on.
There is no question that as the election data is collected, sliced, diced, and analyzed, we will find chinks in our armor. We already know that we have work to do to reach out better to women, youth, and minorities. But we need not, nor should not despair. Let's take a moment... a brief moment to lick our wounds of defeat and to rejoice in our victories (yes, we did have some of those too!) and then "let us not shrink from the service of (our) country". Let's welcome the feeling of vitality and energy and face with courage, the challenge before us.
President Obama did not receive a mandate from the electorate. And though we must stand by our principles, we must also do as our nominee encouraged us last night, and pray for our president and our country. I like the old saying that we must "Pray like everything depends on God, and work like everything depends on us".
I am by design an optimistic person but I do not see through "rose colored" glasses either. I do have hope, which overcomes discouragement and I do have faith that we can affect those around us in a positive way. But it does depend on each of us. I hope and pray that we can "stand by it now" and work together to accomplish what is necessary to preserve our country for our children and grandchildren.
This morning my friend Pete Ricketts from Nebraska reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill,
"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force, never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
God bless you and God bless the United States of America.
Bruce R. Hough
National Committeeman, Utah