Douglas MacKinnon
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After tens of conversations with “non-political” Americans living outside of the poisonous echo chamber that is our Nation’s capital, I offer up this draft speech:

“Thank you for that warm welcome. I’m greatly honored to be here tonight.

As an American and as a Republican, I am fond of quoting one of our greatest patriots and presidents – Abraham Lincoln. During one of the most trying times in our nation’s history, Mr. Lincoln said, ‘If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.’

As we all know, there is a growing perception in this country that political campaigning is now more about fooling some of the people than it is about honesty, integrity, and trying to figure out how best to solve the very serious problems that plague our citizens and threaten the national security of our nation.

Let’s face it. Somewhere along the line, the message has been badly twisted and all but obliterated by a political process that needs an immediate and forceful overhaul. This election is not now, and never has been, about mindless statistics, slick sound bites, or hollow rhetoric.

This election has to be about the welfare of our people and the very future of our Republic.

Those of us who are involved in running for the highest office in the land – from the candidates, to the campaign staffs, to the media advisors – have, in a very real sense, become slaves to the limitations imposed upon us by the twenty-four hour media. We are being held hostage by an “instant messaging” mentality that only serves to deprive the American people of much needed information.

Twenty years ago, a presidential candidate may have gotten a minute or two to relay his or her message on the nightly news. Today, he or she has eight seconds if lucky. And even less if you’re a conservative.

I’m sorry, but that just won’t cut it. If we allow the principles of freedom, prosperity, and tolerance to be boiled down to the size of a bumper sticker, then shame on us. In an age of expanding terrorism and a world spiraling further into chaos, eternal vigilance demands more than a passing reference.

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Douglas MacKinnon

Douglas MacKinnon is former White House and Pentagon official who spent three years working in a Joint Command.

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