Our country is at a defining moment. With a weak economy and a high unemployment rate that has bumped along for five years and traditional American values under assault by the Obama administration, the mainstream media and Hollywood, millions of American families across the country are feeling discouraged -- both financially and morally.
For many, the country they grew up in, the values they grew up with and the dreams they have dreamed seem to have disappeared. Families who once believed that they could accomplish anything they wanted as long as they were willing to work hard are feeling that no longer holds true. The defining moment we find ourselves in is a choice we have to make as a country. It's a choice between a big government, which gives us more and makes more decisions for us and accepts mediocrity, and a government that gives us the tools to choose ourselves, respects families and individuals, and believes you can do anything you set your mind to.
The re-election of President Barack Obama has set us down a clear path -- but it's not too late. It's not too late to change the path our country is on. We can restore the American dream for our country.
My organization, Patriot Voices, has asked many of you to share your dreams. We've asked many of you to describe the America you want to live in. And as we fight for you and for your dreams, we thought we'd share some of your own words. These are just a few from hundreds of dreams you've shared that inspire us to keep working and to keep fighting.
--I dream of an America where "everyone has the ability to fairly and freely pursue their happiness. That we have a limited federal government that has gone back to its true roots, where they are only enacting laws that support the success of the family unit and provide incentives for people to do the right thing, such as charitable work."
--"I dream of an America where I can keep most of the money my husband and I work so hard for, to build a future, to spend our later years helping others and enjoying our grandchildren. I dream of a future for my children and grandchild in a country that is free, where they can work hard and have a good life without government interference. I dream of an America our Founding Fathers labored and fought so hard for. I dream of an America that is one nation under God."
--"My American dream is restoring the USA to be a nation where faith, family, freedom and opportunity are protected, a place where we are truly One Nation Under God, a shining city on a hill."
--"My American dream? To not have to fear for whatever my daughter's future holds. Will she be free? Will she have opportunities? When I'm not around to help and protect her, will there be a moral and just environment in which she can live and raise her own family?"
--"My dream for America is that we will love liberty more than government programs. And rather than working for income equality -- that we would be champions of economic freedom and opportunity. My dream for America is that our spiritual values would be respected -- that our conscience would not be violated by a domineering and out-of-control government. What I plan to do is pray, vote and let my voice be heard."
--"To be able to provide for my family and friends while helping my community. I want to have a happy family that I can provide for in the house that my father raised my sister and me in. I want to help my community grow and prosper like it used to."
--"My American dream is for my children and my grandchildren to enjoy the God-given freedom America has been blessed with. But, unlike today's cultural definition of 'freedom' -- a freedom that encourages licentiousness and hedonism -- my American dream is that our nation will return to the Judeo-Christian principles that made it exceptional. I cannot envision any path back to greatness that does not include a revival, of sorts, of virtue. And frankly, I do not wish to live in an America that is economically prosperous, but morally bankrupt."
These dreams, I think, capture the sentiments of many of us. These are not dreams of fantastic wealth or living in the lap of material luxury. What these folks want -- what we all want -- are basic freedoms protected and beliefs restored in the rewards of hard work for ourselves and our families.
Thank you for sharing your dreams. They keep us going.
Former Senator Rick Santorum is the author of Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works.
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