On this Independence Day, as a light rain falls over Severna Park, please read the essay below, written by our esteemed Republican Chairman, Dr. James Pelura. It expresses many of the sentiments and principles that we all hold as conservative Republicans.
FAITH IN AMERICA
by Dr. James Pelura III
Chairman, Maryland Republican Party
“Faith – to trust in, to believe in, have confidence in, loyalty to”.
To read the papers, one would think that America is rapidly going to “hell in a hand-basket.” All we read about is the high numbers of foreclosures, while never seeing reports that 96% of all mortgage payments are being made on time.
The press, along with an uninformed public, cry out to Congress to “fix this mess.” However, in reality, the greatest scandal of the mortgage crisis is that it was an intentional loosening of underwriting standards by our government.
At the core of this “crisis” are loans made with essentially no underwriting standards – no verification of income or assets; no down payments and very little consideration of the applicant’s ability to make payments.
And who is responsible for these ill-conceived policies? It was our own U.S. Congress and the Community Reinvestment Act of 1995 that essentially ordered lending institutions, under threat of repercussions from the Justice Department, to loosen their lending policies and approve more loans.
Ironically, the one mortgage lender that followed “the most flexible underwriting criteria permitted” was none other than Countrywide Mortgage!
For Congress to chastise Countrywide and other lending institutions for the subprime mortgage situation is the ultimate act of chutzpah!
Congress is now blaming those institutions for simply doing what they were told.
The price of oil is sky-high and gasoline is pushing $5.00 per gallon while our elected representatives in Washington are standing in the way of energy independence.
This obstruction of America’s pursuit of energy independence shows a deep disrespect for and a serious loss of faith in the American spirit and American ingenuity and know-how.
America can and will develop safe and economical nuclear power. America can and will develop clean coal technology.
America can and will be the leader in alternative forms of energy such as hydrogen fuel-cell technology, nuclear fusion, wind, solar, etc.
America can and will discover and extract our own petroleum reserves in an ecologically responsible way.
Congress – get out of the way and let us do it!
War is hell! The critics say that we must cut and run in Iraq. That all is lost. But there is never mention of the millions of lives saved from Saddam Hussein’s gas, or the open markets in Baghdad, or the new schools, power plants, sewage and water plants, or most importantly, the first democratically elected government in that country in decades.
Just a few short years ago, all of America, most of the members of the US Congress and most of the leaders of the free world were calling for Saddam Hussein’s ouster.
This was a man who claimed to have weapons of mass destruction, repeatedly threatened to use them and had actually unleashed them on his own people. Nearly 90% of Kurdistan villages, over 4,000, were wiped out when he used chemical weapons (mustard gas and nerve agents). In addition, if they were not killed by the chemical onslaught, they were captured and sent to detention centers where most died of starvation or dehydration.
All this was evident to the world while Saddam repeatedly refused UN inspectors into his country.
The men and women of our military understand the mission in Iraq, they see the benefits to the Iraqi people, the United States and the entire free world. They are proud to be a part of the extraordinary liberation of that country.
All of America owes them a serious debt of gratitude and we should all be as supportive and proud of the mission as they.
There are many that look to government to solve our problems. That approach could not be more wrong.
The solutions to many of our problems lie not in Washington (or in Annapolis) but in every household in America. It is time to put earnings back in the hands of the people, time to put trust back in the hands of the people, time to put America back in the hands of the people.
Many of the problems that we are dealing with at home were not caused by a misalignment of the moon or stars, erratic weather patterns or even global warming! They were caused by misguided governmental policies and a basic misunderstanding of human nature.
President Reagan’s comments are as true today as they were in 1984 – “You cannot create a desert, hand a person a cup of water and call that compassion. You cannot pour billions of dollars into make-work jobs while destroying the economy that supports them and call that opportunity. And you cannot build up years of dependence on government and dare call that hope.”
We must remember that, other than National Security, our government’s primary role is to create the environment for individuals to flourish and be able to reach their full potential.
A society of opportunity awaits us. We must only believe in ourselves and give men and women of faith, courage and vision the openings and freedom to build it.
Let the naysayers and pessimists run down America and try to punish success. Let them call you greedy, selfish, and uncaring for not wanting government to take more and more of your money.
The critics of America are wrong on taxes, national defense, free markets, individual freedoms, our place in the world and our traditional way of life.
It is time that we say no to those who keep saying no to America. It is time to say that if you do not have FAITH in America and her people, stand aside and we will get the job done!