February 16, 2013
At the Missouri Republican State Convention today, I was asked by a reporter, the most compelling post-campaign question, as a former candidate for the U.S. Senate, “Was it worth it”?!
Senator Tom Coburn in his book “The Debt Bomb, A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankruptcy”, clearly reflected my perceptions, when he stated, “The typical member of Congress is a wonderful and engaging individual with noble intentions but little real-world experience. If we are to solve the problems in front of us, we must elect individuals with backgrounds similar to those of our founders—people full of life experiences paid for with hardship, hard work, and disappointment; people who are willing to give up the comfort of today for a better America.”
I have always had a heart to serve, a love of country, and a dedication to those principles of free enterprise that have made America the land of opportunity for millions who have strived for their share of the American Dream.
My service in the Marine Corps, during the Vietnam era, was a beginning. Then it was over 30 years at the family manufacturing business, struggling as the smallest company in a relentlessly competitive arena, and operating in a highly economically depressed environment. Yet, we were able to grow jobs and long term opportunities for so many dedicated associates. People talk about “community service”, but I’ve always thought that a good job one could depend upon was the kind of community service that really made pretty good sense.
I’ve always believed that the greatest reward in life is helping others to achieve their dreams. And, I truly believed that as a U. S. Senator, with a lifetime of real-world experiences that I could bring to the job, we could start solving real-world problems, with real-world solutions.
Was it worth it to be a candidate for the U.S. Senate?…a resounding “yes”!
Because, if you believe in the principles of what made us a great country, and have experienced first-hand, through many years of hard work, an outcome that resulted in so many families as beneficiaries of that dream; I had two choices: (1) Pack it up and retire or, (2) Continue forward, to risk an investment that could positively affect the lives of countless others. I was convinced that doing nothing was not an option. So, over a hundred years of family business savings became the source of much of the campaign resources needed to attack Capitol Hill.
Though I fell short of this goal, my motivation has not diminished. If anything I’ve got an ever stronger resolve to work harder…as I’ll never forget the look in the eyes, of so many folks across Missouri, as we shared a renewed sense of optimism, by reclaiming a little more freedom.
I’ve never forgotten a quote from Theodore Roosevelt in my 11th grade English book:
“Far better it is to dare mighty dreams, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits that neither suffer much, nor enjoy much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory, or defeat.”
February 16, 2013