The Colonel knows full well that he views the world, and our great Republic's place in it, through a much different lens than the vast majority of his fellow citizens.
He has regularly, throughout his lengthening life, found himself marching at the head of a one-man parade, serene in his rhythm and yet alone with the beat in his head.
It was so even during his years as a centurion in the Republic's expeditionary legions. Oh, there were some like-minded fellow freedom fighters, but all too often their cerebral drum-beat carried them tangentially away from the Colonel's route of march.
Mind you, the Colonel claims no particular brilliance to his beat. As any of you who follow his posts hereon will testify, the Colonel's personal motto -- "ain't smart and you can't make me" -- applies in spades.
No, the drum beat echoing throughout his cavernous, and relatively empty, brain cavity isn't an original creation.
Remember, the Colonel ain't educated -- he didn't go to college, he went to Ole Miss. And, his two masters degrees -- Human Resource Management, and National Security and Strategic Studies -- weren't exactly the product of strenuous mental calisthenics. They were more like participation trophies and nearly perfectly suited for the Colonel's current career -- raising trees and turning them into sawdust.
The Colonel once held the mistaken belief that the beat that animated his march was "love of country."
He now sees, through eyes dimmed by decades searching the sun for the approach of the barbarians, that love of country is as vacuous and worthless a concept as love of lawn.
The Colonel has been to many, many countries on the globe, thanks to Uncle Sam as his financier and travel agent.
The geography in those far-flung places was no less affection-inspiring than that of his native land.
The people themselves were no less appropriate for the Colonel's comradeship than his fellow citizens.
It slowly dawned on the Colonel -- remember, he ain't particularly bright -- that there had to be something more to his devotion to the Republic than it's dirt and denizens.
The Colonel recognizes that most of you -- much smarter than this perpetual fifth-grader -- came to the correct conclusion of this search for understanding long ago.
You realized that it wasn't the people and places that made America great. It was their animating spirit.
The spirit of America is FREEDOM.
Not freedom from responsibility, but freedom to act on personal responsibility. Our Republic's spirit -- enshrined in our Constitution -- is freedom to pursue individual greatness. Our Republic's spirit is equality of opportunity, NOT equality of outcome.
Here's where the Colonel's drummer breaks into a beat that marches him off the reservation.
Our Republic -- The United States of America -- has the same responsibility as it's citizens. Just as each citizen has the responsibility to ensure that his or her fellow citizens' equality of opportunity is unhindered, our Republic has a moral responsibility to ensure that ALL men -- whose natural rights of freedom are "endowed by their Creator," not by a government -- are free to pursue the fruits of that freedom.
What does that mean?
It means that our Republic must continue to expand in order that increasing numbers of the world's men and women are included under a particular system of self-governance that has proven to be the greatest guarantor of the blessings of free-market capitalism this world has ever known.
It also means that we whose eyes are wide open must keep our sights set on the target of limited government. Not no government. But a government limited solely to the ensurance of the survival of the free exercise of man's natural rights.
Pick your leaders accordingly.
The Republic's future greatness depends on a Constitutionally-constrained chief executive who will lead the nation to share the fruits of freedom with the world, not on the whims of an authoritarian chief executive who will build walls of exclusion and wield the apparatus of government as a cudgel.