Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thank You for the Opportunity

In September 2007, I started an internet blog called Talk It Up America, and at that time I said, “I have created this blog——to post news consistent with Philippians 4:8.

For those of you who do not have a Bible handy, Philippians 4:8 says in the New King James Version, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

In September 2008, the Farmville Herald began publishing my column every other week.

I have enjoyed writing these columns because I believe in the full discourse that must precede any thoughtful decision about the significant issues and challenges that face America today. Naturally, I wanted to present a conservative point of view. But, more than anything else, I strove to ensure that my readers understood that these are complex problems we are up against. Though many people want a simple solution, those are elusive at best and often just wrong. I tried to not just be a critic of others. I always attempted to not make any issue a personal one. I believe that we have an obligation to fully vet and debate policies, but not to carry out character assassinations. And, while I often presented the opposing view of a particular policy, I always would also strive to present an alternative approach to resolving the issue. I firmly believe that you are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem.

I clearly have a strong political point of view and I am not ashamed for having presented a conservative viewpoint of today’s issues. I, for one, do not believe “politics” should be a pejorative term. In fact, I have come to learn that everything in life is political, except politics, that is personal. I consider running for and holding public office to be the highest secular calling an individual may pursue. I hold those in political offices in high regard even when I disagree with their politics or policies. If we lose sight of the value of free and civil political discourse and respect for the elected office, we risk losing our democratic form of government.

Many of you know that I have also been politically active in the Prince Edward County Republican Party, among other local volunteer activities, and I headed up the Prince Edward County campaign to elect Robert Hurt as the Representative for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District.

Because of my political and public service experience, I was recently appointed by Representative Hurt be his Farmville Field Office Director. I am honored to be going to work for Robert Hurt. His thoughtful and considerate approach to the issues, his desire to serve all of the people of the 5th District, and his core beliefs in liberty, individual rights, and free-market solutions to problems make working for Congressman Hurt a natural and easy decision for me.

Quite naturally as well, this means that I will no longer be writing a column for the Farmville Herald or My new job is not to convey my ideas, but rather to listen to the people of the Southside, provide appropriate assistance whenever possible, and to communicate constituent views to Representative Hurt.

I have enjoyed writing these columns and it has been a rewarding experience. Many of you have taken the time to let me know how much you like my writing and agree with my positions on the issues. A few have challenged me on the issues and I have enjoyed those discourses as well. Thank you for reading my column and your support.

I also look forward to representing Robert Hurt and serving all of his constituents. I will be available to visit with anyone about issues pertaining to the federal government, whether it is a personal matter that requires the Congressman’s assistance or you want to communicate your views on a larger policy direction for the federal government.

As I have tried to do throughout my career and in this column for the past two years, I will perform my new duties consistent with Philippians 4:8 and my personal mission statement. “I believe that my gifts come from God and that I am called to use those gifts to serve people by helping them, listening to hear their needs, assimilating and distilling facts that relate to their needs and the issues, and advocating in the public forum to bring forth solutions that benefit the whole by applying the principles of honesty, concern, fair play, respect, discernment, integrity and trust.”

It is with some regret that I stop writing these periodic columns, but it is for good reason that I do so. In the mean time, thank you for the opportunity and I look forward to a different, but equally important, kind of service.