(Editor’s note: The following impromptu speech was made by E.W. Jackson on the occasion of his nomination for Lt. Governor of the state of Virginia. His remarks, as printed in part here, ring true not just for Virginia, but for all of us.)
Fellow Patriots, I am a proud citizen in the greatest state in this union, the Commonwealth of Virginia. My ancestors go back more than 200 years ago in Orange County, Virginia. My mother’s name is even Virginia. I am running to be Lieutenant Governor of Virginia for one primary reason: to make sure that Virginia remains sovereign and free.
We say to every Virginian regardless of your race, background, or economic status [that] we want you to fulfill your dreams, to be able to support your family, and to know that your children will have a better life than the life that you have had. I grew up in a foster home for most of my childhood. We want the hope and opportunity that America has meant to me to be available to every child. How do we do that? Ronald Reagan said the answers aren’t necessarily easy but they are simple. Here’s how we do it – Get the government off our backs, off our property, off our guns, out of our families, out of our health care, and out of our way.
I took an oath in August of 1970 in the United States Marine Corps to the Constitution of the United States, that I would preserve, protect, and defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic, and bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That oath never had an expiration date. Included in that oath is something called the Tenth Amendment to that Constitution which says that the Commonwealth of Virginia is a sovereign state. We do not have to ask the government’s permission to get our coal, and our oil, and our gas out of the ground. We do not need their permission to farm our land, or sell our products. And we do not need their permission to have a pond on our property or have a party in our house.
We, in Virginia, still “hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And so we stand up for property rights because there is no liberty when the government dictates what you do on your own property. We stand up for the free market because there is no liberty when the government dictates your economic destiny. And we stand up for parental choice in education because there is no liberty when children are indoctrinated instead of educated. And yes, we stand up for the Second Amendment because there is no liberty when madmen can go into our schools and slaughter our children and we don’t have the ability to stop them.
Ronald Reagan said that freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. We do not pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for and protected and passed on for them to do the same, or we will spend our sunset years telling our children about the United States of America where once men were free. That’s not our vision.
Our vision is captured in my favorite patriotic hymn. “My country ‘tis of Thee; Sweet land of liberty; Of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died; Land of the Pilgrims’ pride; From every mountainside; Let freedom ring.”
Because this is my vision for our country, I am proud to say that I am not an African-American – I am an American. I am tired of the hyphenation. No more hyphenation! I have a 21st century vision for our country. It is a vision to end the racial, and class, and economic divisions that liberals are forcing on us. It is a vision of faith, a vision of family, a vision of individual liberty and personal responsibility. It is a vision of one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. This is our vision. This is our hope.
And let liberty light the way.
God bless you. God bless the Commonwealth of Virginia. And God bless the United States of America.