But conservatives should not be discouraged. Now is not the time to wonder whether or not we can turn things around. Of course we can. Of course we will.
Recently, I read A.J. Langguth’s book Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution. It tells the story of Samuel Adams and the difficult early years of the Patriot movement as they organized a grassroots movement for liberty against daunting odds: the seemingly invincible British Empire and many Tories loyal to the Crown in the colonies.
In the aftermath of numerous defeats, James Warren who was one of Adams’ trusted allies began to lose heart after one particularly tough canvassing effort across the Massachusetts countryside. He wrote to Adams saying of the Patriot movement, “They are dead and the dead cannot be raised without a miracle.”
Adams simply responded: “Nil desperandum, — Never Despair. That is a motto for you and me. All are not dead; and where there is a spark of patriotic fire, we will rekindle it.”
Needless to say, the cause of freedom has been dealt a significant setback.
Americans for Prosperity has always been dedicated to winning policy objectives for the long haul. That’s why we’re so incredibly proud of each of our activists and volunteers who poured their time, energy, and passion into spreading the message of economic freedom throughout this year. Together we traveled thousands of miles, made millions of phone calls and knocked on countless doors. You are helping shape the dialogue on key issues about the size and scope of government and economic freedom.
Even the media noticed the massive new grassroots ground game underway all across the country. Reporters from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today and others came to see activists like you fighting for liberty. It’s important to remember that AFP is not about winning elections – it’s about permanently shaping the culture of America to promote individual liberty and economic freedom. That won’t happen overnight. AFP has come a long way since we started in 2004, but there’s still much to be done.
You should know that we are always looking for ways to make our efforts more efficient and effective. This year we developed sophisticated technology to help with phone banking and canvassing. We are going to carefully and objectively examine our own grassroots effort because it can and will be improved. Then, we are going to become bigger, stronger, better organized, better funded, smarter, more nimble and tougher so we can advocate for our issues and promote economic freedom.
Through our grassroots efforts, we’ve won some incredible victories — defeating cap-and-trade, stopping card check, and countless state policy wins.
And yes, we’ve suffered grievous defeats including the wrenching health care issue in 2010.
Conservatives have been knocked down before, but we keep going because we love our country and we want to leave a better place for our children.
I want you to know that we are resolutely determined to achieve our objective of genuine prosperity in this great nation through bringing greater economic freedom to our fellow citizens. I know we can do this because AFP has you – an army of the most dedicated, principled, and inspirational grassroots heroes there are.
We’re already looking forward to the next battle for individual freedom and more limited government. The “lame duck” session of Congress will be weighing whether to do the right thing and cut wasteful spending, or continue to grow the debt and size of government. With your help, Americans for Prosperity will continue to lead the way in the fight for fiscal responsibility.
Much lies ahead.