They have a saying here in Texas, the Lone Star State, for those who were not born here. It goes, “I was not born here, but I got here as fast as I could,”
My last duty assignment in the US Army was right here at Ft. Hood, Texas. However, I was born and raised in the state of Georgia, and I graduated from the University of Tennessee. I am a “Volunteer for Life,” or VFL, as we say back on ol’ Rocky Top.
There are some things happening here in Texas that have caused me to do some reflection.
See, Texas is not about whether you were born here or not. The real essence of Texas is its character, that aura of rugged individualism, strength, resilience, toughness, resolve, and yes, defiance. All of that inspired men from here, and so many other places, like Georgia and Tennessee, to come here to make a stand. What did they stand against? It was tyranny. They stood against the belief that some tyrant, a dictator far away, could decide their lives. They stood for individual liberty and self-determination, simple ingredients that make Texas — and America — unlike any other place the world has ever known.
It is said that there is only one flag that can fly at the same height as the American flag, and that is the Lone Star flag of Texas. There is only one state that has its own Pledge of Allegiance, “Honor the Texas flag, I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one State under God, one and indivisible.” That is the uniqueness of Texas, a state in the American union that was once its very own country, a Republic.
Texas is not about being born here, it is about what beats in your heart. It is about embracing a history that is revered all over the world, trust me. Texas is about a certain swagger and sense that courses through your veins.
Texas, in America, leads, it does not follow. Those entrusted to hold positions as elected representatives are supposed to embody that aura, character, and resolve, to lead, not follow.
If there is one thing my 22 years of active duty service in our Army taught me, it is that leaders seek what can be done, they do not cower and submit to accept what cannot be achieved. There is no better place than Texas where that mantra is embedded in its history.
True leaders recognize risks, but they also present solutions that mitigate the risk. Young military leaders are taught, when engaged in an ambush, the worst thing you can do is nothing. You fight out of it, not sit and hope. As former Chief of Staff of the Army, and my former Division Commander, General Gordon R. Sullivan taught us, “hope is not a method.” Sir Winston Churchill, the only foreign leader to have American citizenship bestowed upon him — and a US Naval vessel christened in his name — asserted, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”
In Texas, we do not need elected officials who are hoping for a remedy. In Texas, we do not need elected officials who operate under the principle of “paralysis by analysis.” No, I am not talking about throwing chance to the wind, that is what fools do. I am talking about leadership. I am talking about that which is the essence of Texas.
A 26-year-old young man from South Carolina commanded a garrison of 185 that was surrounded by thousands. I am sure he weighed the risks. Even when he realized that there would be no reinforcements, he and fellas from Georgia and Tennessee, made a stand. I suppose y’all know that Jim Bowie was born in Georgia, and ol’ Davy Crockett, well, he was also a former member of the US House of Representatives. None of them was a born and raised Texian, or Texan, but that Texas character, spirit, burned within them.
In Texas, we do not wait for someone else to find a cure, we figure it out. In Texas, we do not allow local tyrants to impose their ideological agenda and will upon the people by restricting and limiting freedom and liberty. As we say back in Georgia, “that dog don’t hunt.” If there is one place that all of America looks to for leadership, it is Texas. When that beacon which is the Lone Star shines just a little less brighter, then the other 49 stars of the American flag will be cast into a grim darkness.There is never a time when character, resolve, strength, freedom, and liberty do not matter. If anything, this is the time when our fundamental principles and core being matter the most. Click To Tweet
There are those who say these are different times. That we have never faced anything like COVID-19. I do not accept that excuse. There is never a time when character, resolve, strength, freedom, and liberty do not matter. If anything, this is the time when our fundamental principles and core being matter the most. This is not the time to be driven into the dangerous peril of fear, panic, paranoia, and hysteria. It is not the time to be paralyzed in the ambush zone, refusing to take any action. Now is the time for bold, courageous leadership, and that must come from Texas.
Here, Texas is the 10th largest economy in the world. Do we want to see more economic suffering cast upon our citizens due to a fear to act? Do we want ideologues deciding who and what is essential and non-essential? Are we to believe that together we cannot “cowboy (and cowgirl) up” and forge our way through this pandemic? No, I will not sit in the ambush zone and be told to cower, wear a mask, and wait it out. You fight through an ambush. And, here in Texas, if we know our history, we don’t give a damn about odds and being surrounded.
In Texas, we fight progressive socialism or COVID-19 . . . it does not matter, we fight!