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Courage of Conviction

April 28, 2023

The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.” — unknown

I’m usually content to be good old neutral Switzerland. I remain more of a mediator than an activist and will most likely always be an independent thinker. I’ve been a happy politically middling Independent, for years.

My dad was a staunch trade union, spendthrift Democrat and my mom was a socially and fiscally conservative Republican. We were a two-party family in a sad but realistic, two-party system. I naturally gravitated to the Independent middle, ideologically and socially.

Someone has changed my mind and I’m reluctantly surrendering my firm position as a registered Independent so that I can vote for Nikki Haley in the next presidential primary. This public confession is so not me, but I’m stepping off the cliff with the courage of conviction, something familiar to Ms. Haley.

In case you’re unaware, Independents cannot vote in primary elections. Theoretically and logically, we should all be able to vote for our candidate of choice, no matter the party. But given the best system our nation could muster; logic does not always reign.

I’m encouraged that Nikki Haley is a minority, who isn’t a victim. I’m not mad that she’s conservative.

When she makes it easy to be envious of her accomplishments, I’m not jealous that this woman has won every race that she’s entered, when I have clearly lost a few non-political ones. She’s been bullied by the best of them, but powered through by the courage of her convictions and her desire to make a difference.

I’m inspired by tenacity. I’m motivated by an underdog who gets through the race, win or lose. I’m empowered by people who try their best, never give up, keep their heads up, and doggedly persist.

I grew up with a work ethic and I like hard work and hard workers. There is no way on this earth that I will ever believe that hard work is racist or wrong. So don’t even attempt with such absurd thinking to convince me otherwise. It won’t happen, and of this, I am sure.

Part of the work ethic is stick-to-it-iveness or persistence. The ethical factor in hard work is that you won’t, even can’t, quit until the job is done, the work is completed, and the goal is reached.

It isn’t racist nor is it elitist to win. To strive to be better isn’t unfair or out of balance. Competition isn’t dominance as much as it’s encouragement to try harder. If you’re trying to be the best you won’t consider settling for the least.

When you try, when you’ve done your best, when you’ve engaged and run the race, you’ve inspired someone, somewhere. That’s the courage of conviction.

Having the stamina to struggle, to work, is a worthwhile goal as we age. So is getting smarter through education and critical thinking, and wiser through the experience of lessons learned. “Work smarter, not harder,” should be the mantra of the aging. It’s easier on the joints. But work, we must.

Nikki Haley was an Accountant, first. She understands a balance sheet, cost-benefit ratio, and small business.

She never has belonged in the traditional kind of politics of double-speak, and constant talk but no action. Surely she’s an introvert who thrives on meaningful conversation and has little time for small talk just to pass the time. I don’t know her, but I’m offering an educated guess.

Nikki Haley is not confusing nor confused about anything. She says what she means and means what she says. That’s the courage of conviction.

She has been a first before but that’s not why she’s running for President. She’s running because she can do the job and this nation needs her, for such a time as this.

Some time ago, Haley said that South Carolina had enough politicians in their legislature but needed a good accountant. Don’t we have enough self-serving politicians in Washington, but need a good, smart, governor, leader, ambassador, accountant, and loyal servant representing us in Washington? We need a leader with the courage of conviction.

“Courage is so rare nowadays, that one gets cornered for having courage of conviction and living by one’s ideals. However, it is great to be cornered, since the corner with courage is never too crowded.” – Jeroninio Almeida

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