When I finished college (many years ago), I was looking for adventure. I thought I would find it teaching English in Maracaibo, Venezuela. During my time in the city, I found that the teaching conditions were excellent, and the weather was beautiful, but as I ventured out of that area, I was astonished by what I saw. There were people of all ages without enough food, clean water, clothes, or a bed to sleep on.
It was difficult to witness, and hard to process a life defined by a daily struggle to survive. For all our problems back home, I was overcome by an incredible wave of gratitude. My time in Venezuela was a constant reminder of how blessed I was to grow up in America.
I was raised to believe in the American Dream—the idea that anyone, no matter their circumstances, can work hard and achieve great things. The American Dream is not a cliché. It is real and I have seen it many times throughout my life. But other Americans don’t seem to feel the same way.
A recent Wall Street Journal/University of Chicago poll showed 78 percent of people don’t think their children’s lives will be better than theirs. That is a drastic increase from the 42% of people who held the same belief in 2001.
There’s another terrifying statistic. A Gallup poll last month showed American pride at an all-time low, with only 39 percent of people saying they are “extremely proud” to be American.
The divisiveness and plummeting national pride that exists today must stop!
If we want to change the tone in this country, we have to start at the top. We need a principled leader who will revive American strength and pride—not just in our foreign policy, but also in our everyday lives.
That leader is Nikki Haley.
Nikki’s story is driven by a love for America. As the child of legal immigrants who came to this country with nothing, she grew up being told how blessed she is to live in America. It’s a message she repeats constantly in her public and private life. Because for her, the American Dream is not a cliché. It is her life.
As the wife of a combat veteran whose spouse is currently deployed in Africa, Nikki knows that the freedom we enjoy isn’t free. It must be protected and nourished. As a mom of two, Nikki also knows we need a new generation of leadership that will ensure the American Dream is never out of reach for our children.
Nikki proved she will fight for America as the governor of South Carolina, when she turned a double-digit unemployment state into an economic powerhouse. She proved she will fight for taxpayers when she took on the entrenched establishment in South Carolina and fought for transparency and spending cuts. She proved she will put America first when she signed one of the toughest bills tackling illegal immigration in the country.
Just as importantly, Nikki proved she will fight for America on the world stage as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. As our country faces new threats from China, Russia, and Iran, we need a leader who can go toe-to-toe with the world’s dictators on day one. This is not a learning-on-the-job kind of gig.
No candidate in this presidential field has been tougher on China than Haley. She is committed to combating China on all fronts—militarily, domestically, and economically. While the Biden administration sends one official after another to make nice with Xi Jinping, Haley laid out her plan for cracking down on China’s fentanyl, getting China out of our institutions, and building up our military.
Nikki Haley knows we can’t be strong as a country if we aren’t proud. We shouldn’t apologize for American strength. We should embrace it.
My time teaching in Venezuela made me appreciate being an American citizen even more. I want all Americans to love America and to be the best they can be. Nikki Haley is uniquely qualified to deliver that message to the American people and to restore pride in this great country we are lucky to call home.