Optimism and Opportunity

In “Shotgun Wife” a month ago (October, 2012), I revealed my political preferences by encouraging Americans to get behind the 2012 election of conservatives at every level of government. That was a risky move for me since I really dislike confrontations and knew I was potentially inviting that very response. But I had to take the chance and brace myself for the possible backlash because this election is all about rescuing the future of our great nation from its march toward socialism and financial collapse.

The responses I received were overwhelmingly positive and supportive. Can I share some quotes from emails sent to me?  They explain why my optimism is growing:
“It is the first time I have ever been so passionate and so involved in an election, with bumper stickers, yard signs, and maximum limit campaign contributions. The news most encouraging to me is to see the extent that my Hispanic in-laws and their friends are adamant about not voting for Obama again, though not wanting anyone to know it, all the while influencing their associates to vote Romney. It convinces me that the outcome will be substantially better than the polls would indicate.”

“Thank you for taking a Non-Apologetic stand on what you believe. The liberals have not apologized or held back their opinions on gun-control, removal of any semblance of Christianity, de-moralizing our schools and children, destruction of the institutions upon which this great country was founded, and NEITHER SHOULD WE WHEN WE LAUNCH THE FIGHT TO TAKE IT BACK
(A gun-toting, God-loving, church-going, gainfully employed, hard-working, tax-paying, PROUD AMERICAN WOMAN!!!)”

“Joshua Creek Ranch is a shining example of American freedoms and capitalism at work.  We are proud to join you in supporting America’s conservative values and dreams for a bright future for our nation.”

“As a customer of your excellent game ranch I would just like to say well said and thanks for taking a stand to take our country back!”

I had a couple of negative email responses that suggested I was putting my business at risk by voicing my preference for the election of conservative government leaders. One said, “With all due respect, unless you are seeking to have only like-minded customers come to Joshua Creek as paying guests, it seems that you are potentially offending existing (and potential) customers by promoting your political agenda as part of your marketing of JCR.” I’ll take the chance of losing some customers over a difference in political views versus the very real possibility of seeing re-elected progressive candidates advance their agenda to limit the Second Amendment rights of individuals and impose further crippling legislation, taxes  and regulations upon America’s small businesses. 

Though I’m not sending apologies to those folks who sent feedback opposing my position, I do appreciate their responses along with all the supportive ones. Our exchange of ideas reflects one of the great gifts from our founders which we must vigorously defend – the right to speak, discuss, defend and debate the subjects of interest and consequence to each of us.  For the first time ever I’m expressing my views. The responses I’ve received make me realize the importance and value of engagement in our election and legislative processes. Engagement in these processes results in discovery of more information and developing a clearer understanding of what’s going on.  Engagement in the processes creates the opportunity to contribute to change. 

JCR-Fall-CreekA “site” to behold at Joshua Creek Ranch.

One particular email expressed concern for the impact of my promotion of conservative government leaders on the atmosphere at Joshua Creek Ranch:  “We bring our (guests) to JCR for an opportunity to escape their every-day concerns, not to embroil in them, and I am concerned that the peaceful “non-political” atmosphere that we have enjoyed at JCR in the past has been abandoned.”  The answer to that was easy.  I replied, “There’s no need for you to worry about any abandonment of the peaceful atmosphere you and others so enjoy at JCR.  It’s what we love ensuring for our guests, and we know it’s what keeps them coming back, thus allowing the ranch to survive and even thrive.”

Interestingly, I’ve not had one negative response to my lapel button for Romney/Ryan, which I wear most days. Sometimes I forget I have it on until someone like the TSA agent at the airport, or the Walmart cashier, says “I like your button.” That button has been the inspiration for many encouraging exchanges about hopes for returning the U.S.A. to prosperity and preserving individual freedom in America.    

It appears to me that Americans’ awareness of the actions of our elected leaders (and wanna-be-leaders) has heightened to a level I’ve not seen since I reached my mid-life years. (I honestly wasn’t paying attention before that.)  Just knowing that folks are watching has already improved the voting behavior and conservative rhetoric of legislators who face re-election in 2012 and beyond.  That’s encouraging, and cause for my optimism and sense of opportunity. 

I have plans just waiting for enactment if this 2012 election results in new conservative government leadership that will surely be more friendly to small businesses. I’ll be dusting off those plans for additional accommodations that have been on hold for several years and we’ll be proceeding with some exciting expansion ideas for new recreational opportunities, like a gun range on the ranch and global sporting experiences for our clients. If progressive politicians remain in control after the election, then I’ll just continue to enjoy Joshua Creek Ranch as it is and keep dreaming up ways to grow and improve it when the time is right.  I’m the eternal optimist who won’t give up on keeping the American Dream alive.

These words of President Abraham Lincoln are forever true:
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
… Abraham Lincoln

“Divided as we were during the Civil War, Americans long to be unified by a leader, like Lincoln, committed to expanding liberty and increasing individual opportunity — the source of human flourishing.”  Restoring the Last Best Hope on Earth by Melanie Sturm, columnist for The Aspen Times.  Read the entire column published October 25, 2012 at http://bit.ly/lasthopeearth.

Ann Kercheville is President of Joshua Creek Ranch. Located in the renowned Texas Hill Country just 45 minutes northwest of San Antonio and 90 minutes southwest of Austin, Joshua Creek Ranch occupies a uniquely diverse terrain including miles of Joshua Creek and Guadalupe River bottomland planted in fields of grain crops for prime upland and deer hunting habitats. You can visit their web site at http://www.joshuacreek.com.


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