Dear friends, delegates to the fifth district, fellow citizens,
I’m worried. Very very worried. The wonderful country I grew up in, that kept me safe in my youth, that provided me with an education, a culture, a heritage, an extraordinary sense of possibility, with Liberty itself – is slipping away.
It is being consciously undermined, disassembled, destroyed. Many of those entrusted to protect it are not doing do. Those who serve in our military are not the problem. Those who serve in our police and rescue services are not the problem. If it were not for these brave people we would be in an even more dangerous place.
Those who are not protecting us are the politicians, elected officials, government bureaucrats and officials who are simply more interested in their own power, perks and privilege than in any sense of duty to our country or to any sense of responsibility to the citizens they are supposed to represent.
Unless your name is Rip Van Winkle and you’ve been asleep for the past twenty years, you like me can plainly see what is happening to our country. We are in an existential crisis.
We need candor. We need a reality check. This is no time for the second rate, the careerist, the good ol’ boy, the back-scratching politician or the go-along-to-get-along hack. When a people are threatened, they need heroes to arise among them. We need, in short, a citizen warrior.
Many of you have seen my Civil War movies. Making those films took more than twenty five years, the heart and soul of my life as a filmmaker. I held nothing back. Left nothing on the table. My rewards were not measured in the fleeting and the ephemeral: box office receipts, film reviews, the accolades and trophies of colleagues. My enduring rewards were in spending time with Virginia’s heroes of another age, and in bringing those extraordinary people to cinematic life again, so that future generations could know them too.
The times were different and the issues they fought over will be debated as long as humanity sings the songs of heroes. What they say to us today is that Liberty is worth defending. That freedom is never free. That honor is real. That country matters.
My friends and neighbors. We find ourselves together at this place at this time by the grace of God. Let us find it in ourselves to transcend the petty, the personal, the short-sighted and the near advantage. Let us raise up a hero in our midst. At this moment, in this place, we can do no less.
I can offer many reasons why I believe Michael DelRosso is the best man to nominate for Congress. But here’s the only one that matters: I love my country.