It used to be that a man would sooner die than run. Courage, physical and moral, was the sine qua non of American masculinity. Whether it was a 22-year-old George Washington boasting of his first battle, “I have heard the bullets whistle; and believe me, there is something charming in the sound,” Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie at the Alamo, or Charles Goodyear’s persevering for years, through financial failure and formula after formula, to produce vulcanized rubber, courage was as much a part of the American identity as pluck and practicality, independence and pride.
Call it the prepositional proposition. The new improved Contract With America is now the Contract From America. But it will take more political will and determination to govern according to the Constitution than we have heretofore seen to make that more than a semantical distinction.
Which allows an American Samoan worker to have a higher standard of living: being employed at $3.26 per hour or unemployed at a wage scheduled to annually increase by 50 cents until it reaches federally mandated wages at $7.25? You say, "Williams, that's a stupid question. Who would support people being unemployed at $7.25 an hour over being employed at $3.26 an hour?" That's precisely the outcome of Congress' 2007 increases in the minimum wage. Chicken of the Sea International moved its operation from Samoa to a highly automated cannery plant in Lyon, Georgia. That resulted in roughly 2,000 jobs lost in Samoa and a gain of 200 jobs in Georgia.
I’ve always been proud to be an American, proud about her independent spirit, her inspired — even Providential — founding, her many heroes during those difficult early days and the difficult days and years that followed, proud of all those men and women of vision, virtue, and action who knew the score and stood up for the truth when it was popular, and when it was not, when it cost little, and when it cost everything.