Though the Fourth of July celebrates America’s declaration of our quest for independence from the king’s oppression, it is appropriate to remember that it was through our dependence on each other that we achieved our freedom. Independence Day is, then, a celebration of the spirit of community, of the caring for the needs of our neighbors that truly makes America the greatest nation the world has ever known.
The men and women who founded our country risked everything because of their belief that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When they laid the foundation of American government, our founders were explicit that they did so “in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
I am deeply concerned that the storm now raging over our land with its darkening clouds of lies, flashing sheets of bitter rhetoric and deafening thunder of media is hiding from our sight the values of our founders, so clearly and forcefully stated in the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution. Yet I believe, as they did, that human goodness will ultimately prevail because our government derives its just powers from the consent of ourselves, the governed.
So does Phillip Price. That is why he is running to represent the 750,000 citizens of the 16 counties comprising North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. He reminds me of the village blacksmith who laid aside his hammer and cooled his forge to stand fast with his neighbors against tyranny at Old North Bridge. A small-business man who salvages lumber from old structures and restores it for use by those who build anew, he is truly a working man for working people.
Mr. Price is one of us. Rather than engaging himself in the cause du jour, he has devoted his life to providing for his family, to raising his children in partnership with his wife, to membership in his church, and to making a little music and doing a little fishing and hunting as time permits. And like so many of us, he is not without human frailty. But unlike many, he has come to grips with his flaws, sought and found redemption, and grown beyond them.
In his campaign. he pledges to strive to secure the same from our government in Washington as we would ask for ourselves and our neighbors: honest jobs with fair pay, good health and long life, the opportunity for our children to learn so their lives may be better than ours, and an environment in which we and the generations who follow us can thrive.
Election Day is months away. In the intervening weeks, you will have the opportunity to meet Mr. Price at numerous fairs and festivals throughout Western North Carolina. You are apt to see his dual-tired pickup parked where we work, where we find treatment for our ills, where we learn and where we gather to have fun. Don’t be shy. Go up to him, tell him who you are and tell him how he can help you, your family, and your neighbors. That’s what he needs to know when we send him to Washington to represent us.
— Graeme McGufficke
Editor’s note: McGufficke reports that he is the field director for the Phillip Price for Congress campaign.