Orlando, FL, Miami, FL, Myrtle Beach, SC & Washington, D.C. July 19, 2013—The office of Digger Cartwright, mystery novelist, industrialist and author of the inspirational novel Conversations on the Bench, has released the transcript of Mr. Cartwright’s Independence Day speech delivered at Thinking Outside the Boxe’s 10th anniversary celebration on July 4, 2013 at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando.
Mr. Cartwright’s speech opened the invitation-only celebration honoring the think tank’s milestone 10th anniversary. The transcript of Mr. Cartwright’s speech follows:
“Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here today at this beautiful resort to celebrate America’s Independence and Thinking Outside the Boxe’s 10th anniversary. I have enjoyed participating in Thinking Outside the Boxe’s symposiums and champagne summits over the years, and I admire the on-going efforts of this organization to bring creative thinking to solving some very difficult problems. The work everyone here has done over the years is commendable, and I thank you for having me as part of this event and this organization and for your efforts to make America a better place for everyone. I look forward to being part of your on-going discussions for many years to come.
As we celebrate America’s 237th birthday on this Independence Day 2013, it is worthwhile to reflect on our forefathers and the state of our nation today. In 1776 Americans tired of oppression and thirsting for freedom and the right to determine their own futures threw off the chains of tyranny. Our Founding Fathers established the constitutional republic and, unlike any other nation, told the government what its rights and limitations were. But more importantly, our Founding Fathers later provided for the protection of ten fundamental rights of the America people, aimed at ensuring the people provided a check to the federal government and deterrents against tyrannical rule and despots.
Our Founding Fathers were willing to sacrifice their property, their careers, and their lives in pursuit of a greater good for their fellow Americans and to ensure that liberty rang throughout the land for generations to come. Today, our fellow Americans largely know nothing of sacrifice. They’re unwilling to sacrifice their time to gain a better understanding of current events and the implications for our liberties. They’re unwilling to sacrifice their time to participate in the political process or civic ritual; they can’t afford the time to know what their politicians and candidates stand for or how they intend to preserve and protect the Constitution. They’re too busy to stand up for their rights as they are slowly eroded by an ever expanding and more far reaching federal government. They prefer ignorance to knowledge. They prefer the pleasure of having at any and all costs now as opposed to making sacrifices and waiting until the time is right.
Our Founding Fathers and ordinary Americans throughout the land fought a long and hard battle to free themselves from the shackles of tyranny. They left their homes and endured horrendous conditions in the pursuit of freedom. Today, our fellow Americans are soft and weak. They can’t sacrifice the creature comforts for a greater good for themselves let alone their fellow Americans. Endurance has become how long they can sit in front of a video game or how much they can eat in an effort to quench a gluttonous desire or how long they can go without exercising. Americans today can’t tolerate the heat or the cold or a house that is smaller than their friends or leftovers or an inferior cell phone or a small television. Our fellow Americans can’t function without their cell phones or iPads at their sides, and their muscles twinge in anticipation even when their phone is somewhere else.
Our Founding Fathers believed in hard work with the fruits of their labors being their reward. Our Founding Fathers believed that success could only be achieved through hard work. Today, our fellow Americans shirk from hard work and look for the highest rewards with the least efforts and paths of least resistance. Americans now mistakenly believe that success can be provided by someone else or by the government without hard work and sacrifice. Hard work is rewarded with calluses, aches, pains and tears. The lack of hard work is rewarded with handouts.
Our Founding Fathers believed that our collective contributions to the political discussion defined out nation and ensured a political process that represented the will of the people. Our Founding Fathers sought ways that they could help the government and our republic. Today, our fellow Americans have no interest in the political discussion and are only concerned with what the government can do for them. Our fellow Americans are only interested in what they can get from the government and how the government can help them with little consideration of how their self-serving and self-centered needs affect others. Our fellow Americans are content sending politicians to Washington, DC based on youthful good looks, charisma, representations by the media, and promises of the land of milk and honey.
Our Founding Fathers saw it as their duty to serve their country in the military or the government. Our Founding Fathers were bakers, planters, bankers, teachers, lawyers, doctors and journeymen who served their country not because there were riches to be had or lavish lifestyles or promises of enrichment after leaving office. Our Founding Fathers left their homes and their families and their trades to serve in government not because they needed the government but because the government needed them. Our fellow Americans see public service as a way to enrich themselves at the taxpayers’ expense. Our fellow Americans see public service not in terms of honor and duty but in terms of opportunity and money.
Our Founding Fathers looked not just at the then present day but looked to the vast future. Our Founding Fathers balanced the needs of their days in crafting our federal government and its rights with their expectations of the future needs of generations to come. Today, our fellow Americans know nothing of the lofty visions and high ideals that our Founding Fathers debated in pursuit of a framework for limited government that protected the rights and liberties of Americans. To our Founding Fathers, the federal government wasn’t the end all solution to the problems of the people; it was a means by which to ensure the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for the American people. Today, our fellow Americans see the government as a solution to all their problems.
And how stands the state of our nation on this 237th anniversary of our independence? On the world stage, our nation remains a beacon of hope for hundreds of millions of peoples yearning for freedom and opportunity. But here in America, our nation is being fundamentally weakened by forces within our own borders. Our liberties and the freedom we hold dear and that is the envy of the world are slowly being eroded by an expanding and ever more intrusive federal government. And the federal government’s profligate spending and on-going deficits, which have no end in sight, are financially weakening our economy and jeopardizing the financial security of our nation in the future.
In the here and now, the actions of the federal government and our elected officials may seem alarming but are often justified and dismissed as being necessary to protect the American people and strengthen our economy. But the policies being implemented now will have major ramifications in the future and, when coupled with other equally dangerous policies, serve only to diminish our freedoms and our liberties gradually and over time. There can be no doubt that we are less free today than at any time since July 4, 1776, and there can be no doubt that the powers of the federal government have grown more and more until now the federal government has the most power over Americans than at any other time in history as well.
All of this change has been veiled by the fact that a vast majority of Americans want this change, as they believe the government is better able to provide for them and address their problems than they themselves. They have abandoned personal responsibility and turned to the federal government for guidance and support. They are like drunks turning to another bottle for refuge, solace, and sustenance. And the federal government and elected officials have been all too quick to embrace them and comfort them, promising to care for them and their needs if only they will give them the power to do so. These people have become slaves to big government, and they are threatening to put us all in the shackles of the federal government so that Uncle Sam is the master and ordinary Americans mere slaves trying to quench the insatiable appetite of a growing government. This has created a dangerously destabilizing situation for liberty and personal freedom in America.
America and our freedoms cannot survive in a land where less than half the people contribute to provide and care for the majority who contribute nothing to the system. We cannot survive where more than half are free of responsibility and all the rest are slaves to them and the federal government. We cannot survive and prosper where more than half have no concept of personal responsibility and wish to subrogate that responsibility to others. Much has been given to America and its people; freedom and liberty are precious institutions that must be protected and preserved, and the American people as a whole, not the elected elitists, have the responsibility of defending against any and all threats foreign and domestic. Much is expected from those to whom much has been given.
But a vast majority of the American people have become complacent and disengaged from the political process and political discussions. Many Americans are more concerned with the antics of their favorite celebrities or with persecution of those who were not politically correct or with texting and surfing the internet or with self-serving and self-centered endeavors than with the good the nation at large. Many today would be loath to make sacrifices for the good of the country, opting instead for self satisfaction and instant gratification. This perversion of priorities allows a free pass for despots and tyrants to thrive. This focus on insignificant issues allows for the gradual and subtle erosion of liberty behind closed doors.
Many Americans now are questioning whether we should celebrate being Americans or whether we should strive to be citizens of the world. Where once patriotism was encouraged, it seems it is now frowned upon under the mistaken and misguided belief that we might offend someone. We have become more concerned with the feelings of others who have no stake in America or its success to the detriment of our own celebration of the American spirit. But patriotism comes not only from small displays of flags or support of the military. Patriotism comes from vigilance against tyranny in all its forms and in holding the federal government and our elected officials accountable. Complacency, disengagement, and an erosion of the American spirit and patriotism will foster an environment for tyranny and corruption. If the greatness of America and the American spirit are denigrated, the beacon of hope, the shining light of freedom and liberty, for many millions throughout the world yearning for a better way will go dark.
America is a nation currently lost, adrift in a sea surrounded by any number of forces hoping to drown our spirit and our success and our greatness and our very liberty. Our confidence in all that has made us great throughout our history has been shaken, and our very foundation is starting to show fractures and stress. We are weakened by lack of faith in leadership and elected officials. We are weakened by the corruption that is pervasive throughout the land. We are weakened by those who seek to pursue agendas that are contrary to the very ideals held so dear by our Founding Fathers. We are weakened by our own lack of devotion to a cause far greater than any of our own individual wants and needs—the cause of liberty and freedom.
But all is not lost and hopeless, for it is always darkest before the dawn. America and our set of ideals as set forth in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are still the envy of the world and still the foundation upon which we rest as a nation of greatness. We must get back to the basics. We must realign our priorities and focus our attentions on the matters at hand that threaten to further weaken the foundational values of our constitutional republic. We must be vigilant and demand answers and accountability from our elected officials and all institutions of the federal government. The government is of the people, by the people and for the people. The government is the people and is accountable to the people. The government and our elected officials serve to protect the interest of the people—not their own personal interests. They are all accountable to American citizens and taxpayers.
We must begin a great national dialogue and educational process that seeks to raise awareness amongst American citizens of the dangers of expanding federal government and the corresponding erosion of our liberties. We must end the era of perpetual support for those who do not contribute and encourage and reward personal achievement and success.
But we must do all of this as a great American society, a peoples joined as one for the common protection of our ideals, our values, and our liberties and the promotion of limited government and greater personal responsibility so that we may all benefit from the fruits of a greater America not for the few but for the many.
God bless you all. God Bless the United States of America, and Happy Independence Day!”
About Mr. Cartwright— Digger Cartwright is the author of several mystery stories, teleplays, and novels including Conversations on the Bench, an inspirational book based on actual events, The Maynwarings: A Game of Chance, a mystery set in the Old West, The Versailles Conspiracy, a modern day political thriller, Murder at the Ocean Forest, a traditional mystery novel set in the 1940s, and The House of Dark Shadows, a psychological thriller.
In the business realm, he has contributed to a number of articles on a wide range of financial, strategic planning, and policy topics and is a contributor to several finance/economic books. He frequently contributes articles, commentaries, and editorials focusing on current economic and political topics for the private think tank, Thinking Outside the Boxe.
Mr. Cartwright’s philanthropic efforts include interests in a wide range of causes, predominantly at the local level. Mr. Cartwright is an enthusiastic supporter of localno-kill animal shelters and humane societies, the Wounded Warrior Project, and localMeals on Wheels programs.
He enjoys golf, participating in charity golf tournaments, falconry, and attending WWE events. He divides his time between Washington, D.C., South Carolina, and Florida.
Executive Assistant to Mr. Cartwright