Originally published at RegularFolksUnited.com

If you asked my family and friends to describe me, I'm guessing they'd say I'm friendly, good-natured, gentle, gullible, a straight arrow, someone who follows the rules. I'm a 2nd generation veteran; between my father and me, we've given our country nearly 32 years of service. I always prefered mediation to confrontation. Little did I know the events of the past year would turn me of all people into an impassioned extremist and a potential enemy of the state.

I once believed liberals and conservatives wanted what was best for America and our disagreements were more about tactics than the outcome. That perspective began to change in 2006 when I ran for public office for the first time. The lessons I learned about power and the lengths to which people will go to achieve or hold on to it were illuminating. Career politicians lied to the people or created a caricature of their opponents just to hold on to their seats. The people chose simplistic sloganeering over critical thinking, and the press either ignored challengers to the status quo or, in the case of the Washington Post, passed judgment on them without so much as a courtesy interview over the phone. I became convinced that our electoral system is broken and incapable of producing transcendent leaders whose first instinct is personal sacrifice for the common good.

During the campaign, I met Tom Cavanaugh, a respected leader in his community. As a conservative for all my adult life, I thought I had a decent understanding of our nation's founding documents and the principles therein. He taught me to see the shortcomings in some of my positions once they were measured by the yardstick of liberty. He put me on a path of learning that has dramatically advanced my thinking on how the founders' devotion to life, liberty and property is as integral to the character of America as is our DNA to who we are as individuals.

The election of 2008 was a watershed event for me because it shattered forever my naiveté about the liberal elite and their design for our country. Motivated by the prospect of a government fully under their control for the first time in decades and unhinged by their hatred of President George W. Bush, the liberals pulled out all the stops and exposed their true selves to those of us who pay attention and are discerning about politics and culture.

The opinion-shaping institutions of this nation, namely the press, the entertainment industry and academia, were so obviously saturated with the liberal worldview that for them to feign objectivity was disingenuous at best. Their actions or inaction regarding last week's tea parties reinforced my mistrust of those institutions.

They take great offense at the common people questioning their motives, and such insolence warrants any and all actions, even the misuse of government records, to humiliate these people, all because a citizen exercised his right to ask a candidate for President a tough question. Their condescension and arrogance were on full display last week, with ordinary citizens who participated in tea parties labeled as "racist," "despicable," "shameful" and worse.

They intend to suppress freedom of expression by any means necessary in the name of "fairness," and the secret ballot in the name of "employee free choice."

They plan to elevate homosexuality to the level of sacrament and rob all of us, especially the churches, of the right to express the views of our faiths that differ with this glorification of alternative sexuality.

Their hostility toward commerce and charity is being codified in law and leading to government control over industries and the financial sector, reduced contributions to charity and government-led civilian national service to fill a gap that doesn't exist unless they push out non-governmental service organizations to create one.

They hate America in its current incarnation and have not cared for her for a very long time. They kowtow to the nations they wish to emulate while those nations who soils are drenched in American blood spilled on their behalf watch our worldwide apology tour with bemusement.

Instead of individual life, liberty and property, their objectives are quality of life, dependency and the redistribution of property.

Instead of a God who created man, they worship man who believes he is God.

Most tellingly, they are turning the very institution created to defend us from terrorism against our own countrymen who have the audacity to believe differently than this President and his cohorts. I helped stand up that department, and I'm heartbroken over what they've become.

I now know they don't want the same things we want. Our worldviews are incompatible and irreconcilable. That's why I'm now and forever an extremist in the defense of liberty.

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