The Freedom of Common Sense

Freedom of Common Sense

The speech below was delivered by Wyoming Family Alliance President, Nathan Winters, at the Saturday evening session of the Western Conservative Summit on June 10, 2023. Threads of the summit’s theme, Western Strong, are woven throughout, blending historical references of strength and a commitment to a continued demonstration of strength by linking with other western states in preserving freedom and common sense.

To watch the video recording of this speech, click here.

By Nathan Winters, Wyoming Family Alliance President

This weekend, it has been a joy for Wyoming Family Alliance to join with our fellow conservatives in Colorado to lift up, once again, the Common Sense truths our fathers built this nation on.

As we gather, we must ask a deeper question: Why is it important for conservatives to gather together?

We have gathered here because we love our country, and we recognize in this country we love a sense of great unrest. We as conservatives understand this unrest is exactly what happens when the freedoms that we hold so dear, because they are stamped into our very natures, are infringed upon.

This sense of unrest is felt because some in this country have been using the institutions of a free society to destroy the foundations of freedom, all the time telling us that it is our fault for its destruction.

They declare conservatives to be contentious even as they contend that the very idea of reality, that there are real things, is old and outmoded. For example, while we declare men to be men and women to be women based upon reality, they call that hatred.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

I’ve never met a real conservative filled with hate. I have met many conservatives filled with love for all that is good and true and beautiful! But to love in this way, one must actually believe the truth that real things really exist! And if truth exists, it is worth standing for!

That is why we are here, to stand for the great truths that matter for the life of this country and for the whole world.

Tonight, we meet as a group of thoughtful, intellectually muscular conservatives, who are willing to stand against the tide and conserve the great dream of America and set it up again as a shining light on the highest hill. And this is not the first time conservatives on this continent have had to stand against adversity. This country was founded under such circumstances.

In 1773, a group of men met and discussed how they felt that they were being oppressed by a tyrannical despot and Parliament far removed from their lives. They felt that they were forced to surrender more and more of the freedoms that had been guaranteed by the English Bill of Rights of 1689.

They objected because they had built a well-run system of near-independent rule, and now leaders of a nation across the ocean, instead of treating them as citizens, began to view them as subjects. With the Stamp Act, the Declaratory Act, the Townshend Revenue Act, and finally the Tea Act, they believed that their rights as Englishmen had been violated by King and Parliament.

And so, on December 16, 1773, the 84th anniversary of the English Bill of Rights, they decided they would have a costume party at the king’s expense. Down they went to Boston harbor to dump some tea and make some noise that could be heard across the ocean.

It was heard, and it resonates in this room tonight.

We are not going to dump tea here tonight, metaphorically or in any other way, but we are here to signal to the world that because of our love for true freedom, we as conservatives will never give up the hard-won liberties we have inherited. We will conserve them for future generations.

Today the struggle isn’t with a king but with some in the culture who would turn us Marxist.

  • Today, we have come to a generation who hold our hard-won rights lightly.
  • Today, there is a tyranny of ideas that are hostile to the American promise.
  • Today, people have been taught to expect far more from government than from the very freedom they’ve inherited.
  • Today, people are being separated by their competing grievances, rather than standing together in the freedom that should unite us.
  • Today, it seems that freedom has been redefined as absence of morals, as if personal anarchy defines a free society.

For many years, that struggle happened on the coasts, and we were considered fly-over country. But Colorado is “Exhibit A” of how that is no longer true.

Sadly, some of the same forces who targeted Colorado, starting in 2004, have set their eyes on Wyoming. But we are not going down!

We in Wyoming have dedicated ourselves to being Wyoming Strong. To do that well, we need a Colorado that is Colorado Strong… And a Montana that is Montana Strong… A North and South Dakota that are Dakota Strong… Utah Strong, Idaho Strong, Nevada Strong… Linking arms as states so that we are Western Strong.

Now, the true conservative must first know what they are conserving:

  • The foundational right of every person to live, in or out of the womb, must be conserved.
  • The hard-won liberty to a free mind and a free conscience must never be driven from the bakeries of any state. We must have freedom of speech!
  • We must conserve the right of families to exist without the meddling of government. We will be Western Strong if we are Family Strong.

Let’s link arms and conserve those ideas!

Two and a half centuries ago, Thomas Reid, the great thinker and Chair of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow University, made the statement that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

We all know that to be true. It is Common Sense. Yet in his philosophy and in that statement lies a question. Every generation forges a link from the past to the future. In the long chain of history that ties all Americans together, the question is: Will this be the generation whose link fails?

Each generation has only the opportunity to forge one link in the chain of history. But we must forge it and forge it well. We must connect the truths that have made us strong to the next generation.

What our fathers and mothers fought for must be conserved for our children.

We must forge a strong link.

I pledge to you from our Wyoming delegation, that we will forge a link that is Wyoming Strong. And we will link arms with you and forge a link that is Western Strong. And ultimately, we will conserve an America that is strong for future generations!

God bless you and these great United States of America!

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