In the Arena

Dear Reader,
I decided to call this space “In the Arena” in honor of the iconic speech Theodore Roosevelt gave in Paris April 23, 1910. As far as I am concerned, one of the greatest speeches ever given, perhaps the GOAT (greatest of all time) of speeches.

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In future times, we will traverse issues such as government in our time, political events including elections in Romania and the United States, relationships as they are and should be between allies and adversaries, world events, economics, war, peace, problems and solutions- all in good time.

I intend to tackle any issue, at any time with a hope to perform the impossible, which is to say to show the rational reasoned salve to what ails the human condition.

For I am a dying breed, a centrist in a world full of extremes. Neither satisfied with left or right, betrayed by weak and dysfunctional leadership, beset on all sides by relevant and evil forces, forced to see failure based on intent and incompetence.

I dream of something better, I dream of a world filled with the intent to do good for the simple reason that it is right to do so.

I am also an American who still sees the meaning behind the analogy Ronald Reagan called the “Shining City on the Hill.” For I want you to know, I believe that the Framers of the US Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution with “freedom and justice for all” underpinning its points of a benevolent society, seperation of powers between the President, Legislature and Judiciary as needed cornerstone, were right.

Collective history shows us that personal and societal protections are necessary and must be just.

Your child must have education, your pension must be paid, you must have a right to express opinion but not to “cry fire in a crowded cinema”. You have a right to demonstrate, but not to loot. You have a right to equal protection under the law, but police must protect justly life and liberty and gathering however those powers must not abuse. If a Hamas or terrorist nation comes to kill you, you may kill them first… and for that matter last. Free speech is a privilege, incitement is not.

The Monroe Doctrine set forth that a nation has its spheres of influence and its right to defend. I believe America is the last bastion of justice, the last best hope for a world fostering freedom and creativity rather than oppression or ignorance.

With that basis in tone, a powerful America and allies in a strong western Alliance must protect the peace, shelter the weak and police the globe fighting evil, all the while understanding that our allies are all different in culture. Some countries will have autocratic leaders, others dependent on the ballot box.

We American’s must understand, not everyone must conform to our standards whether that is democratic elections or standard of what constitutes corruption. Change happens best over time and mandates filter down from economic progress.

Voluntary change, incremental in timing, is better for acceptance and embrace of ideals. We American’s must remember that our system is not perfect and basic freedoms come with education, system, proper healthcare and more.

Critically, hope for a better future which in itself must have a basis in education and opportunity for all, spawns a society that stresses tolerance and freedom for all citizens who live within protection and unified agreement, as to the composition of edicts and fair justice which is protected by law and custom.

Romania is not only a front-line state, a country striving for better choices, an important member of the Western Alliance.

Romania is the land from which my Grandfather walked from to board a ship in Portugal so that he could seek freedom and opportunity, peace and security.

My Grandfather took that walk around the time Teddy d Roosevelt wrote his speech. And so faithful reader I offer last comments, for now, but first the speech:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcomings, but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly, knows that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

The words themselves are majestic, the frame of thought uplifting, the tone soliciting true dedication to worthy cause and the full acceptance of responsibility as an abject lesson for this and any time.

Although the speech itself was given in 1910 and the “times are indeed a changing” as Bob Dylan wrote 50 years onwards, the lessons and precepts set forth remain relevant. The need to translate words into action, words that burn light of truth into an illuminating life light propelling its flaming fired beacon like a guided rocket serving as a call to action we all should heed.

Forward march for me, I intend to honor that call to action, in this space, with all of you, in the arena for the many months and years to come. Please join me, dear reader, in great devotion; daring greatly while
striving to do the worthy deed.

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