My monthly submissions to the Galesburg Planet
Crown of Capitol Dome
This past month I had the privilege to spend a DC work week with Bobby. In DC, spouses of members have access to many of the places that the member goes, with the exception of the House Floor. House member’s children who are under the age of 12 are permitted to go onto the House floor with their mom or dad.
Sitting in the House Gallery (seating around and above the House Floor) while Bobby spoke on the House Floor, and while he and the other members voted, was like watching a drama unfold. The House Members are quite spirited and lively. The best way to describe it, is that, it is like watching the fans of a football game between rivals. I also sat in the gallery while the President of South Korea gave his address to a joint session of Congress. He was speaking Korean so I really didn’t know what he was saying. The members of the House and Senate knew because they had translators.
I followed Bobby to his committee meetings and sat in on meetings with doctors, surgeons, and Naval, Army, and Marine Corp officers. What wonderful people we have in our Military - they are truly the finest. The meeting with doctors of every medical field was very, very concerning. Their vocations weigh heavy on them and government intrusion is not helping them care for their patients but rather, hindering the care!
Another really fun thing that I was privileged to do was take a Dome tour, led by Congressman Adam Kinzinger. This is part of the painting of The Apotheosis of Washington. We were right up against the painting. I appreciated being able to see the brush strokes of Constantino Brumidi. After circling the inside of the Dome, we stepped out of a small door to the very crown of the outside of the Dome. This is a picture of the inside of the pillars where the Statue of Freedom stands. Each one of the lights in the crown is 400 watts. This lamp is on when Congress is in session and off when they are adjourned to go home. This is the second dome constructed over the Capitol. The first dome was made of wood and not at all as magnificent as the 8,909,200 pounds of cast iron dome we have now.
As interesting as it was following Bobby around, the most profound thing I have ever experienced in the Capitol, did not involve his routine, or any of the tours. The most profound and wonderful thing I was able to participate in was the “Wounded Warriors” parade at the Pentagon. The Pentagon holds a a special welcoming home ceremony for our wounded warriors who are recovering from injuries. Our brave warriors come off the battle field and go straight to Walter Reed Hospital to receive treatment and recover.
The first warriors came down the hall in their wheel chairs accompanied by their wives and children. There was a family who had their new born baby boy all decked out in camo, so sweet. Some of our wounded warriors were blind, while others had severe scarring. I hope and pray that our brave men and women will get better with time. I wish that I could express to you the dignified humility of our warriors as they moved through the halls of the Pentagon with their families to the sound of patriotic music. Emotionally, it was so moving.
Their love for our country and for each other is ingrained deep in their hearts and expressed beautifully in their eyes. They held their heads high and it was easy to see how the enthusiastic cheering and clapping of everyone deeply moved and humbled them, as they moved through the halls.
Through out all of human history, it is brave patriots like these that rise up to fend off the tyranny of evil and oppression for the sake of the rest of us. Their heroic sacrifice has born much fruit. Never in all of the history of mankind has humanity experienced the freedom that we have been so blessed with here in America. This is the freedom that is wonderfully expressed through religious expression, free press, free speech and the right to secure these freedoms with our right to protect ourselves. We enjoy freedom of enterprise that has provided us with the cars we drive, the education we receive, the variety of food and restaurants we enjoy, our clothing styles, the computers we use, cell phones, advances in medicine and what we understand about the body, etc... Our warriors sacrifice for freedom has given us endless benefits. These warriors deserve our eternal gratitude. God bless our men and women in the military of the United States of America. God bless and protect them and their families. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all that you do and all that you have done and all that you continue to do.
Pictures taken from Capitol Dome
Being the mom of ten and the wife of a newly elected congressman, people are always asking, “How are things are going” and “What’s it like now that life has changed for you?”
“How do you do it?” is probably the one question I get asked the most. The funniest time it was asked, was by my OB-GYN when I went to her for my last pregnancy. We both laughed and then she said, “Well, I know how you do it.” She is so smart! I love her!
If I go over my day and tell you from start to finish what I do, I am sure that it is not much different than what any other American woman does.
Some people actually accuse me of being “a super organized person!” No, my kids have been given the duty of organizing themselves. If it is not on the calendar then I am not obligated to remember or assist them. It only takes one time for them to miss an important event for them to keep me posted. If the uniform is not in the laundry room the night before a big game, they wear it dirty. I can only remember one time that my oldest had to wear dirty football pants to a game. I don’t do their home work, but I do keep plenty of project supplies available, like poster board, glue, glitter, markers, etc. I gave up a long time ago, looking for what my kids, and Bobby, can’t find. Sam, my six year old, tells me daily that he looked every where for his shoes. I just shrug and say “I guess you will have to go to school barefoot.” He finds them.
“How can you afford it?” is also a popular question. Now this one is fun for me to answer. The answer is simple, seven of the ten kids work. They earn their own shoes. They pay for their own gas. They buy their own homecoming and prom attire. They pay for their own college. This provides them with work ethic, a value for work, experience and increases the prosperity of the whole. When our kids work and provide for themselves, it allows us to provide them with a beautiful home that, I might add, Bobby and the boys built. It allows us to provide them with a half way decent car to drive. We do provide incentives for them. If they get a 3.0 grade point average we pay 100% of their car insurance. If not, they pay 100% of their car insurance. This provides them with the incentive to take care of business. I would be willing to bet that my grocery bill is not that much higher than yours. We eat healthy and wholesome and we eat at home. We pack their lunches. Peanut butter and jelly is a very reasonably priced sandwich.
“I bet you spend the whole day cleaning?” No, my philosophy is, the more people living in a house the cleaner it should be. It’s a good philosophy, it is not always an applied one, but it makes sense to me. This is easier to implement than you might think. I give the kids time to get their rooms clean. On day five, I clean it. I usually end up with at least one bag of clothes for the thrift store and they are charged $20.00 an hour for the service I provide for them. Poor Joe had to pay me $100.00 the last time I cleaned his room and he lost three bags of clothes for the thrift store. They get their rooms clean. I divide up the chores by rooms. Each kid is responsible for the room assigned to them. Then I know who to address if I have a problem with how it looks. If they keep it tidy and clean all week they get to do the fun things they want to do when the weekend comes.
Absolutely, positively the most important thing that we do as a family that keep us grounded and happy, is pray. We pray daily together. We do this at our dining room table. This is the best place for conversation with each other and with Jesus. We read the Psalms and pray the rosary. This is our tradition and this is our way of being grateful for all the blessings that the Lord has laid on our table and in our lives.
The next most important thing is attitude. I work diligently at keeping my attitude one of gratefulness and sincerity. I am thankful for everything. I remind all of the kids to be grateful for who they are and what they have.
Of course when someone does ask me the question, “How do you do it?”, I don’t launch into this long explanation. The way I usually answer the question is, “It is not as hard as it use to be”. When the first 5 were still little, I can remember the day seemed to never end. Now it seems as if there are not enough days in the week or hours in the day. Today my children are almost independent to a fault. There are still times when I have to remind them that I’m still the mom, and there are decisions that I still get to make. They love me and their dad and they love each other. They work hard and we enjoy each others company. It’s amazing how much love grows when people work hard and invest themselves into family, business, work, or even a country.
This past weekend was one of solemn remembrance. Bobby, the kids and I spent Sunday going to September 11 Remembrance Ceremonies in Kewanee, Galesburg and then back home to Colona. Every one of the ceremonies was a beautiful tribute to remembering what happened on September 11, 2001. In Colona, they had the firetrucks out in the park, beautifully polished and the sun danced on them as it was setting. Our beautiful flag was waving gently in the breeze on the fully extended fire ladder. I just have to add, is there any flag as beautiful as our American flag? I have searched and there isn’t. Hands down ours is the most beautiful. I suspect the world thinks so too.
This week I am spending time remembering, watching what transpired that day. I am teaching my children what happened. Only four of them remember that day. My number eight, Olivia was still not to be born for another week. I feel that it is so important to reflect and to teach.
In reflecting back on that day have any of us ever experienced such utter sadness or fear for our country? I thank God for the common thread that holds us all together. That thread, that common bond, that we are Americans. When one suffers such evil we all suffer. We are all outraged, saddened and we cringe at being so helpless. We choke back our tears till they just won’t stay back any longer.
How could hate be fostered to this kind of destruction? We will never understand. Osama bin Laden stated, “We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us.” I choose to cling to the scripture of Jesus reassuring us in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” What saddens me, and I will not apologize for this, is that Bin Laden’s hatred prevented him from knowing how abundant life can be. Instead he used his free will to hate.
The readings at Mass this past Sunday were focused on forgiveness and mercy. As Americans we are called to never forget. We are called to act and seek justice. As a Catholic I am called to forgive and pray for my enemies. This is a command from my Lord and if I love Him, like terrorists love their god, then I must be obedient to Him who loves life, to Him who gives it abundantly. He will not disappoint me. As a nation of Christian founding we are called to do the same. This is by far, greater than all the hate in the world. Time and time again we hear of heroes and heroines and how they have overcome acts of evil by love, love that gives life abundantly. It is time for forgiveness, praying for, and dare I say loving our enemies. This is what will bring us healing.
We sing the praises of our local heroes, who we know would be there for us and carry us to safety. We talk so much of the loss that day. This is important, it is all part of the acceptance and healing process. We also need to remember that more than 14,000 lives were saved that day by heroes. I watched a young Muslim man describe how a Hasidic Jew grabbed him by the hand and said, “Brother let me help you,” as the two of them ran away from the flying debris together. Even in the face of evil, the common thread that we share as Americans - our desire to love and help others, continued to shine through that day.
We honor our military men and women who are on the front lines every day, sacrificing all for God and Country. While we sleep in our beds they sleep on the dirt. While we laugh and play and enjoy even our simplest pleasures, our military is keenly watching our backs. For more than 230 years freedom has been diligently fought for and protected. Our country would not exist if it wasn’t for our the brave men and women of our military.
I am hoping that we have done all that we can to end this evil, and that now is the time to heal. It is always the time to be grateful - grateful for everything because I believe healing starts with gratitude. I am hoping the only thing that is left to do is to love. We should love our neighbors and practice random acts of kindness, not just for those we love, but for those we may have animosity for. I will refrain from using the word hate, because I honestly feel that my worst enemy would come to my aid if tragedy like this were to happen to me. I know that I would help any one who suffers the kind of anguish that our fellow Americans suffered on September 11. Here in this country no matter our difference of religion, race, creed, class, or political idea, we are above all - Americans. We are different. Within each of us is the desire to strive for greatness and to love. We...we are different.
This inspiring youtube clip gives us hope in response to the evil that enters our lives
On June 1st, I was invited together with a group of Muslim students, to the Tri-City Jewish Center in Rock Island, to listen to holocaust survivor, Joe Koek’s story.
Joe was born in The Hague, Netherlands in 1930. When he was eleven years old he was separated from his parents because the Nazi’s had taken them to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. He and his three sisters were hidden on the third floor of a school building. The school was on the first floor and the family that hid them and fed them lived on the second floor.
Having never before heard a first-person holocaust survivor’s story, I was deeply moved by Joe’s courage to talk to our group. He had a very cheerful disposition and very lovingly spoke of his sisters and his parents.
He told us of his optimistic attitude that he retains today, even though he has been through so much. For years, he held on to the hope that his parents some how survived and that they would come for him and his sisters at the orphanage where he grew up after the war. Joe said that The Red Cross sent them a letter telling them that their parents were killed in Auschwitz, but he did not believe that. For many years he held out hope that his parents were alive and looking for him and his sisters.
A Muslim student named Majid will be writing a children’s book about Joe and I cannot wait to purchase it. It will be one of my favorites, just like the book Pink and Say by Patricia Polocco (a book about two young boys who fought in the Civil War.)
I too was asked to speak to this group of Muslim students. Up until I arrived, I still did not know what I was going to say to them. My lack of knowledge on the traditions of Muslims and Jews was what was blocking my mind from moving forward. My hope was that somehow one of my little ones would be acting up and I would have to politely excuse myself from the group, thanking them very much for inviting me to such a special gathering. My good friend Lisa was not going to let me off the hook that easy. She very sternly offered to watch my children while I did what I was asked to do.
So, when I got up to speak to the students I decided to be very honest with them. I said, “When I was asked to speak to you all, I said to myself, ‘What is a Catholic mom of ten, going to say to a group of Muslim students, in a Jewish Synagogue?’”
What is important?
What do they need to hear?
What do I need to hear?
So I focused on what we had in common.
First, we are all made in the image of our loving Creator, who loves and knows us inside and out. Second, we embrace that God loves us and that it is important that we love Him. Third, we are human, and we each have been given by God, from the moment we were conceived, tools and talents to be used for the betterment of humanity.
I expanded on this a little in telling them to trust their mom, because no one knows them better. Mothers study their children from the time they know they exist. We study names that we feel would best suit them. We become much more aware of what we eat and even listen to. We study their faces from the first ultrasound picture to the very expression they have right now. We know the tools and talents that are deep within them.
I tried to explain to them that if they do not find joy in what they are doing, they’re probably not using the tools and talents that God had designed for them to use for the betterment of the world.
We all have our vision and imagination of what God must be like.
In thinking about us as an image of God, and God having billions and billions of cells, I imagine that each of us is united as a human body is, by skin and bones and muscle. I think about how we all are dependent on each other, yet so very different from one another in every thing from our looks to our traditions and habits. Like the difference between an eye and a foot. How awkward and different they appear when they are separate from the body, but when united with the body one depends on the other to function fully, with grace and beauty.
Our differences are sometimes so prevalent that we forget how united we truly are. All the differences we have between us are exactly what unites us and makes us function with beauty and grace. It is all about love and appreciation. That’s all.
This is exactly what I needed to hear. I am so thankful that as a Catholic mom of 10, I was embraced by a group of Muslim students in a Jewish Synagogue.
When is Dad Coming Home?
Now that we have lived through the whirl wind of a campaign, election and the adjustment to being a congressional family, we have settled into a persevering kind of routine.
Bobby has dug in and is working very hard for our district and country. I recently picked up a coffee mug for him. It is from the “Life is Good” product line. (I love that name) On it is a power drill with the words “Mr. Fix it”. On the other side “life is good”. This is Bobby in a nut shell, or coffee cup. He was made for this kind of chaos. He loves to fix things and make them work better than they did before.
Bobby loves to mow the lawn. This is his one chore that he refuses to let go. It is his time to decompress and allow all the tenseness of the week to be put into it’s proper order. I can relate to this by thinking of a jar of water and sediment. When we are under pressure or stress it is like shaking that jar and watching everything get all mixed up. When we find a place to settle and be calm all the layers of the day, week or year get put into layers and proper order and can be seen clearly. When Bobby is in DC, he is constantly working and walking. At the end of the day he calls to talk the day through all of it’s layers. I consider my self very fortunate because I get a lesson in civics everyday. Sometimes twice a day.
The question of the day always seems to be, “When is dad coming home?”
The boys ask, “When is dad coming home? The oven at the restaurant is making a funny noise,” or “…is he going to be able to help me move into my dorm?” They are always looking to Bobby for big stuff and problem fixes. Our boys have settled into their niches and new responsibilities at our restaurant and home. We are finally at the place where all those tense adjustments are now laughed at. They are even getting calls from constituents and handling it with grace and politeness that the person on the other end deserves. Bobby and I are very proud of them.
The girls' “When is dad coming home?” is because they miss him pinching their cheeks and telling them how cute they are. Well maybe just the cute part. They do get to do things that dad is just not that into, like watching Never Say Never (Justin Beiber movie) 2 times in the same evening!
Every time Bobby comes in the door he whistles a certain tune that none of us can imitate. Sam (our six year old) is real close to getting it, but not quite. Every time they hear it they yell, “DAD!”
Anthony (our one and a half year old) loves to see daddy on “face time”. He does a little happy wiggle squirm move and reaches and waves his arms toward daddy. Sophia (our three year old) loves this too! She shows dad a twirl and sings her abc’s. (She gets her Yellow Mellow p’s mixed up) It is kind of funny to watch the two of them fight over getting in front of the eye camera. “Face time” has been a blessing. Bobby gets to see the happenings in the house and we get a sense of his surroundings and it really makes us feel well connected!
Because of all the activity and responsibilities of the family, I have not been able to travel to DC as much as I thought I would. Initially, I thought that I was going to be more involved with the
congressional spouses and clubs. With our large family and the added responsibility of our restaurant it just has not been practical. Oh - and the expense!
Yikes, when I have tried to fly to DC the flights have been running six to seven hundred dollars. I did make it out to DC to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I decided to surprise Bobby. I dropped him off at our local airport, swung around, parked and took a flight thirty minutes after his on another other airline. I surprised Bobby by making lunch reservations for him at a DC bistro. He thought he was meeting friends and when he turned and saw me, he stared for a minute, then his mouth dropped and he got a big grin on his face! He asked, “How did you do that, you just dropped me off at the airport?”
We did not get to spend a lot of time together because he was in House Armed Services Committee meetings all the next day and night. It was okay because I understand how important the work is that he is doing.
Our family all really enjoyed the 4th of July parade in our hometown this year. Our "float" had the fifty US state flags displayed along with a 12×16 foot American flag. On the back of the float, our son Joe played the Star Spangled Banner, Yankee Doodle Dandy and other songs on his guitar. It is a joy to see the crowd remove their hats and place their hands over their hearts as they show respect to our flags and give honor to our country.
As tough as all the challenges are, I would not trade this crazy adventure of a life for anything! Even in the midst of all the craziness we find joy!
Navigation is tricky and adventuresome. On one of our first trips to DC, I brought along our daughter Isabel (14) and Anthony, who at the time was 8 months. On the first morning there we decided to go to the Basilica National Shrine of The Immaculate Conception.
At the time I was not familiar with the Metro train system and the thought of it was intimidating, so we took a cab. It took longer than I anticipated to get there and I was getting a little worried about cab fare. It was a $15 dollar ride plus tip. That meant I would be spending the same amount on the way back…or so I thought.
No matter what your religious beliefs, the Basilica is a beautiful place to worship God and marvel at the love that mankind has for him. The main cathedral is a rendition of the church described in Revelation.
My favorite part of the church is the Church Crypt, which is the church under the church. The warmth of the earth tones was so comforting, I wish that I could go there everyday. While in the Church Crypt I was marveling at a large stained glass wall and saw that it had a door handle. I had to see what was on the other side of that door! As we slowly walked in I realized that it was a confessional. Oops!
I slowly started to back out when my conscience kicked me and asked, “How long has it been?” Ugh, ok I’ll go. I love the way I feel after confession with a smile and a spring in my step that I didn’t realize had left me.
I recommend that everyone visit this wonderful Basilica and try to take in as much as you can. Pay attention to the details. There is so much to appreciate and visiting the confessional is, of course, at your option. If you can not go there in person please visit it on line. You will get a sense of the Basilica’s magnificence, but you will not get the sense of just how small we are compared to it.
Isabell, Anthony and I were getting hungry so we decided to eat at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. We walked out of the Basilica and I called for a cab. No answer. I tried another company, but still no answer. After trying four other cab companies, we still could not get them to come and pick us up. So I punched ‘Washington Monument’ into my Sprint navigation and it showed us only 3 miles away. I discussed this with Isabel and she was OK with walking. Until…
...We were about six blocks into the walk and we noticed that the
neighborhood houses were blocking our view of the Capitol building. It seemed that we were moving away from it instead of toward it. So I tried to hail a cab. He wouldn’t stop. Tried again, nope. And again.
As we walked, it was hard for me to keep focused because we lost sight of the Capitol building and Isabel started to panic. This is very unusual for her and her emotions were making my heart race. I grabbed her arm ever so calmly and looked her in the eye and said, “Isabel, if you want me to keep my composure I am going to need you to calm down.” She took a deep breath and quickly calmed herself.
I knew that Bobby would be busy and unable to help us, so I called my son Terry who is very familiar with DC. He was quick to tell me what I already knew - that we were lost and getting further from the Capitol. So I changed the navigation to get me to the nearest Five Guys restaurant. This was only a mile from where we were.
For the most part this was a stressful but uneventful adventure. At one point I was approached by a man who asked me if I would marry him. I told him that I was sorry but someone else had already beaten him to that proposal. We finally arrived at Five Guys and enjoyed the best burger ever made!
Next door to Five Guys was a place called Pound Coffee. This was the best espresso I have ever had. While we were there, I noticed that cabs were pulling up to a hotel across the street and we were able to get one back to our hotel. We were very close to our hotel so the cab fare was under $10 with the tip.
Since this trip I have studied the layout of Washington DC a little more thoroughly. I have consulted a real map so that I have a sense of what is beyond the GPS navigation instructions.
When our whole family was in DC for the swearing in, we quickly learned how to navigate in the city with the Metro. Wow, was it easy and
convenient! The Metro is relatively clean, inexpensive and seem to always have plenty of room for all of us to sit in the same area. There is a station right at the Cannon building where Bobby’s office is located.
Of all the ways to get around DC, my favorite is my own two feet. While walking I can get an intimate feel of the city, taking in the grand sites as well as the tiny details.
Life has a way of taking unexpected turns and twists. We make plans, we desire goodness, we live in the present and then
something happens that throws us off balance.
Living as the wife of a congressman was not in my plans for our family. It certainly was not in Bobby’s plans either. However, to say that we are excited and humbled by this opportunity would be an understatement.
The people of the 17th District have been so welcoming and supportive to us. Supporters are grateful for our family’s dedication to serving in this new capacity. Everytime someone extends their hand and thanks us, it gives us a wonderful perspective of our service. It is this gratitude that energizes us and frees us to serve with joyful hearts and renewed spirits.
This new change has allowed our family to grow and learn from the new opportunities that we face. Everyday, we benefit by new
challenges that force us to grow, learn and unite as a family. For the most part, we are presented with situations that we have had before only now they take place on a new and very public level.
When my boys are serving customers at the restaurant they are also serving constituents of the 17th district. It has been achallenging fit, but they are doing an excellent and respectful job of representing their dad.
I am presented with the same challenges in raising the kids but without the calm authority of Bobby’s presence. Perhaps I relied too much on him to keep the kids in line. I have found new and creative ways to keep them focused on becoming who God created them to be.
Isabel needs to keep practicing her violin to become an excellent violinist and not just for her dad’s praise and applause every time she practices. Bobby really misses listening to her every night. She is learning to discipline and motivate herself in a new and mature way.
Rachel and Bobby share the love of track. She, like her dad, is a very good runner. I call her my gazelle. These days she has to receive his pointers over the phone instead of on the field.
When Bobby came home after a two week stay in DC, he was met first by Sophia, our three year old. She jumped up into his arms and said “Daddy, daddy, daddy, I missed you, daddy, daddy daddy!” She continued by smothering him in kisses and hugs.
The boys have had their growing pains as well. Aaron is doing an excellent job of managing the restaurant. He was presented with the challenge of an insubordinate employee and he handled it by firing him. The unfortunate part of this was that the employee was his brother, Joe! Levi, our third oldest, showed loyalty to Joe and quit! Aaron then had to step it up and work from the opening to the close of business. They worked it out and the boys are now back in employment.
This episode was written about in the New York Times
newspaper. I had the opportunity to be interviewed as well. When asked about the experience of having my husband in Congress, I told the reporter, “Bobby is working harder than he ever has, and that is saying a lot. I am very proud of him!” Unfortunately, this was left out of the story.
The reporter also asked me how the family had benefited from him being a congressman and what it was like with him being gone. I simply told her that it wasn’t beneficial for us, but it was right for the country. What I should have said was, “It’s not about me, the kids or Bobby. It’s about representing the people of this district.” We knew that this would be a sacrifice going into it. I have faith that God called him and our family to do this and God will provide. We are still adjusting to living this new public life.
My favorite Washington DC place to visit is the Library of Congress. Every time walk through the doors I see something new. Did you know that the Library of Congress receives 22,000 books a day? Did you know that they have the very first drawn map of the United States? Aside from it’s obvious beauty is the fact that all the statues and paintings represent world history and the significance of our great nation’s role in time. The basement of the Madison building holds the wonderful treasure of the Library’s Surplus Book Program. It is here that I get to go downstairs and pick out books to send home to the libraries in the 17th district.
The monument tours are a must, especially the Capitol Building tour. The tour guides in Bobby’s office are trained in all the really cool andinteresting facts about the statues and paintings. The beauty of the art and architecture are quite overwhelming. The marble steps are worn from the many citizens of the US walking on them. For some reason, this touched me. Maybe it is because so many of our national leaders, both famous and infamous, have walked these same steps.
What we all love most about being a congressional family are the people we meet from all walks of life. Everyone pretty much has the same concerns. Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, we all want what is best for our families. We just have different ideas on how to get there. I know this - everyone agrees that the freer we are, the more we can do for our families, communities and country.