Wednesday, June 08, 2016

A Review of An American Son

This wasn't about the Senate.  It wasn't about politics.  God didn't endorse candidates.  He wanted me to trust Him, to rely on Him, to lean on Him.  He didn't want me to believe He would make me a senator.  He wanted me to believe that whatever happened He loved me and would give me the strength and peace of mind to endure it.~pg. 200
My Review in Quotes~~

His Grandfather's Influence...
I had an invaluable living research guide in my home, who encouraged my amateur scholarship.  My grandfather loved history and politics as much as I did, and was far more knowledgeable about them.  He became my tutor, my companion and close friend and one of the great influences in my life.  But for his encouragement, I think my life would have turned out very differently than it has.~pg. 41

He taught me many things, but none more important than the conviction that I must not waste the opportunities my parents had sacrificed to give us and our country made available to us.  I've always believed, even when I was an inattentive and undisciplined student, that the time would arrive for me to become serious and do something important with my life, and I would be ready for it.  I believed it because Papa taught me to believe it.  And that, more than the wealth of knowledge he shared with me, more than the epics of history he evoked so powerfully for me, more than his opinions and passions and eccentricities, has made all the difference in the world to me.~pg. 47
Who truly deserves the credit...
I would receive public acclaim for my success, but I knew who truly deserved the credit.  I am the son of immigrants, exiles from a troubled country.  They gave me everything it was in their power to give.  And I am proof their lives mattered, their existence had a purpose.

In the last night of a long campaign, I remembered where my journey began.  It began long ago, in the hardships and struggles of ordinary people with extraordinary strength and courage and love, on an island I have never seen.~pg. 283
Reagan's election and my grandfather's allegiance to him were defining influences on me politically.  I've been a Republican ever since.  More than just help me develop a political identity, my grandfather instilled in me the importance of strong leadership and conviction.  He urged me to study and learn but, more important, to do something useful with the knowledge I acquired.~pg. 45
Jeb Bush...
The story included several flattering quotes from Jeb Bush.  "He's got all the right tools," Jeb said.  "He's charismatic and has the 'right principles.'"~pg. 205
I had rarely discussed my faith in public.  I hadn't hidden it, but I hadn't emphasized it, either.  But, time and again, throughout my thirty-six years, God had made His visible in my life.  I had had opportunities to do things that the people who loved me had never had...I had been blessed with parents who encouraged me to dream and a wife who helped me achieve my dreams.  I had been blessed to be born an American.

I should have given the speech (his farewell address to the Florida House) long before, but I had been conditioned by political correctness, by the prevailing notion that a discussion of one's faith didn't belong in the public realm.  No matter how hard we try, though, we cannot keep God out of our lives, out of every moment, every aspiration, every failure and every success.  Whether we acknowledge it or not, He inhabits our lives completely.  It had taken me too long, but I was determined not to leave the house without paying public tribute to God, for the blessings He had bestowed on me and on our country.~pg.160
So Much More...
But the campaign had become so much more to me than that--so much more than politics.  I had discovered so much about myself, about the people I loved and who loved me, about the community I was raised in, about my country and my faith.  I didn't have the words or time to give voice to all the thoughts that filled my heart and mind that night as I struggled to express my gratitude.~pg. 8
Not politics, not power, but people...
I wanted to use the story to achieve two objectives.  The first was to remind the members we had an obligation to use our time in public office to make a positive difference in the lives of the people we served.  The second was to emphasize the importance of empowerment and upward mobility, and make that the purpose of our work.

We hung up pictures in my office of Florida's "Unsung Heroes", ordinary people throughout our state who were making positive differences in others' lives.  They were a reminder to us, and to anyone who entered our office, that our obligation was to the people of Florida-not to politics, not to power, but to people.~pg. 143
Why I admire him...
After every speech, people would tell me they had been waiting to hear someone articulate a conservative message without apology or obfuscation.  They told me they were tired of settling for the least bad alternative, tired of being told to vote for less conservative candidates because they were more electable.  They wanted to vote for someone who wasn't embarrassed to think and talk like a conservative, and they hoped it would be me.~pg. 178
--I have never been as excited about a candidate for president as I was about Marco Rubio.  Even though he didn't win the nomination this time around, I am convinced he will in the near future.

--This book confirmed everything I had already seen in him: his strong, conservative convictions and principles, his love for family, his love for this country, his strong Christian faith, and his humility and charisma that would enable him to be an amazing president.

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