“He looks sad mommy! Why does he look sad?” The little girl stood next to my camera, wide-eyed and desperately tried to yell over the roar of anger. Disgust spilling from the convention floor.
“Say it!” A man above me taunted at the stage.
Booing, hissing and screaming grew and grew until the noise overpowered the speaker.
“Cruz! Cruz!” The little girl screamed. She kept asking why everybody was being so mean to Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
I wish I could have told her.
I wish I could have bent down, hugged her and explained what she was witnessing: the hinges of history turning.
Of course, the news headlines would just report, in the following days, how Ted Cruz had failed his party, how selfish Governor Chris Christie felt he was and how he’d committed political suicide.
But, that’s not what happened at the convention, that’s not what that little girl or I saw.
No, what we saw was small hinges turning America’s future.
“A return to freedom,” said Senator Cruz. He then followed that statement by defining what freedom meant for education, marriage, medical practices and even religion.
Senator Cruz then said how we can choose it, “If you love our country, and love our children as much as you do, stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom, and to be faithful to the constitution.”
Intense booing, hissing and jeers engulfed the convention floor and drowned out Cruz’s speech.
That’s when I knew the American people no longer understood liberty, no longer understood freedom.
Kissing the feet of the nominee – a mortal, flawed man – was more important than honoring American values. Values rooted in things of eternity.
Furthermore, I realized that if the delegates truly trusted Donald Trump to do all that Senator Cruz said a president should do, someone we could, “trust to defend our freedom, and to be faithful to the Constitution,” then the people would have rejoiced at the notion of voting their conscience.
Instead, the verbal stoning that followed told me that those who booed Cruz off the stage did not trust their nominee.
The outrage told me that people no longer understood how the U.S. government is supposed to work – in the end, the President of the United States means nothing – it’s Congress that can do all that they claim to want.
The disgust told me that people only listen for what they want to hear, and not what they need to hear.
The booing and eventual surprise arrival of Trump halfway through Cruz’s speech told me that people are willing to shut truth down, at any cost.
Freedom is not lost my friends, but it is precariously perched.
The doors of history swing on small hinges and that reaction to Ted Cruz’s speech, as well as several other events at the RNC, pushed the door a little further way from liberty.
Liberty is not preserved in the worship of any candidate, slogan or political promise – from either side of the aisle.
It endures because of people who trust truth over tyranny and principles over political promises.
We still have that choice.
Turning the hinges back will not be found in nominees or parties.
Those hinges will turn when we choose to study history, grasp the meaning of America and fight for those values.
Those hinges will turn when we choose to begin to implement those values in our local governments and legislatures.
Those hinges will turn when we choose liberty by choosing to let others do and say as they believe, within the constraints of God’s laws and the Constitution.
Those hinges will turn as we better understand and cherish the Constitution, the document drafted by God Himself for our great nation.
Those hinges will turn as we listen, digest and practice American values.
Those hinges will turn each and every day, because we are small hinges too.
“History is watching us,” said Donald Trump in his acceptance speech.
It’s true. The question now stands, where will we choose to turn?
Not to what candidate, not to what party, not to what political issue – because where we turn is much broader than that.
Will we turn towards liberty, true liberty, by studying, understanding and preserving our Constitution?
Or will we turn towards bondage and the downfall of our nation by embracing hatred, revenge and punishment for those who disagree?
If I could have hugged that little girl and explained it all to her, I would have told her she is a hinge too.
I would have told her to keep shouting, because her voice did make a difference.
I would have told her to keep asking questions, because that would push her to search for truth.
I would have told her to to keep studying and loving liberty, so she could remember the cause we must defend.
I would have told her that she is a powerful force in America’s future and to keep fighting for right, for truth and for her nation.
Tomorrow will be her day for liberty.
But only if we do our part today.
Turn wisely my friends, America is waiting.