In today's America, ask a growing number of high school and college students, their teachers and professors, the self-anointed media elite, and/or hard-working men and women of all ethnicities the question, "What is a Republican?" and you'll be told, "... a rich, greedy, egotistical individual, motivated only by money and the desire to accumulate more and more of it, at the expense of the environment ... the working poor ... and all whom they exploit...."
I am a Republican ... I am none of those things ... and I don't know any Republicans who are.
WHAT I AM ... first and foremost, is a loving husband of some 52 plus years, the father of four and an American who's proud of his country ... and his country's heritage.
WHAT I AM ... is the grandson of immigrants who risked everything, including their lives and those of their children, to escape tyranny in search of freedom.
WHAT I AM ... is a man who grew up during the Depression and witnessed, first hand, the effects of the Stock Market crash and the soup lines that followed. I watched as both my parents and grandparents, who had very little themselves, shared what food they had with a half dozen other families, who had even less.
WHAT I AM ... is someone who worked his way through college by holding down three and four jobs at a time and then used that education to build a better life.
More to come....
[By George J. Esseff, Sr. Originally appeared in the Washington Post on October 20, 2004.]