What It Takes

It was another great Fourth of July.  Cooper had a great birthday – and, yes, he did indeed get a birthday present after all.

He’s calling her Lola. She’s a bulldog.

coop & lola

As many of you know, we already have a mutant bulldog named Emma.

By the way, our recent canine research revealed an interesting and important fact.  The difference between English and French bulldogs?  English ones go pee pee.  French ones go oui oui.

We also participated in a couple of parades, watched some fireworks, and had a nice holiday/birthday weekend.  Here are some pictures:

coop & kw   banner

See you on Monday … really

I’ve got a lot I want to write about Independence Day and how we can build on the greatness we’ve inherited.  But I’ve got an announcement to get into before that.

Don’t forget about the online, interactive video town hall meeting with Bill White that I’m hosting next week.  It’ll be next Monday the 12th, starting at 5:30.

As I said, this is the first big online event like this of the campaign.  Tune in to talk with Bill and me about the issues facing Texas and why the state needs real leadership.

Please click here to RSVP and learn more.

Seriously, click here.  Right now.  Just do it.  It only takes a minute, and you don’t want to miss this.

Building on greatness

I had the honor of speaking on Friday to the National Latino Peace Officers Association.  It was a good way to spend the eve of Independence Day, and it created an opportunity for me to focus yet again on what a truly great country this is – and what we need to do to maintain and build on that greatness.

You can check out video of the speech here and read my prepared remarks here.

The conference’s theme, “Meeting Public Safety Challenges in a Multicultural Society,” was a powerful one.  It acknowledged the unique challenges that our cops are facing in this the century, sure – but it also spoke to the tremendous opportunities that this diverse new era offers.

It didn’t come easy

We live in a wonderful country.  A great country.  The greatest in the world.

With that, of course, comes our responsibility to maintain that greatness.  And we have serious challenges.

The question is, what will we do about them?  

Look, there aren’t any easy answers here. I really do think so-called “solutions” that promise something-for-nothing are a big reason so many of our problems seem so huge.  Too many political careers and campaigns have been built around the empty promise of easy greatness.

Well, greatness isn’t easy, and it isn’t a birthright. Even when it’s inherited, greatness still must be sustained, maintained and built upon.  

If we’re serious – if we’re responsible – we should follow the example of our parents and grandparents.  And it was meaningful to reflect on that Greatest Generation last weekend. They revealed to us the path to greatness.

They beat back a Great Depression, fascism, communism and bigotry.  And they left their mark on America through vision, innovation, investment, and hard work.

That last contribution – what they did when no one was watching – may be the most inspiring part of their legacy.  They’d saved the United States of America over and over and over again.  They’d earned a break.  But they didn’t take the rest they’d earned, instead starting families and working, investing, facing challenges, and sacrificing in a variety of ways to continue building this nation and making it great. They built a future for us.

Of course, they saw it as building on the greatness they had inherited from the work, investment, and sacrifice of their parents and grandparents. And so on, back to the founding of this country.

These reflections, shared by so many Americans this weekend, represent more than just a history lesson about what we saw in our parents and grandparents, and what they saw in theirs.  They also remind us of what we owe to our children and grandchildren.  And they show us what it means to be a citizen: to leave our states and our nation in better shape than we found them in, and to pass on an inheritance as great as the one we received.

I hope you had a Happy Independence Day. God bless America.