March 31, 2023,
From the Desk of: Donald C. Bolduc
If I had a book to recommend to anyone wanting to get into public service at the local, state, or national level, it would be Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The lessons in this book are invaluable and will help mitigate many of the mistakes, pitfalls, and negative behaviors of those seeking public service in politics, the military, law enforcement, government service, media, or business. Whether it is personal behavior, selecting teams, engaging with people, or dealing with hardship, the lessons in this book provide a plethora of real-world examples.
The lessons I took from the book are as follows:
Lesson one is to stay humble, tell the truth, and stay true to your values and principles. Win or lose, and you must look at yourself in the mirror.
Lesson two is to let your challenges make you better, not bitter.
Lesson three is instead of antagonizing people, turn them in your favor.
Lesson four is to learn from your rivals.
Lesson five is to understand that people resist change, even if the change is beneficial.
Lesson six is to engage the most with people of differing opinions.
As I reflected on my campaign for the US Senate in New Hampshire, I am thankful and indebted to those on our campaign team and those that supported me. I realized that I made mistakes and learned and relearned lessons. As the Republican nominee for the US Senate in New Hampshire, I adopted the leadership style and experiences I learned in my military career.
I campaigned for two years. I visited every town and city in the state. I put over 200 thousand miles on two vehicles. I developed Grassroots, a bottom-up organization in all ten counties.
At each event, I conducted 85 town halls that drew hundreds of people across the political spectrum. I participated in hundreds of community events and parades. I did many TV and radio appearances and was all over social media. I met Granite Staters for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I joined Granite Staters in their homes. I did not rely on the money and the power of the establishment that my career politician opponents relied on. I was outspent 20 to 1 in the primary and won. I was outspent 40 to 1 in the general election and lost. Outside of my failures, my loss in the general election was due to the lack of support from both the national and state Republican party and the well-funded lies of the democratic party and my Democratic opponent. Ultimately, as a political outsider, I lost to money, power, and a corrupt political establishment.
Since the election, I have often been asked about the root cause of our problems. The answer is simple, but acceptance of it is challenging. The American political system is dysfunctionally partisan, and the party system is broken. It is a national security concern.
I do not expect perfection in our leadership, but I have the right to expect our leaders to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them. We can expect them to develop and grow from these experiences. We have a right to expect they will learn along the way, and we all will be better for it. Today, Congress has career politicians that have only made things worse. We need change and elected officials who embrace humility, sacrifice, and service and conclude that there is no better reward than spending your energies on a mighty cause serving worthy people.
Read Next: The Bolduc Brief: What Do America and the World Need Now?
Consistent with lesson number one, I offer the following analysis.
America has been involved in an internal political war for over 60 years. Political warfare in the United States is a competition between political party ideology using special interests and the wealthy political elite to change America fundamentally. Over the past 60 years, the internal security environment in America has changed significantly. The driving forces and critical uncertainties combine poor leadership, self-serving elected officials, an abandonment of values and principles, an ambivalent citizenry, and self-loathing that has undermined future generations. Self-serving politicians are responsible for weakening all our institutions, high inflation, high-interest rates, increased welfare recipients, out-of-control spending, and the dangerous lack of security at our borders. Outside driving forces affecting the security environment include:
- Terrorism and irregular warfare.
- Ideological and religious extremism.
- The rise of China, the reemergence of an assertive Russia, an unpredictable North Korea, and Iran’s quest for the nuclear bomb.
Today, political parties are the root cause of our issues at all levels of government. In addition, many people today use this to perpetuate divisiveness, thus perpetuating their existence. We have struggled in our short history in many areas but have always been able to return to our values and principles to do the right thing. There are significant parallels between today and the 1860s when our nation dealt with violent insurrection, questions about race, and ideological divides between states and regions. Fortunately for America, we had Lincoln. Today’s absence of leadership at all levels of government must concern us all. Since the Civil War, there is no other time we need to stand up for our values and principles than now. The threat from within has become our most significant national security threat.
Career politicians have become the servants of special interests who hire calvaries of lobbyists and the wealthy political elite to maintain power.
They have made power and money more important than character, integrity, accountability, responsibility, and servant leadership. Career politicians have created a system of entitlements, pay, and benefits that are inconsistent with being a public servant. They have built their wealth at the expense of us all.
Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “We are pawns or kings.” This is a genuine sentiment during Napoleon’s time, and I certainly think this to be the perspective of career politicians on both sides of the aisle today. Our founding fathers took excruciating steps to avoid establishing a monarchy, ensuring a balance of power, and establishing rights inside a system of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Over the past five years in New Hampshire politics, I have learned that the idea of rugged individualism doesn’t tread on me, and the American work ethic has been undermined and replaced by a handout system. This system has caused fear, uncertainty, and dependence to dominate our lives. This is inconsistent with how I was raised, led my life, and served my community and Country.
I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I have served as a police officer for seven years and as a soldier for thirty-three and half years because I love America and, by extension, all Americans. I have served in more than 1/2 of the world’s countries, and I know more than most through personal experience how incredible our Country is, why many other countries want to be like us, and why so many people want to come to America.
Unfortunately, over the past 60 years, that has changed. America has changed because career politicians have legally, silently, and cleverly weakened all our institutions for their benefit and the benefit of their particular interest, lobbyists, and wealthy political elite. Career politicians have thrown away the trust, respect, and confidence of the American people and the world because they no longer do their best to follow American values and principles.
Worse, they have disenfranchised Americans of all generations and demographics. Our precious aged generation struggles to pay for food and medical needs and is left to determine their end-of-life plan. They are led to believe that the healthcare system has their best interests in mind. Our medical system is not health management focused, but disease management focused. The premiums and deductibles are too high. Medicare is too complicated and must be simplified and focused on the patient’s needs. Career politicians have been stealing millions from social security to be used for anything but the purpose for which it was collected, and this must be stopped.
Our younger generations have been taught to hate America, look for handouts, and suffer staggering debt at the behest of career politicians and academia who convinced them to abandon the long-held belief that you work hard all summer and on breaks to pay for the education you wanted. Our younger generation, now strapped with the debt from borrowing from career politicians, can no longer afford to buy a home or rent property because of the interest rates. They currently serve at the pleasure of those they owe.
It is undeniable that Americans are now paying more for everything. The government runs every aspect of your life. The government has employed 2.3 million bureaucrats to run your life. The government has grown to over 440 bureaus, agencies, and departments. The government has created a national register consisting of 175 thousand pages of regulations and guidelines regulating every aspect of our life. Our military is the weakest it has been in 50 years. The military-industrial complex has grown so much that it has corrupted DOD and many general officers and admirals. The Department of Veterans Affairs continues to fail our veterans. This concern of General Eisenhower and General Marshall has come true.
Moms worry about their kids’ education and mental health, the mental health system is broken, and the politicians broke it to favor disease and the billions it generated for elite stockholders.
Parents seek to keep their children safe from the violence and death caused by the drugs and human trafficking an open border policy gives. The public school system is failing our kids, and parental rights are being undermined by career politicians run by teacher unions who spread their money and members to work elections for those who obey. Vocational skills are not valued.
The wealth differential from the top 1% to the struggling working class is the largest in our nation’s history. The middle class, the class that has historically saved this nation, fought in its wars and worked to raise the next generation as good US citizens, is working multiple jobs again to make ends meet. They are paying bills with credit cards. The middle class has historically been the glue that holds our nation together for the sake of the generation behind them and the Freedom and Liberty they will steward for their children. Politics in America has devolved into a pay-to-play mud sport characterized by lying, excessive partisanship, character assassination, personal animosity, hateful discourse, increasing polarization, name-calling, smear campaigns, and even violence. Our justice system is ineffective because career politicians have failed to deal effectively with homeland security, mental health, cybercrime, human trafficking, terrorism, drug crimes, and accountability.
Underpinning political divisiveness is the national media and social media misleading Americans. The press is a failing institution that needs to live up to its constitutional responsibility. The media is biased, sensational, partisan, and divisive, and their stories are simply lobbying paid for by their advertisers.
As a result of career politicians, failing institutions, an apathetic citizenry, and an agenda-driven media, our society is confused, and our citizens are fearful. They exist in an environment of uncertainty. Career politicians have created this to control men, women, and children of all ages. This doesn’t seem right. These are the biggest problems that America faces today.
The abandonment of our values and principles of this great nation is a national security issue. The undermining of the vital principle of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has created a political system driven by political parties that operate at the expense of the people they claim to represent. The removal of God from the public square, the deterioration of the family and its significance to our culture, and the divisiveness now found in all our communities have weakened our great Country. Nothing is more important to this great nation’s success than a government that is run by the people supported by our belief in God, family, community, and Country.
The rights given to us by God, and our dedication to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, equality, fairness, and justice to all must be the rallying call of us all. These values and principles transcend all political parties and are challenging to live up to, but we should never stop trying. Career politicians have followed the easy wrong instead of the hard right.
Both sides of the aisle have hurt the economic prosperity of all Americans. Both sides of the aisle have created a dangerously high debt through fiscal irresponsibility. Both sides of the aisle have weakened America and sacrificed the safety of Americans both at home and abroad. The only people that are in defiance of these facts are career politicians.
Yes, be it known, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has been replaced by the tyranny of government, which has undermined our economic prosperity, established irresponsible spending, and sacrificed the safety and security of all Americans.
Politics has descended into the depths where lying is more accepted than telling the truth and is mandated to keep the people from knowing the plight they have put this nation in. Americans have stopped paying attention. Americans have allowed their elected officials to go without accountability, to avoid responsibility, and to use special interests, lobbyists, and the wealthy political elite to operate at the expense of the people. Americans have stopped holding the media accountable, and the media lies in support of their political party, and this exacerbates divisiveness, fear, uncertainty, and control.
It is time we remove the root cause of a problem. Career politicians, special interests and their hired lobbyists, the wealthy political elite and their lobbyists, unelected bureaucrats, and the media must be held accountable. This is done by Americans demanding integrity, grace, and selfless service be the criteria of all aspects of American life.
Change is the solution. We must change who we vote for, and we need to be open and honest and tell them why. We must replace the quest for power and money and all the self-serving career politicians with people of integrity and character that will hold themselves accountable and responsible to the people. Electing the same people every election in hopes their promises will be fulfilled will not result in change. It gives us the exact outcome we wanted to be rid of. We must limit terms, and the easiest way to do that is for you and me to vote for a new person who carries the beliefs we do, and when they have served their term honorably, they must stand with us to elect the next among us who will agree to help the people and not themselves. The status quo must go.
We can have economic prosperity for all by deregulating, promoting competition, keeping taxes low, limiting the size of government, keeping the government out of the way of entrepreneurs and small businesses, and stopping buyouts. We can ensure low energy costs by fully utilizing all energy sources to their fullest potential. We must reestablish energy independence, which can be done without hurting the environment. This will lower inflation significantly. We must stop the out-of-control spending, reduce big government, discontinue earmarks, limit money to special interests, limit their lobbyist influence over elected and appointed officials, and limit the unnecessary allocation of funds to foreign countries. The Federal Reserve is not a “Federal” or a “Reserve.” It must be reined in, audited, held accountable, and not allowed to punish tax-paying, hardworking Americans for the failure of prominent spending career politicians.
Most importantly, we must resource the border patrol and secure our border. Providing the necessary border infrastructure, including building the wall, is vital. Effective policies and laws must be enforced, including enforcing legal immigration, closing loopholes in our visa program, and establishing e-verify nationwide.
All this has been accomplished by career politicians manipulating a complacent public that questions little, fails to hold career politicians accountable and responsible for their actions, falls for everything, and has been brainwashed by the media who help convince the voters everything will be for free or should be.
Our goal must be unity, respect, determination, confidence, and rugged individualism. Current career politicians still need to get this done. Abraham Lincoln said best: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
An excerpt from the Gettysburg Address says it all. We must set aside our divisiveness and come together for the success of our children and grandchildren. “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us… that we here highly resolve…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
This is not hyperbole, and this is a moral reality that will require each one of us, regardless of our sex, race, religion, and creed, to come together for a higher purpose, replace those that have caused harm, and do our best to realize our shortcomings, accept the truth, and live up to our values and principles. If not for ourselves, then for our children and grandchildren. We stood up and took turns in legislatures, Congress, and local communities. It is OUR government, and we can pass a free nation to our children and grandchildren.
Donald C. Bolduc
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