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Fighting the good fight
|November 4, 2005|
The government of Canada has been pursuing a radical agenda of late. It has changed the definition of marriage, a Parliamentary Committee is set to recommend legalize prostitution, Bill C-407 threatens to legalize assisted suicide and the Liberal Party voted at its last convention to legalize marijuana. Millions of Canadians are shaking their heads with disbelief asking “what can we do”?
The National Post recently published an article by Lorne Gunter saying, “Canada needs a Ralph Reed”. Who is Ralph Reed and why does Canada need leaders like him?
“Canada needs a Ralph Reed”
Ralph Reed is widely credited with mobilizing millions of people of faith to take their rightful place as full participants in the democratic process. Reed is a master at grassroots organization and has transformed the American political landscape, causing it to once again represent mainstream values.
Reed has worked on seven presidential campaigns, including serving as a senior advisor to the campaign of President George W. Bush in 2000 and southeast Campaign Chair in 2004. He has been named one of the top ten political newsmakers in the nation by Newsweek, one of the twenty most influential leaders of his generation by Life magazine, and one of the 50 future leaders of America by Time magazine. Many credit him for being the margin of victory for George Bush as President.
Reed’s key to success is organization. He states: "You have to organize, organize, organize, and build and build, and train and train, so that there is a permanent, vibrant structure of which people can be part." Recently he spoke at Harvard University saying “At the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign, we signed up 1.4 million volunteers, registered over 3 million new voters, reactivated 7 million existing Republican voters, and recruited 7.5 million e-activists online who contacted other voters in ‘virtual precincts.’ Our volunteers made 15 million voter contacts in the final week of the campaign. This organization turned a record vote for the President and contributed to the highest turnout since 1968.”
”You have to organize, organize, organize"
Canada’s last election had the lowest voter turnout in our nation’s history with only 60.5% of eligible voters casting a ballot. As the government becomes more extreme, fewer Canadians perform their civic duty by voting. In 1984 and 1988 Canada’s voter turnout was much higher with 75% and 76% respectively voting in elections that resulted in two Conservative governments. Since then the Liberal Party has enjoyed four consecutive victories benefiting from excessively low turnout. Ironically, the more detached from mainstream Canada the government has become – the more electable.
“Canadian would do well to emulate some of the Americans' lessons”
In his National Post column, Gunter states: “If Canadian Christians want clout … they would do well to emulate some of the Americans' lessons…. They (Americans) have finally accepted that if they are to save any of the values they cherish, they must become fully engaged in politics.”
It is both prudent and wise to learn from those who are experienced. Reed is a young man with a boyish look, but he has a wealth of such experience.
Ralph Reed Jr. was born in 1961. His father was a Navy physician from Portsmouth, Virginia. He was raised in a Methodist home that was indifferent to Christianity.
Reed was involved in politics from a very young age. As a student, he ran school campaigns at Stephens County High School Toccoa, Georgia where he graduated in 1979. He attended the University of Georgia and earned a BA in history in 1985. He was a member of the Demosthenian Literary Society, the Jasper Dorsey Intercollegiate Debate Society, and College Republicans. He was also a columnist for The Red and Black student newspaper. He received his Ph.D. in American History from Emory University in 1991.
Reed ‘met the Lord’ on a Saturday evening in September of 1983, at Bullfeathers bar and restaurant in Washington, D.C. He describes his experience saying "the Holy Spirit simply demanded me to come to Jesus." He walked outside the bar to a phone booth, and found the Evangel Assembly of God in Camp Springs, Maryland in the yellow pages under "Churches". He visited the next morning and was born again as a new creature in Christ. Reed then moved to North Carolina to start Students for America. In 1988 Dr. Pat Robertson ran for President of the United States and then founded the Christian Coaliton the following year. Dr. Ralph Reed was hired as its founding executive Director.
Founding executive director of the Christian Coalition
Reed quickly developed the Christian Coalition into the largest and most active conservative grassroots political organization in America. He began leadership schools, instructing supporters to form rapid-response networks, connected by phone, fax and modem, in hundreds of counties, located in every state in the Union.
Coalition members were given training on the third Tuesday of every month by attending satellite downlinks of "Christian Coalition Live," an hour of specific instruction on political strategies. The broadcasts encouraged members to contact lawmakers regarding specific legislation. . During his tenure, the organization's budget grew from $200,000 to $27 million, and its support base grew from two thousand to two million members with supporters in two thousand local chapters. The Coalition grew and in 2004 it distributed 70 million voters’ guides and gave training to its 2 million members.
These members are now in every precinct, each county and every state of America. Reed’s coalition teaches ordinary citizens how to engage in the democratic process. Today they are making a difference in municipal, state and federal elections. The result is government that reflects the will of the people and listens to the electorate.
Reed is a Bible believing Christian who wants his nation to be blessed by God. He accepts Genesis 12:3 where God says concerning Israel, “I will bless those who bless thee and curse those who curse thee”. He is the co-chair of “Stand for Israel” with Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. Together they organized a national Day of Prayer in October 2004 with more than 5 million people in 16,000 churches. In a speech to the Anti-Defamation League, Reed had the following to say:
…the Christian community in the United States is not a fair weather friend. We will stand with you, and stand for Israel, we will defend Israel’s legitimate right to security and its right to exist, and in this stand we will not retreat…. In a world filled with pain and suffering, in a world filled with terror and tyranny, in a world where the evil that gave rise to that tragedy (the Holocaust) still lurks in too many places in the world, let us join hands together as Christians and Jews and others of good will.”
Confounds the political pundits and upsets the media
At the young age of 43, Ralph Reed has already had a tremendous impact on his nation. He has motivated millions of Americans to participate in the election of their leaders and has taught millions how to mobilize others based on sound middle class, common sense moral principles, and solid organization. The result has been a massive voter turnout that confounds the political pundits and upsets the media.
The elites leading our government, media and academia would like to keep those who represent mainstream, commonsense principles away from the process of electing the nations leaders. As Canadians we must learn to take a stand. These elites will attack us for learning from Americans, as if learning is wrong. They will berate and vilify us. But we will no longer be either silent, or intimidated.
It is time to take a stand, fulfill our civic responsibility and fully participate in democracy.
If not you - who? If not now - when?
Canada is a great country with some of the finest people from every nation in the world. Polls show that the mainstream of Canada does not want radical social change, and yet it is being thrust upon us with such regularity that it often fails to register any more.
I have confidence in democracy and the good people of Canada. The next generation deserves to inherit a good Canada. It deserves a society that respects traditional marriage, a society that refuses to endorse and participate in the exploitive abuse of women through prostitution, a society that does not legalize illicit drugs or contemplate killing its crippled, sick or weary.
Ralph Reed has proven what that a single person can make a tremendous difference. You too can make a difference.
If not you – then who?
If not now – when?