Good day. I (Evan Komnenos) am here today to announce my intention to seek the Office of Alderman in Helena.
I'm sure that each of us has seen our city from a number of viewpoints depending on where we've lived and what we've done. For me it has been as a boy growing up in Kaedrin. And as a young man immigrating to Helena to join the Imperial State Army.
To me our city is a living, breathing presence, unimpressed by what others say is impossible, proud of its own success, generous, yes and naive, sometimes wrong, never mean and always impatient to provide a better life for its people in a framework of basic fairness and freedom.
I say that the difference between an Orenian and any other kind of person is that an Orenian lives in anticipation of the future because he knows it will be a great place. Other people fear the future as just a repetition of past failures. There's a lot of truth in that. If there is one thing we are sure of, it is that history need not be relived; that nothing is impossible, and that man is capable of improving his circumstances beyond what we are told is fact.
There are those in our land today, however, who would have us believe that Helena, like other great civilizations of the past, has reached the zenith of its power; that we are weak and fearful, reduced to bickering with each other and no longer possessed of the will to cope with our problems.
Much of this talk has come from leaders who claim that our problems are too difficult to handle. We are supposed to meekly accept their failures as the most which humanity can do. They tell us we must learn to live with less, and teach our children that their lives will be less full and prosperous than ours have been; that the Oren of the coming years will be a place where--because of our past excesses--it will be impossible to dream and make those dreams come true.
I don't believe that. And, I don't believe you do either. That is why I am seeking an Alderman seat in the City Assembly. I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country destroy itself. Our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on false estimates by unknown, unidentifiable experts who rewrite modern history in an attempt to convince us our high standard of living, the result of thrift and hard work, is somehow selfish extravagance which we must renounce as we join in sharing scarcity. I don't agree that our city must resign itself to inevitable decline, yielding its proud position to other hands. I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world.
The crisis we face is not the result of any failure of the Orenian spirit; it is failure of our leaders to establish rational goals and give our people something to order their lives by. If I am elected, I shall regard my election as proof that the people of Helena have decided to set a new agenda and have recognized that the human spirit thrives best when goals are set and progress can be measured in their achievement.
In recent months leaders in our government have told us that, we, the people, have lost confidence in ourselves; that we must regain our spirit and our will to achieve our national goals. Well, it is true there is a lack of confidence, an unease with things the way they are. But the confidence we have lost is confidence in our government's policies. Our unease can almost be called bewilderment at how our defense strength has deteriorated. The great productivity of our industry is now surpassed by virtually all the major nations who compete with us for world markets. But there remains the greatness of our people, our capacity for dreaming up fantastic deeds and bringing them off to the surprise of an unbelieving world.
We--today's living Orenians have in our lifetime fought harder, paid a higher price for freedom and done more to advance the dignity of man than any people who have ever lived. The citizens of this great nation want leadership--yes--but not a "man on a white horse" demanding obedience to his commands. They want someone who believes they can "begin the world over again." A leader who will unleash their great strength and remove the roadblocks the government has put in their way. I want to do that more than anything I've ever wanted. And it's something that I believe with God's help I can do.
I believe this nation hungers for a spiritual revival; hungers to once again see honor placed above political expediency; to see government once again the protector of our liberties, not the distributor of gifts and privilege. Government should uphold and not undermine those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded--religion, education and, above all, family. Government cannot be clergyman, teacher and patriot. It is our servant, beholden to us.
We who are privileged to be a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.
A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and--above all--responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill.
I believe that you and I together can keep this rendezvous with destiny.
Thank you and good day.