Originally published on Yellowhammer News, November 17, 2016.
For some time, I have been working on the draft of an opinion piece I loosely entitled “Fortress Alabama.” The impetus for the piece was the deep concern I have for the loss of conservative positions in national politics and the feeling that Alabama could become one of the last bastions of defense for those positions. But then election day came and the tide turned. We now stand on the brink of being able to reverse some of the most egregious overreaches of liberalism ever seen. Buoyed by the Republican victories led by President-Elect Trump, I have restyled my draft as “Fortress America”.
What is a fortress? Standard dictionary definitions don’t do the word justice. You have to create a full mental image to grasp what a fortress really is. A fortress is a strong place situated on key terrain. It is a place of refuge and security from dangers that lurk outside its walls. A fortress is a secure place in which strategies are formed, ideals are preserved, and provisions are stored. It is a position from which attacks are launched against the enemies of those charged with the security of the land. The walls are thick, the ramparts are steep, and flags wave from the highest point. The view from the top of the fortress takes in all of the lands that are to be protected, routes the enemy might use, and the clear fields of fire designed to hold attackers at bay. A fortress is not an accidental location – it is an intentionally developed strategic location built with great labor and forethought. America once again has an opportunity to be a conservative fortress for the world.
For the past eight years there has been a steady bludgeoning of conservatism from the bully pulpit in Washington. Constituents are calling me to voice concern over the massive premium increases they are experiencing under the inaptly named Affordable Care Act. American foreign policy has become one of “do no harm” as opposed to the projection of strength. The enemies of our nation have grown accustomed to tepid responses to their violence and extremism and have therefore become emboldened. On the home front, our southern border is porous and so-called sanctuary cities are not confronted. Meanwhile our Courts have become a place where religious liberties and conservative values are deemed secondary to the advance of liberal activism. Status- quo liberals have denounced and fought the opportunity for parents to choose the best education for their children. Government regulations enacted by executive fiat have burdened free enterprise and destroyed jobs. I could cite example after example for each of the topics just noted but I am sure that the readers have already referenced their own.
I’m proud to be a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican – in that order. That’s my team. I have chosen not to remain ambivalent or fatalistic to the advance of liberal policies. While there may be those in elected positions who choose not to address hot issues, or who consider something a moot point because it is deemed by liberal progressives as inevitable, I pledge to lead. I was elected as a conservative by a conservative majority. There are pressing issues that demand our attention and the time we are in is suited for the struggle. For the first time in many years, Republicans hold a majority in the vast number of state legislatures. That strength in the states, combined with a Republican majority in the U.S. Congress and the coming inauguration of President-Elect Trump, means conservativism is ready for a comeback. The people have spoken, and I’m expecting to participate in a turning of the tide that the world will take note of.
Fortress America is the place that will provide refuge, provisions, and strength in an uncertain world – but only if the conservative mandate we have been given is acted upon without delay. In the end, when generations to come look back on this time, I will not be recorded as one who merely shrugged his shoulders and went blithely along his way. This nation is a fortress for good in the world and the world needs Fortress America.
Phil Williams represents Etowah, Cherokee, DeKalb and St. Clair counties in the Alabama Senate. Follow him on Twitter for the latest legislative updates: @SenPhilWilliams.