On Thursday, February 26, 2015, Carly Fiorina, businesswoman, wife, mother, & grandmother spoke at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference. She is a conservative who believes in unlocking human potential & holding government accountable.
FULLEST DISCLOSURE: My cousin Kenny, former NYPD Hero Detective, provided security for Carly as her driver in NYC (but Kenny had no influence in the dissemination or publication of this piece; it’s just a random serendipitous coincidence).
Here is Carly’s Conservative Political Action Conference Speech…
When I was a little girl in Sunday school, my mother gave me a plaque that read: “What you are is God’s gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God.”
Years later I would be fortunate enough to enroll in Stanford University, where I would earn a degree in Medieval history and philosophy. All dressed up and nowhere to go – although that degree has come in handy recently since our President keeps talking about the Crusades. Yes, Mr. President, ISIS wants to drive the whole world back into the Middle Ages, but the rest of us moved on about 800 years ago. While you seek moral equivalence, the world waits for moral clarity and American leadership.
With that degree I was unemployable, so I went to law school. I hated it and quit after a single semester. I went back to work doing full time what I had done part-time to help put myself through college. I typed, filed and answered the phones for a little nine-person real estate company.
She Shattered the “Glass Ceiling”
I would eventually become the Chief Executive of the world’s largest technology company—HP. Together with the great people of that great company, we would double its revenues to $90 billion, triple its rate of innovation to 11 patents a day, and go from a laggard to a leader in every product category and every market segment in which we competed.
I know that it is only in this country that a young woman can go from secretary to CEO. And that is because our founders knew what my mother taught me. Everyone has God-given gifts. Everyone has potential—often far more than they realize. I have learned this over and over in my life: from my fellow workers in business to the slums of New Delhi, India. I have seen it in Norfolk, Virginia as I distributed diapers to young mothers who had the courage to bring their children into the world. Every life has potential.
AMERICA… Greatest. Nation. EVER.
Our founders believed that this must be a country where everyone has the right to fulfill their potential. That is what they meant when they said “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
And so we became the greatest nation in the world and throughout all human history because here, more things were more possible for more people from more places. Here, people could fulfill their potential.
When I was typing in that little company, and indeed throughout my career, I have needed someone to take a chance on me. When I battled cancer, I needed many helping hands. When my husband Frank and I lost our younger daughter Lori to the demons of addiction, we relied on the strength of our family, the solace of our faith, but we also were lifted up by the prayers and kindness of so many strangers who became blessings in our lives.
Everyone needs a helping hand but no one wants to be trapped in the web of dependence that has been woven over decades in our nation. To fulfill their potential, people need an education, tools, training, support—and they need a job.
Say What, CTU?
The President of the Chicago Teacher’s Union once said this: “We cannot be held responsible for the performance of the students in our classrooms because too many of them are poor and come from broken families.” Liberals may be prepared to dismiss and disregard Americans because of their circumstances. Liberals may be prepared to consign some to lives of dependence while others—who think they are smarter and better—take care of them.
We as conservatives are not. We know that no one of us is better than any other one of us. We know that each of us has God-given gifts and can live a life of dignity, purpose and meaning.
Work is a central part of such a life and so we must rebuild Main Street. Elizabeth Warren is right: crony capitalism is alive and well. Government and government programs have grown so big, so powerful, so costly and so complex that only the big and the powerful can prosper. But Elizabeth Warren is dead wrong about how to end crony capitalism. You see, whether it is Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare or net-neutrality, all this government complexity means the big get bigger, the small disappear, and the powerless are trapped.
Build It and They Will Come
We are now destroying more businesses than we are creating. Most Americans get their start the way I did – in a small business. The dry-cleaners, tacquerias, coffee shops, hairdressers and real-estate firms of American Main Street create most of our new jobs and employ half our people. So if we want more jobs, we need more small businesses.
But we need leaders not managers. You see, managers are people who do the best they can within existing constraints and conditions, who tinker around the edges of a problem. We need leaders who do not accept what is broken simply because it has always been that way. We need leaders that will change the order of things. Leaders who see and seize possibilities and know the highest calling of leadership is to unlock potential in others.
Technology gives us the tools to engage American citizens in reforming our government as never before. Why should we accept that veterans have to spend many months filling out paperwork when they return from the battlefield and many more months waiting for a bureaucrat to approve them before they can get the services they’ve earned.
A Fundamental Restoration of America
We must unlock the potential of every American, fundamentally reform government and restore American leadership in the world. I know Bibi Netanyahu. As I sat in his office five years ago, he spoke then of the dangers posed by Iran. He travels here next week not to offend our President, but to warn the American people that our President’s insistence on a deal with Iran at all costs is a danger to the world.
I know King Abdullah of Jordan. And I applauded his leadership when his response to the beheading of a Jordanian pilot was to immediately execute two convicted terrorists and begin bombing. He came to this country seeking support and he has still not received it. Neither have the Kurds nor the Ukrainians. When the Egyptians bombed targets in Libya in response to the beheading of 21 Christians, this Administration stood silently by and would neither “condemn nor condone” Egypt’s forceful response.
This is not leadership. Nor is it leadership when Secretary Clinton asks: “What difference does it make?” when our embassy is deliberately attacked by terrorists and four Americans are murdered. It makes all the difference in the world and the required response has never come.
Clownish Clinton is NOT a Real Leader
Like Mrs. Clinton, I too have travelled the globe. Unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment. I have met Vladimir Putin and I know that his ambition will not be deterred by a gimmicky red reset button.
Mrs. Clinton, name an accomplishment. And in the meantime, please explain why we should accept that the millions and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments don’t represent a conflict of interest.
She tweets about women’s rights in this country and takes money from governments that deny women the most basic human rights. She tweets about equal pay for women but won’t answer basic questions about her own offices’ pay standards—and neither will our President. Hillary likes hashtags. But she doesn’t know what leadership means.
Now is the time to declare without apology and without equivocation that this is the greatest nation the world has ever known and we are a force for good.
Now is the time to reaffirm that every American, regardless of their circumstances, has the right and the opportunity to fulfill their potential. We must rise together and meet our challenges. Now is the time for citizenship and leadership.
Let us declare the end of identity politics that seeks to divide rather than to unite. Let us declare the end of lowered expectations. Let us refuse to accept what has been broken about our politics and our government for so long.
So, let us together, restore the promise of this, our beloved and blessed United States of America.
We are a Red Nation Rising of Centrists, Conservatives and Libertarians uniting to the right for Civics & Constitutionalism… and GIRL POWER!
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