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A Presidential Bid Launched

Synopsis: America faces problems domestically and internationally that must be tackled and solved. These include immorality, a failing educational system, national debt, and tolerance of oppression in other countries. Pat calls for a united front in facing all these problems and announces his willingness to run for President of the United States.

Constitution Hall, Sept. 17, 1986

On September 17, 1787, just 199 years ago today, 391 men meeting in solemn assembly at Independence Hall in Philadelphia voted their approval of a document drafted on behalf of the people of the United States to "form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

In 1788 the first elections were held under this newly drafted Constitution and -- in 1789 our first president, George Washington, placed his hand upon the Holy Bible and swore a solemn oath that to the best of his ability he-would "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Tonight we meet in Constitution Hal,l and in 220 halls across our fifty states in equally solemn assembly, on this 199th Anniversary of the founding document of our nation.

A Vision Was Born

The Constitution adopted on this date moved a nation from the brink of anarchy to the threshold of stability and prosperity. A vision was born on this date of a nation united -- a nation whose official motto was E Pluribus Unum -- out of many one. The vision born on September 17 was of one nation -- under God -- with liberty and justice for all.

  • These men knew all too well that there was only one source of our liberty. Tonight we do well to listen to their words:

    Our First President who had presided over the Constitutional Convention in his farewell address declared, "Reason and experience forbid us to expect public morality in the absence of religious principal."
  • Our Second President, John Adams, whose wisdom was key to the drafting of our Constitution said, "We have not government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
  • And our Third President, Thomas Jefferson, the author of our Declaration of Independence gave, us solemn warning, "And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis -- a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? And they are not to be violated but with His wrath."

Warnings Disregarded

Yet despite these warnings, we have permitted during the past 25 years an assault on our faith and values that would have been unthinkable to past generations of Americans. We have taken virtually all mention of God from our classrooms and textbooks. Using public funds we have begun courses in so called "values clarification" which tend to undermine our historic Judeo-Christian faith. We have taken the Holy Bible from our young and replaced it with the thoughts of Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and John Dewey. A small elite of lawyers, judges, and educators have given us such a tortured view of the establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment to our Constitution that it has been called by one United States Senator "an intellectual scandal."

Instead of absolutes, our youth have been given situational ethics and the life centered curriculum.  Instead of a clear knowledge of right-and wrong, they have been told "if it feels good do it." Instead of self-restraint they are often taught self-gratification and hedonism.

What We Have Paid

Our motion pictures, our television, our radio, our youth concerts, with a few outstanding exceptions, seem to have a single message -- God is out, casual sex, infidelity and easy divorce, the recreational use of drugs, and radical lifestyles are in. We have sown the wind -- now we are reaping the whirlwind. Illegal drugs are being sold to fourth grade school children. Half of our high school children have tried marijuana. We are under assault by a tidal wave of drugs estimated to have a value of $120 billion annually.

  • There are 1,000,000 illegitimate pregnancies to unwed teenagers every year in our country. Of these, 400,000 babies are aborted -- yet 600,000 babies are born each year to youngsters hardly old enough to be away from their parents. In the black community, according to a CBS report, 60 percent of all births are to women without a man in residence.
  • On the darker side of society an estimated 1/4 of all our children are sexually assaulted while they are growing up, and each year between 1.2 and 1.5 million teenagers are either runaways or throwaways. And to match our new sexual freedom this year there will be an
    estimated 8.6 million new cases of venereal disease in our country, and the dread incurable killer AIDS may have already infected 1 million Americans.
  • Our schools, with what is called "progressive education", have become progressively worse. We have in our society 27 million functional illiterates. Each year we add 2.3 million to their number. Instead of being the most literate nation on earth, we rank number 14 among the developed nations in literacy and we are falling fast.

What the Liberal Elite Say

Now in 1986 the same liberal elite's that gave us the problem deny the cause and tell us that this is a problem for government. Ladies and gentlemen, what we are facing is not a governmental problem, it is a moral problem.

Human cruelty, human selfishness, alcoholism, drug addiction, and sexual promiscuity will always bring poverty and the disintegration of society. The answer for us does not lie in institutionalizing aberrant behavior -- whether that behavior is substance abuse or sexual perversion. And certainly the answer does not lie in once again penalizing the productive sector of our society with high taxes and wasteful spending.

A New Vision is Born

Ladies and gentlemen, the answer lies in a new rise of faith and freedom that will give to every American a vision of hope -- a vision of opportunity -- a vision that will take us past these troubled days and show us the promise that lies ahead for each of us.

Even as the framers of our Constitution gave our forefathers a vision of a new land blessed with liberty, I would like for all of us on this special day to hold out A NEW VISION FOR AMERICA --- A NEW VISION of hope for ourselves and our posterity.

Our children and our grandchildren are our greatest treasure. First of all we owe them a secure and loving family environment. We owe them strong homes and a mother and father who care for them, spend time with them, and truly love them. We owe to them the excitement and future potential offered by education and job training that is second to none in the world.

To accomplish this goal we must guarantee:

  1. New tougher discipline in drug and alcohol free schools. For our children and grandchildren we will eliminate once and for all from our land the mob supported drugs and pornography which is destroying and debasing their dream of the future.

  2. We will insure to them a return to a basic broad based phonics approach to reading. Our children must learn basic language and basic math. They must know the facts of history --the facts of geography -- the facts of science. The "progressive education" advocated by John Dewey and his followers is a colossal failure and must be abandoned.

  3. For our children's and grandchildren's sake we must insure that control of education is returned to their parents and caring teachers in local communities, and taken away from a powerful union with leftist tendencies.

  4. There can be no education without morality, and there can be no lasting morality without religion. For the sake of our children, we must bring God back to the classrooms of America!

What Critics Say

Of course some would say, wouldn't that upset the atheists in our midst? Studies done for us by George Gallup show that 94 percent of all Americans believe in God. Only 6 percent are atheists. Ladies and gentlemen, I passionately believe that the atheists among us should have every right of citizenship -- the right to print, to broadcast, to speak, to persuade, to own businesses, to organize politically, to run for office -- but I do not believe that the 94 percent of us who believe in God have any duty whatsoever to dismantle our entire public affirmation of faith in God just to please a tiny minority who don't believe in anything.

And ladies and gentlemen, as we struggle to see a new birth of faith and freedom in our nation, we pledge ourselves without reservation to maintain religious liberty for all people. Speaking for myself, and I am sure for all of you, we affirm that we will preserve, protect, and defend with all our strength the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States as it was given us by the founders of our nation.

Several weeks ago my lovely daughter-in-law gave birth to a redheaded, blue-eyed baby boy. My first grandson. As I looked down at that little fellow, I knew we had placed on his tiny shoulders a share of a $2.3 trillion national debt. As I thought more about it, I realized that before he began kindergarten he would owe a share of $3 trillion.

Why So Much Debt?

Why have we done this to him? Was our nation at war? Not recently. Were we in the throws of a great depression? Hardly. Was there some natural calamity to justify such extraordinary spending? None that I am aware of. In times of extraordinary prosperity we have become the first generation ever to plunder the patrimony of its children and grandchildren. We have robbed them to pay for our wasteful excesses.

Why then did we do it? We did it because Federal spending is out of control. We did it because we have a Congress controlled by politicians who lack the will to say no to the clamor of special interest groups. We did it because we have as a people forgotten the words of John Kennedy who said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather ask what you can do for your country."

We must have a new vision of lean, efficient government -freed from the bloated excesses of the past -- providing for the people those things they cannot do for themselves. Gone will be wasteful procurement; gone will be unnecessary departments and agencies; gone will be the frenzy to spend budget allocations before the next appropriation comes due; gone will be tax paid subsidies to the rich; and gone will be the hordes of favor seekers who have come for their piece of what Donald Lambro calls "Fat City."

Pursuit of Happiness the Goal

Government will guarantee to every citizen the right to pursue happiness. No longer will it try to guarantee happiness for every citizen.

Government will be our servant not our master. The Federal Budget will be balanced and we will lay the foundation for a new era of prosperity.

Ladies and gentlemen, in 1978 I was shocked when America's trade deficit hit what was then an alarming $33 billion.

Now, eight years later, that trade deficit is projected this year to reach a staggering $168 billion. We cannot sit idly by and watch the industrial might of America overcome by foreign competition.

Fine honest men and women who have labored all their lives to produce our steel -- our automobiles -- our television sets --our petroleum -- are now out of work.

Goods Still Key to Well-being

We are told not to worry because we are moving from an industrial to a service and information economy. But I do worry, because I know and you know, that in order-to survive, an economy must produce tangible goods. No economy can survive which buys its goods from other countries and sells services and information on computer screens to itself.

Our new vision of America must include a partnership between the government, American business, and the American working men and women. We can no longer count each other as adversaries, but allies in a worldwide struggle. We are all Americans and working together with our great reservoir of ingenuity, hard work, and the entrepreneurial spirit we will make "made in America" synonymous with "the best in the world."

We believe in free trade and open markets. We are against protective walls to shield outmoded or monopolistic industries.

Fair Trade is Vital

But we also believe in fair trade, and we serve due notice on the Japanese and our other trading partners ....

Either give us free and fair access to your markets, or we will shut down America's markets to you.

One year ago this Spring I visited a refugee camp in Honduras near the Nicaraguan border. I took my camera crew inside a dark tent-with a dirt floor. Sitting on a rough cot was a Nicaraguan woman less than five feet tall.

She told a tale of horror at the hands of the Sandinistas. Her husband had been a bus driver. The Sandinistas accused him of being sympathetic to the Contras. Without a trial they seized him, and before her eyes they dismembered his body. Then they raped her and lowered her into a well half-dead with shock and fear. She regained consciousness, struggled out of her confinement, and made her way across the border to freedom.

As I think about this little woman, I realize that she is just one victim of the communist tyranny that since 1917 has claimed through war, starvation; murder, and torture an estimated 250 million lives.

We Cannot Ignore Oppression

President Abraham Lincoln wrote these unforgettable words, "Familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them."

Can we craft a new vision for our own society while ignoring the chains of bondage of one billion of our fellow human beings?

Can we allow armed aggression from outside or armed aggression from within a country to extinguish freedom for its people? Can we turn a deaf ear to the cries for material help from those brave freedom fighters in Angola, in Afghanistan, in Mozambique, in Nicaragua, who would take to the field of battle at the risk of their own lives to bring freedom and democracy to their people?

Communism Must Fall

We must be strong enough to resist any further spread of communist tyranny. We must hold forth the dream that one day this terrible blight on the world will fall through its own corruption and violation of human nature. And while we wait we must make it our goal that no longer will communist tyranny be financed by loans and credits from bankers and industrialists in the free world.

Yes, together we share a dream...a new vision for America. A vision of a great nation. A shining city on a hill. The undisputed leader of the free world. And together as we join our hands, our hearts, and our voices as one, we will once again see this great land truly one nation under God!

Now a Personal Word

For the past three years, people have come to me and said, "your vision for America is our vision, will you be our champion and stand tall for-the values millions of us share. Will you run for the presidency of the United States?"

What began as a trickle has become a torrent. Tens of thousands of wonderful people on their feet saying "Go for it."

But those across America who know me know that this is not enough. The question for me on this or for that matter on any major decision is simple.. "What is God's will for me in this?"

Let me assure you that deep in my heart I know God's will for me in this crucial decision and I have His further assurance that He will care for, continue, and enlarge the ministry of CBN which is so dear to my heart.

So now to all of you assembled on this 17th of September, I give you my decision.

If by September 17, 1987, one year from today, three million registered voters have signed petitions telling me that they will pray -- that they will work -- that they will give toward my election, then I will run as a candidate for the nomination of the Republican Party for the office of President of the United States of America.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
—Philippians 4:13

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