High Stakes And A Simple Choice: “I’m 94 Years Old & Saddened By What I See Happening To America”

Authored by Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, via RealClear Wire,

I am 94 years old and like many of you, I am exhausted by politics and saddened by what I see happening to America. I had hoped it was time for me to move to the sidelines and let younger generations continue the fight to preserve America’s founding freedoms and values. But, like so many of us, I realized that I could not let myself walk away; the stakes are just too high.

We cannot let the America we see today be what we leave to our children and grandchildren. Many of our once-great cities have devolved into lawlessness with random violent attacks on innocent people, rampant looting, and large-scale homeless encampments. There are rarely consequences for the wrongdoers because George Soros-elected prosecutors across America refuse to prosecute them.

Moreover, our southern border is unprotected, and millions of people we know nothing about pour into our nation to receive care and benefits that we cannot afford to provide to our struggling military veterans. Worse, many of the border crossers may be gang members who commit violent crimes here. Schoolchildren across America cannot read, write, or do basic math, while our educational leaders tell us that they know better than parents how to raise our children. Working men and women are struggling to provide for their families and must raid their retirement funds just to feed, clothe, and take care of their children. These are just a few of the problems America is facing after three years of bad government policies. They cannot be our legacy.

This should not be a partisan issue. This should be an issue for all Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – that I hope to reach with this op-ed. You enjoy the freedoms and values on which the nation was founded. Sadly, I see these freedoms and values being eroded today as government gets bigger and weaponized against its political opponents.

I wrote this op-ed because of my love for America, not for any financial gain or advantage. I have been retired for 30 years and spend my time engaged in philanthropic causes, with which I have committed to share 90% of my net worth. I was born here and can give testimony about The American Dream. I lost my job and was broke when I was 48 years old. A dear friend of mine suggested that my misfortune presented a great opportunity to build a small business based upon an idea I had shared with him. Only in America, the land of opportunity, could being without a job and broke be a great opportunity. In 1978, my partners and I built four hardware stores, and this small business grew and is known as The Home Depot. We could only have done this in America because of America’s system of free enterprise and pro-jobs growth government policies. The state of America today, especially record inflation, government over-regulation, and the problems of the last three years, would prevent my partners and I from succeeding as we have.

Part of our legacy must be passing on to future generations of Americans our founding freedoms and values, including The American Dream. We must change the current trajectory of the nation and solve the problems created in the last three years. We must also reject calls from some politicians to replace our free market system with big government socialism. Most of them seem to have never had a job outside of government. All they know is making government bigger and more intrusive in the lives of its citizens.       

I wrote above that I wanted to sit on the sidelines of politics, but the stakes were too high for me just to walk away. The stakes are America’s path forward. Do we want to continue the perilous trajectory we are now on? I do not because it would be disastrous for all Americans except the political elite.

For Democrats, the choice is simple. If you feel that you are better off now than you were three years ago, you should vote for Joe Biden or whoever is the Democrat candidate. For Republicans, the choice is also simple.  Let’s face it: Donald Trump is going to win the nomination. You should be doing all you can to ensure his winning the general election.

I understand the frustration of some of my Republican friends who do not like or are offended by things Donald Trump does and says. I, too, have been frustrated at times, but we cannot let his brash style be the reason we walk away from his otherwise excellent stewardship of the United States during his first term in office. Now is the time for unity to save The American Dream for future generations. 

For these reasons, I endorse Donald J. Trump as the nominee of the Republican Party and as our next President. I endorse him not only because he has the best chance of winning the general election but because he is the best person to take on and dismantle the administrative state that is strangling America. The new war in the Middle East will present great challenges for the free world for some time, especially in keeping other terrorist groups or nations out of the conflict. This will require a president with the judgment, strength, decisiveness, and courage that Donald Trump displayed in his first term when he ordered the strike that killed the Iranian terrorist Gen. Qasem Soleimani and dissuaded Russia from invading Ukraine. Many, including myself, believe that Hamas would not have unleashed its barbarism and cruelty on Israel if Donald Trump was our president today. The reason is America’s enemies respect and, more importantly, fear Donald Trump’s judgment, strength, decisiveness, and courage. It is critical that America’s next leader have these attributes in the face of Hamas murdering innocent babies, old people, including Holocaust survivors, entire families; burning alive innocent people; raping women and young girls; and other unspeakable acts.

I urge my fellow Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to put their love for America above all else. I urge the Republican National Committee to end the Republican debates that only benefit ad makers and political consultants. They are unproductive and embarrassing.

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