I love a good story. A good story can give hope. It can lead to action. It can unite. And it can provide a brief respite and escape; but it can also lead to hopelessness, chaos and division. A story can provide a perspective on the true state of things. The last few days have been significant in that a story has provoked offense, outrage, violence, and even the attack and murder of fellow countrymen and others within various other countries. A leader can use a story to weave a perspective of what a country is capable of or to lay blame. A leader can use a story to compliment a plan or to show effectiveness of leadership. A story cannot lead. A story fills a void or a longing but does not shine a light or lead a nation.
What we need are not more stories and acceptance of stories of moral relativism justifying chaos but clear truths about the values that once embodied a great nation. We need a statement that the United States is made up of individuals with God given rights, one of which is free speech. Because we value the right of speech, we are willing to allow the offensive to uphold the principle of freedom. Free Speech is a principle that the nation upholds to the highest standard of protection and limits only due to direct tangible consequences. We need a statement that intangible, the immeasurable, the moral relative of offense while significant cannot be used as justification for tangible and measurable reciprocity. We need a statement not only of condemnation for the attack but of the significance of embassies being sovereign soil. We need not retributive violence, not a storyteller filling a void but a leader shining a light and leading on principles. That’s my story.