For most of my campaign for Congress, I have focused on an issue that profoundly threatens the future of freedom in America: Our skyrocketing national debt.
But even our $16 trillion of debt, including several trillion to foreign creditors, isn’t the most threatening issue to our nation.
More and more American men are abandoning their responsibility as fathers and the results are catastrophic for a nation that was built on family values. Seventy-one percent of pregnant teens are fatherless and youths from fatherless homes are 20 times more likely to end up in prison than those with committed fathers. One could argue that the root cause of our growing welfare state is not politics as much as it is runaway men abandoning their wives and children. For all the distress that fatherlessness causes our culture, I will argue the positive impact of a committed father is an even more powerful force.
A lot has been said about my relationship with my father over the last several months. So this Father’s Day weekend,I thought you should hear from me about the most influential man in my life.
His affirmation and encouragement over the years was the driving force behind my self confidence as a young man. As a strong father does, he empowered me to embrace risk and take on my personal fears. And at every significant stage of my life he believed in me.
With that said, he never once encouraged my sister, Coty, or me to follow him into politics. No parent in their right mind wants to see their son or daughter subjected to the level of criticism that campaigns bring. However, when he could see in my eyes last summer that I believed deeply that our country’s debt-paying generation must be heard in Washington at this critical moment of fiscal irresponsibility, he listened.
And with a dose of fatherly hesitance due to the ruthless reputation of my opponents’ political operatives, he told me that he believed if I ran I would be a strong candidate with a justified cause and that I would win. He shared with me the uniqueness and legislative significance of the role of a young member of Congress and told me that my potential for impact would be greater than his ever was. Those words hit hard. Needless to say, I decided to run and run the only way I had ever seen...door-to-door and handshake-to-handshake.
Throughout the process he has been a source of wisdom and encouragement. He is always just a phone call away, despite my campaign interrupting his and my mom’s much deserved exit from the public spotlight.
Zach Wamp and I don’t always agree because my sister and I were raised to think independently. In fact, those who know us best know that my father is by far the least opinionated member of the Wamp family. There are some nights he can’t get a word in at the dinner table. True story.
At the end of the day my candidacy is a story not so different than that of other sons who follow their fathers in business or ministry. My dad and I share many of the same passions. Among them is a desire to see men and women of principle and courage lead our country out of the mess we are in.
Voters will decide whether I will have the opportunity to be one of those men. But as you make your decision, know that I stand on the shoulders of an incredible father. I wish more young men had similar shoulders to stand on, for America’s sake.
Happy Fathers Day.