Just Do It – This is America – AMAC

“Just do it.” This is America – in one sentence. Why are so many Americans intuitively conservative? Why don’t they work whining, harvest harp, split wood? Why do they want less government, more freedom, no new taxes and no senseless handouts? Why do they want to be left alone, earn a living and keep their dollar worth? Because they are self-reliant, self-reliant and sometimes defiant. They don’t need anyone to tell them who they are, they know it.

Sometimes, returning to old habits, I seek this autonomy within myself. Of course, he is there, despite the deluge of modern absurdities. I drive nails, seal boards, stack lumber and read Thoreau.

We cannot forget the America of our youth. Conservatives never do. They are grateful for it – the eternal example of World War II veterans, life without cell phones and the contentment of raking and shoveling.

They know that good things take time, they always have it. They know the nation was built on joining, taking risks, helping a neighbor, working with gratitude – just for the chance to work.

They know that progress is incremental, comes from the People, no utopian programs funded by the government, no illusory plans to compensate voters for every bump, not a grand plan that transforms human nature, forgives all debts, cancels the history, or turns government into God. This is Marxism, and it fails.

What curators enjoy is doing simple tasks, knowing that some days won’t be easy, but there is satisfaction in doing things on your own. It was a…

The sun was setting – I was behind. In Maine, the water is getting colder and the little boats are filling up with it. Worse still, the lake was cold and more rain was coming. With my flashlight in hand, I went to get the boat.

To myself, I thought, “This is going to be a job.” Filled to the gunwale, water lip the transom. I started to bail out. With a plastic bottle, I scooped up and emptied, until a child’s pool became a boat again.

Drained, I untied it from a tree, threw the rope, pushed it out, put the engine down. This all should have been done sooner, I knew that. Flashlight under my chin now, I heard the primer. Ten puffs, 20, 30, silence – now drifting on the lake. “Just do it,” I thought.

Moon rising, boat launch somewhere in the dark, I started paddling. Half an hour later, my bow rustled on the sand. I pulled the boat, went through the woods for the car and the trailer. At the level of the car, a new discovery – without a hitch. I forgot to put it. I tapped under the sweaters, no luck. “No worries, good things take time.”

Back in the garage, I dug up a second hitch and hammered in the pin. “Good things take time.” Back to the boat, now with the trailer, I backed up the ramp – hard by day, harder by night. The boat needed to be centered on rubber rollers, so I waded through the dark cold, flashlight still under my chin.

Once centered, I tried a shortcut. Rather than working the boat on the trailer in the water, I just twisted the strong winch and lifted it up – with a rope. The rope breaks, enough said.

I backed further into the water saying “enjoy this”. The boat floated freely. A conversation ensued between me and the boat, convincing the boat to return and rejoin the trailer.

Securing the boat with a rope was the next step. The rope left without knots – was full of them. I needed a knife, found one, cut the knots, secured the boat, realised… I had misplaced the car keys.

“Be calm”, I thought. Retracing my steps I found them, started the car again, drove home, cleaned up the leaves and acorns, covered the boat with a tarp – ready for the little rain , the job is done.

Pulling a boat at the end of the season, at night, in the cold – was strangely fun. Autonomy is like that. It uplifts you, affirms the possible, and enables you to do it. Across the country, people perform countless tasks, without complaining. They prepare, attend, accomplish, often without a word – happy to have the chance to get things done.

Self-reliance, not worrying too much and rallying when needed – that’s what we conservatives do. Doing things, enjoying hard work, harvesting, challenges, slips and recoveries. It allows us to sleep easily.

In a nutshell, normal people do normal things, that’s what America is and was built on. It’s not about government, it’s not complicated. It involves self-gaze, tracking, and is rewarding. We are at our best, every day, when we appreciate that is the gift of freedom.

Some will think that I do a lot of little and they are right, of course. This work was only an evening task, but what a joy it was to do it. No government told me what to do, just life. We thrive when we see and embrace challenges, are self-reliant, self-reliant, slightly provocative, and never conforming. This is what makes us conservatives. No apologies, just happy for our chances. “Just do it.” This is America – in one sentence. May it always be so.

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