I have enjoyed so many opportunities and experiences in my life. Nothing quite hit me like this past month at the Republican National Convention. I have attended Super Bowls, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Championships, Rose Bowls and the like. As the co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party, I got to see firsthand the process of picking a nominee for president of the United States, and it was an incomparable experience.
Each state party enacted its own rules for its primary and decided how delegates are chosen to the convention. This process started almost two years ago and culminated this past month in Cleveland, Ohio. Our Michigan delegation met every morning at our hotel with different dignitaries, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. We had events each day held by our leadership, Attorney General Bill Schuette, Sen. Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter, Gov. Rick Snyder and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. It was an amazing experience, and our delegation loved hearing from these great leaders.
Cleveland looked beautiful, and I never felt more safe. In fact, all of the law enforcement officers were cheered on a daily basis.
While in Cleveland, I met many Jews — Orthodox, Conservative and Reform — who reach out to each other and make you feel like you have friends all over the country. Never since I have been involved in the Republican Party have I run into any anti-Semitism. In fact, I see and work with people who truly are passionate about Israel. It is an experience that I can’t describe — like-minded people gathering together and celebrating our cause, our goals, our country.
America is the greatest country in the world. Yes, there will always be disagreements, protests, controversies and the like within the ranks of both parties, but isn’t that what makes our country so great?
Whether you agree or disagree with me, I can tell each of you this … get involved in any way possible. Get educated on the issues. Care!
This world is very different than the one we grew up in. All of us have a responsibility to try to leave it better for the next generation. I take that responsibility seriously, and I have opted to get involved to fight for the causes that I believe in. I encourage you to do the same. Your voice matters. You can be an example to others. You can show your children and grandchildren how this process works.
We are just people put here on Earth and are imperfect. Be patient. Listen to others who disagree with you. If they care, mission accomplished. You participated. You might even learn something.
Jeff Sakwa is co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party.