Sen. Bullard: Thoughts on Gov. Stitt’s inauguration

State Senator David Bullard descending the steps of the State Capitol Building. Photo provided.

“When in the course of human events,” is the beginning clause of one of the most important documents in American history.  The colonies were on the edge of war. Thomas Jefferson was sounding the rallying cry of a people hungry for liberty.  The course of this country depended upon the leadership of people who wanted to make their home better and dared to challenge the status quo.  Oklahoma sits on a similar threshold in our history. Not that we are about to separate from the greatest country in the world, or even separate at all.  Instead, we are examining the circumstances that surround our state and we see a need for change. 

As I descended the capitol steps with my colleagues on Inauguration Day, I studied the faces around me.  I observed the crowd, the military, and the dignitaries on the stage. The looks on their faces gave me a peace about the “course of human events” in our state. I saw excitement, confidence, and a great hope.  I saw the faces of leaders who are resolved to get the job done right.  The atmosphere had life, enthusiasm, and a sense of purpose.  I truly believe that Oklahoma’s best days are those in front of us.  The future of Oklahoma is brightest when hope is on the face of her people.

Newly inaugurated Governor Kevin Stitt (L) and State Senator David Bullard. Photo provided.

I am a teacher and am very proud of my profession. I was grateful to hear the governor’s words as he talked about his plan on education.  There is a need to get education right in our state and to bring vocational skill back into focus as a priority in learning.  It is reassuring to me that he recognizes this need.  One of the prevalent keys to aid education is gaining control of a runaway bureaucracy.  This is where the first course correction must happen.

Like Governor Stitt, I have heard the voices of concerned citizens who want to know how we are spending their money. It is a valid question and one which must be answered.  It is important at this time in our history that we gain control of how the people’s money is spent.  If what we want is a ‘top 10’ education system, then we must demand unconditional transparency from our agencies.  There is no other way to have long lasting success, either in education, the economy, or in our civil supports, until we tackle this problem.  In this process, we must be cautious about how we respond to new money.  Revenue without specific purpose breads corruption.  Revenue that can be hidden is already corrupt.

To paraphrase Jefferson’s words into modern terms that apply to the hope of our great state, I share the following:  When in the course of human events in Oklahoma, it became necessary for many people to stand together as one.  To call into the light those who would abuse power and change the course of entire people.  To require of those, we entrust with our future and our children’s future, a sound mind, and a humble spirit.  To lead when no others will.  To bring into the forefront of our great state the will of God and of God’s true nature.   We hold these truths to be self-evident, that the right to life trumps all other rights. That liberty is the sum of truth and wisdom and only fulfilled when government is small.  That happiness cannot exist alongside a heavy-handed bureaucracy.  That final authority does not come from people, but by the grace of Almighty God.

For the past 15 years, I have taught the foundations of this great nation and the grit of our founders.  There are many instances in our history where people regained hope amidst trying times.  During the First Great Awakening, we found hope in independence.  During the Second Great Awakening, we found hope in freedom. During World Wars I and II, we found hope in sacrifice and bravery. Now, in 2019, we have discovered hope in change.  Hope is not the driver of change, but rather it will set the pace for what is to come.  I started and finished my campaign on this great assurance, that hope once discovered, can turn around even the leakiest vessel.  This is going to be a great year.

~ Sen. David Bullard

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