Sean Parnell (R), Army combat veteran and House candidate for Pennsylvania’s 17th District, said during the first night of the Republican National Convention that after he returned home from the Afghanistan War, he could no longer recognize the Democrat Party.
In Afghanistan, he said his platoon was made up of “every race, creed, and religion.”
“Despite those differences, we were bound together as brothers from the same American family,” he said. He recalled the morning the Taliban ambushed them on June 10, 2006, just after dawn:
Outnumbered ten to one, we endured mortar and machine gun fire as hundreds of Taliban charged us from three sides. We had 24 men that day. Wave after wave of Taliban advanced up the hill. I was wounded three times in the fighting. Nearly all of my platoon was wounded within the first minute. But the enemy kept coming. We fought to our last rounds of ammunition and when it was over, we held the hill.
In the face of death, I saw ordinary Americans become heroes. In our darkest hour, when our survival depended on each other, my men and I learned an important lesson: we all bleed red. Our differences did not define us. United, we were unbeatable.
Parnell said after 485 days of combat, he came home, eager to enjoy the freedoms he risked his life to defend. However, he watched with alarm as the Party of his grandfather, a lifelong union Democrat, “turned against the very people the Democrat Party professed to represent. He said:
Where Democrats once stood for hard working, law abiding Americans who displayed our flag with pride, this New Democrat party considered them uneducated racists, clinging to guns and Bibles. The Party of Harry Truman became the Party of hedge fund managers, Hollywood celebrities, tech moguls and academia — bloated with contempt for middle America.
Regarding looking across the aisle, he said, “I do not see a Party that wants you to pursue your dreams. I see a Democrat Party that wants to dictate what those dreams are.”
“I don’t see a Party that wants you to be free. I see a Party that wants to chain you to conformity and will destroy anyone they deem a heretic,” he added.
Meanwhile, he said, President Trump has “triggered the rising tide of working families, brought us energy independence, reclaimed jobs from overseas that Democrats said would never return.”
“He has fiercely defended the besieged First and Second Amendments. That’s just a start. With four more years, imagine what we can achieve by simply working with our president. I believe in our [resident’s vision for the future,” he said.
He appealed to Democrats who may be similarly disillusioned” with the Democrat Party:
I stand here tonight calling on all Americans to join us. It doesn’t matter what you look like, who you love, how you worship, your gender, or your job. If you are a traditional Democrat who has become disillusioned with how radical your Party has become, then stand with us. You are most welcome. America needs all her patriots to rush to her defense.
“My fellow Americans, I promise you this: in our tent, you are free,” he said. “Free to speak the truth, choose your journey, define your life. You have the power to go as far as you aim, then aim higher and keep going because that is what Americans do.
“We are idealists and dreamers, lovers of adventure. We are rugged and independent. We don’t make excuses. We make the impossible a reality,” he said.
“This is not the time to stand on the sidelines,” he added. “If you love our country as we do, as our president does, join the chorus of patriot voices that will preserve this exceptional union. Mr. President, lead the way.”