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Recent events in America, especially in my home state of Arizona, can be summed up best by this famous quote from Charles Dickens:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.

We watched a mad man with no regard for human life empty a full clip of bullets into a crowd of innocent citizens. When the smoke settled, six lay dead, more than a dozen injured and a nation groped for answers in the darkness of despair.

It was the worst of times.

Brilliant doctors then stepped in, and we witnessed a modern day miracle. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., survived what should have been a fatal gunshot wound to the head, and she is now on the road to recovery. Doctors Michael Lemole and Peter Rhee have shown that American medical care is the best in the world as they literally brought a woman back from the brink of death.

Since taking office, Barack Obama has foolishly attacked his own country and apologized to the world for all the bad things he felt we had collectively done. But in recent weeks, he has exchanged this weakness in his leadership for the wisdom of praising the potential America possesses. He is now choosing to unite us – first with his touching tribute at the Tucson Memorial, followed by his address to employees at the GE plant in Schenectady. In Reagan-like style, he spoke about the need to open foreign markets to American products. He said that if we embrace our greatness as a nation we can compete and be great once more. It is my hope that his acknowledgement of the good in America will continue.

For the first time in many decades, I now see an immediate negative reaction to what amounts to open child pornography in the form of MTV’s new show, “Skins.” Advertisers like Taco Bell should be applauded and patronized by millions of Americans for drawing a line in the sand against the exploitation of 15 year olds for the profits generated by the sexualization of our children.

Light is beginning to shine in the midst of decades of moral corruption.

In a visit to the Phoenix Dream Center this week, I also saw women who have been held hostage by human traffickers now being provided refuge and safety. There are Americans willing to risk life and limb to stop these traffickers who force girls as young as 4 years old into sexual slavery. These heroes will provide something America knows best: hard won freedom and liberty.

These movements all bring a sense that not all is lost in America. I see a season of hope overshadowing the season of darkness. We just have to stand up to the darkness and say, “no more.”

I see a tale of two cities being played out right here in America.

One is a city based on slothfulness and the demand of instant gratification without concern for consequences. It’s city that desires wealth without work and lustful pleasures without penalty. It’s one that believes government can and will solve all the ills while it still promotes the same.

The other is a city of hope. It’s a city that will have the best of times, an age of wisdom, a belief system built on the time-tested truths that never fail. It’s a city whose light is so bright, darkness is exposed. It’s filled with hope and anticipation of the great days ahead.

We do have everything before us. We only need remind ourselves that America is good. Together we can do great things and make a future for our children and grandchildren full of expectation, not despair.

We are the shining city Ronald Reagan spoke of that sits on the hill illuminating the beacon of hope for all to see. Our value is not computed by our politicians and pornographers. America’s value lies in the goodness and greatness of its people.

We recently saw the worst of times no doubt. But days later we started to see the best shining through. And today I have more hope for our country than just two weeks ago, because I have seen the best of America far outweigh the worst.

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