George Khalaf's Remarks at The Pursuit Screening
The following is an adaptation of George Khalaf’s remarks about faith, family, community, and meaningful work which he made at the screening of Arthur Brook’s new film The Pursuit, hosted by The Resolute Group in April 2019.
Early on in my career, I knew I was conservative, but I also knew I didn’t like the way some of our elected officials or political organizations talked about conservative issues. But when you are 19 and your role is to stuff envelopes and shred old letterhead, you just put your head down and work. As time has passed and I have thankfully graduated from my letterhead shredding days, I am finally in a position to do something about the same issue I and all of you have noticed. An issue that has only gotten worse -- and seemingly exponentially worse -- over the past two to three years.
At a national level, free enterprise and conservative issues have been twisted by those who disagree with us. But as conservatives, we have often had an equally disappointing response. Too often, we discuss free enterprise and economic issues in a vacuum with too much focus on budget numbers and economic principles that are unrelatable to the average American. The last couple years in our country have clearly shown that there is an ever growing discontent and hopelessness in many of our communities. This should concern all of us because hopelessness and discontent breed a political anger that has and is being used by both sides to score political points instead of solving the underlying issues. But there is hope.
“We can combat discontent and hopelessness by creating a system that intentionally promotes meaningful work for the individual.”
There are individuals and organizations of influence who have not only recognized the problem but have a plan of action to do something about it. At the Resolute Group, we intend to be part of that effort. Changing the conversation nationally will take a lot of time, but at the local and state levels success is more tangible and attainable. We need to get the right people elected. But beyond that, we need to consistently engage in the cultural battles of today on issues that affect the strength of our families and communities. We can also take a lesson from our successes. One of those successes is the life issue. Life has seen a resurgence in the broader public (per recent public polling released) and I think there is a lot to learn from the way people and organizations across the board have engaged on the life issue.
I believe that our free enterprise system should be -- and the Founders always intended it to be -- built on a solid foundation of strong relationships with family, community, and faith. And to that end, we can combat discontent and hopelessness by creating a system that intentionally promotes meaningful work for the individual.
At the Resolute Group, we are passionate about working with organizations and individuals who are willing to have the tough conversations. We can and must lean in on conservative issues from a place of compassion. We do that by telling the stories of the good these policies have brought to communities around the world. It is on our shoulders to either stand up and change the narrative or become content with verbalizing our anger on social media and then simply moving on. Joanna and I have chosen to stand up in the small way we can in our local community and state, and say enough. And we have been grateful that the vast majority of friends, colleagues, and clients we have talked with feel the exact same way. They are exasperated with the current conditions and are ready and willing to do something about it.
Anyone who has heard me discuss this before-- odds are that is most of you because I don’t talk about much else these days-- knows that a lot of my thinking on these subjects is inspired by the great work being done at the American Enterprise Institute and specifically Dr. Arthur Brooks. The film, The Pursuit, pulls in the thousands of hours of research Brooks and many other scholars at AEI have done over the past number of years. We hope that long before Election Day 2020, these discussions empower you to better articulate how free enterprise and conservative values are the best solutions to lift people from the margins and create a better world. We hope you see a bit of hope in the path forward for our country. And we hope you are challenged to lean in on these issues and to support organizations and people doing the same. We are at a crossroads in our country and we have the chance to take a positive step in the right direction. Thank you for joining this conversation. I look forward to working alongside you all on these important subjects.
George Khalaf is the Co-Founder of The Resolute Group and President of Data Orbital. He has a background in grassroots politics, survey research, and political data.