So by now you may be wondering who I am.
My name is Paul Townsend.
I was born in Canterbury England. I had a fairly normal upbringing, and had a reasonably good education at English schools.
Aside from dirt jumping with my friends, and reading such books as ‘rich dad poor dad’. I was fairly normal for my age.
When I turned 16 I started playing an online game called ‘Star Wars Galaxies’, which was an MMORPG game similar to World of Warcraft, except the universe of the game was based on Star Wars.
On this game I met a girl whom I fell in love with. First we just started to talk and do missions together on the game. Eventually we were talking on yahoo chat outside the game, and then on a ventrilo server via headsets. Over the months of 2004 our relationship blossomed from a good friendship to an online romance. By fall I had decided that I wanted to go and see her.
There was only one problem…I was living in England, and she was living 4000 miles away in another continent. Cincinnati Ohio, was a fair distance away, no matter what age you are. And so, with my determination in mind to go and see her, her mother got on this star wars game and started talking to me, to suss out whether I really was a nice young English boy, or some creepy pedophile lurking behind a computer screen in some dank basement.
After realizing that I was who I said I was, she invited me over for Christmas that year, on the condition that I stay in the local motel down the road from them. I agreed, and so that Christmas, I took my very first flight from London to Chicago, and then on down to Cincinnati.
From the moment I set foot in America, I fell in love with it. Everything was well spaced out and clean. Everyone drove on the right side of the road, and it felt like a parallel universe compared to England, because everyone spoke the same language and behaved similarly, but to me, the people seemed nicer and more respectful, and I was very impressed by it.
When I was getting off the plane in Cincinnati, I caught a glimpse of my ‘online girlfriend’, standing next to her mother, and I felt a pinch of excitement as I headed down the walkway towards them.
When I saw Brooke for the first time, my heart just melted inside, she was perfect in every way.
I could write a novel about our romance from that point on. To put it into a short form. We began dating at that point, and I would fly out every summer and every Christmas for the next three years. Eventually after my ninth visit to the US, we went to see an immigration attorney to see about me moving to the US in the following year. He told us that if we got married, I could stay without having to leave and that within a year I could get a green-card. And so, that is what we did. I stayed in the US, and we married in February of 2008, four years after first meeting each other online.
My wife and I now live very happily together in the suburbs outside of Cincinnati. Again, I won’t go into too much detail, as I like my privacy. But just know that we are very happy together, and yes, it is a true love story.
On Friday I became a US citizen. It was a choice I made because of my love for this country, and because I always want to stay with my wife, without all the updates of paperwork that go with a green-card.
Over my four years living in the US, I have paid attention to the political process, as I am an avid historian, and I like to learn about how ideas affect reality.
I know that George W Bush was not a popular president, and I paid attention to the election process as Barack Obama became president. I felt at that point, that the country had changed, and was not on the right path. Imagine that…someone from another country, sensing that something was out of place. I couldn’t put my finger on it. So I continued to watch the news, and stay informed, as most people do.
I was amazed when I discovered Glenn Beck. And at this point I must point out, as I said, I love history, and I am an objectivist at heart. If you have a point to prove, I will gladly listen as you display the facts, and then do my own research to discover whether I believe your point of view or not. I am not a republican or a democrat. I was neither liberal, socialist (Labour) nor conservative while living in England, and to be honest I was rather young at the time. No, I came here with a clean slate, with open eyes, a honest heart, and the future ahead of me. I do not hold any major political convictions to one party or another.
What I do hold to though; is freedom. When I stepped off that plane in Chicago, what I sensed (and yes I realize I’m saying Chicago…I know about the corruption there now) was freedom.
When I was sitting in the passenger seat with my girlfriend for the first time in late 2004, her mother driving us from the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati airport, I felt free. Not just in love, but free. As we were driving down I-75 north, we rounded the hill, and the lights of Cincinnati burst into view. ‘This is what America is all about’ I thought to myself. ‘This is why people love to come here’. Everything was so big and bustling, everyone seemed to be so laid back and enjoying life.
Perhaps I was just lovestruck, perhaps I was seeing it in a romanticized light, but the sense I got from the people around me, shook me in a profound way.
I had decided at that point that eventually I would marry the girl beside me and live here some day.
And so back to Glenn Beck. What a character! I’ve never in my life seen someone on TV talk so harshly about politicians in such a serious and profound way. What really got me hooked on watching Glenn, was when he took a fish, (live on television!) gutted it, pulled the skeleton out of it and said ‘this is what the politicians in Washington are lacking…a spine!’. Wow! I couldn’t believe it, I was awestruck and beaming at the same time. I don’t care what country you live in, it takes balls to do something like that…to stand up to the establishment in such a profound way.
Like I said, I’m not some left wing or right wing nut. I was simply watching the news and settling into married life in the States with my wife. I watched the news because I like to stay informed about the world around me.
My wife is an avid photographer, and when the first Tea Party protests started, we headed down to the local one in Cincinnati to take pictures. I talked with an old guy who was sitting at one of the coffee shops down there, and he pretty much told me his life story. ‘Son, get yourself an education, and don’t let the government tell you what to do’. He bought me a coffee, and we had a pleasant conversation for about half an hour. When the march began to city hall, I said goodbye, and my wife and I followed the crowd, taking pictures along the way. I loved seeing the crowd in action. Everyone was cheerful in nature, and were protesting excess spending and special interests, and I liked seeing freedom of speech and protest in action.
By the next protest a month later, my in-laws had joined the local tea party, and from time to time, I would accept my father-in-laws invitation to attend one of the events. I would sit down and listen to what they had to say. But I made a point to never take part, as I was not an american citizen, and I did not feel it my place to say anything at that point. For the time being, I was simply an observer, watching what Americans do best.
For the next couple of years, I continued to observe the direction the country was heading in, and was deeply disturbed by the Obama administration’s passing of laws and bills which I felt violated the Constitution. By this point I had studied a great deal of American history, and felt I knew about as much as any normal American, if not more.
I continued to watch Glenn Beck, up until he canceled his show, and by that point I was researching the history of political candidates and global corruption. I no longer felt that Global warming was real, and I was greatly disturbed by all the ‘lies’ that were circulating the world.
As I said, I was still not an American citizen, and so I did not rock the boat, or discuss any of my findings in public. Aside from conversations with my wife and father-in-law, I mostly kept my opinions to myself. I was simply a resident, reading up on articles, and finding deeper truths to the world.
On Friday I became an American citizen. Like I said, I did so of my own accord, because I feel I share the same values as this country was founded upon, and I wish to live out my life with my wife by my side, in this great land of opportunity.
And now as a citizen, it is my duty to protect this country, from enemies foreign and domestic.
I will use the knowledge I have gained, to spread the truth, to help inform those around me, and to promote peace and freedom in the world.
I am Paul Townsend, and I love Freedom.