Conservatives believe in the ability to succeed and not be punished for it. It has not been a conservative ideal. It was an American ideal. There's a guy who never finished school, founded a candy and ice cream store and decided he wanted to make candy and ice cream. Liked it so much, decided to make taffy and caramel and everything else, but he couldn't get it right. First he opened up a business in Philadelphia, and it failed within six years. Then he said, you know what, I've got to retool; I think I have it this time. He opened up in Chicago and then New York City. Failure, failure, failure, every time. His mother never gave up on him. His mother said, you just keep going. You got it; you'll find it.
Well, he had launched these stores over and over and over again and he couldn't get it right. He never gave up. This time he decided, you know what, maybe I won't go to the big city, maybe I'll try it out in the heartland, and he did. He tried it out in the Amish country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This time he got it right. After failure after failure after failure, this time he got it right. In fact, he got it so right that the name of the town is now named after him, Hershey, Pennsylvania. He finally got his candy right. Milton Hershey was free to succeed. He was free to succeed. No guarantees of success. No protections against the hardship and heartache of failure. Only the promise of long hours, late nights and most likely deep, dark failures. It was America that gave him the opportunity to give us the milk chocolate bar. We wouldn't have had it if Hershey was just too big to fail. We would have gotten crap candy. I'm not just against big government because I'm against big government. I'm against big government because I believe in the power of the individual. Republicans too often think -- it's enough just to call somebody a liberal. Well, I need more than that. America deserves more than that. We need answers. We need solutions. And those answers and solutions always come from the individual. And those answers always come after you've failed over and over and over again. And you never really fail if mom and dad are always there to prop you up. If mom and dad will always say, well, you're too important to fail, you're too big to fail. "You didn't fail. You didn't fail. You got a trophy anyway." You destroy the individual if you do that. It's not compassionate. You destroy people by that, by doing that. The only time you really truly fail is when you're afraid to fail, so you never try. That is the definition of real failure. Have you ever tried to do something 1,000 times and refused to give up? Failed over and over and over again? I've failed more than I've succeeded in life. I have been a failure much longer than I have been a success, at almost everything that I do. But it makes those small glimpses of success so very valuable.
The American dream is built on determination of never giving up because you want a taste of that success. Thomas Edison, if he would have given up, we wouldn't have had the electric light bulbs. 1,000 different filaments he tried and then only to have the government ban them years later. We have the incandescent light bulb because a man sat in a room and tried 1,000 different filaments before he succeeded. We focus too many times on this country on the success and not enough on the work and the failure that was needed to overcome, to get that success.
Did you know that Thomas Edison had a cement factory? You didn't know that? It failed. By the way, you do know that Thomas Edison gave us the first motion picture, right? He gave us the silent movie. Do you know why -- the man who changed the world with his inventions has more patents to his name than anybody else. Do you know why he gave us the silent movie? Because he didn't think that you could make a movie and connect it to sound. So he never tried. He failed because he never tried. He didn't pursue it. So it never happened. Pursue it.
See, this is the one word that everybody seems to dismiss in our founding documents. It's not a guarantee of success or happiness that our founding fathers promised. They promised the pursuit of happiness. It is the pursuit of happiness that eventually leads us to happiness. But in that pursuit sometimes you're going to be in very dark alleys, but you give it your best. You give it your all. And it may not be enough. As a conservative I know failure and I know failure happens, and I also know and realize the universal truth that government cannot change that reality.
I personally say let the banks eat crow. You guaranteed these people to the gov't, stand behind your promise or face the consequences. That is what I was always taught. You gamble, you live with the results.