Author and American patriot Nick Adams, proud legal immigrant from Australia, spoke at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2021 Restoration Weekend, held Nov. 11th-14th at the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. He spoke about his own journey to become an American citizen, the inspiration of Abraham Lincoln, the fight Americans face today — and the great lesson for us of 2021.
Don’t miss this important talk. A transcript follows.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. What an honor, pleasure and privilege it is to be able to join you here today. This is, in fact, my fourth Restoration Weekend. It would be the fifth had it not been for the Chinese and Kung Flu. Why be politically correct when you can be right? [Laughter]
I came here in 2016 for the first time and, as all of you know, this is truly the best organization in America. I cannot thank [applause] — yes. I cannot praise sufficiently David Horowitz and the Horowitz Freedom Center for everything that they’ve done for me, for everything that they’ve done for the conservative movement and for everything that they continue to do in the preservation of the greatest country in the history of the world. [Applause]
I must tell you that even though I have lived in the United States of America for most of the last 10 years and even though this is hardly America’s finest hour, I still wake up every single day and thank God that I am here. [Applause] The left often like to speak about privilege in fictional terms. White privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, but the truth is that in the United States of America there is only one type of privilege and that’s American privilege. Whether we were born here or whether we moved here permanently, we won the lottery of life. This is a message that I deliver every single day and have done for the last five years to elementary, middle and public high school students all across America. In every other country your dreams, ambitions and success are in the hands of gatekeepers, kingmakers, bosses and establishment types. But not ours, not yet.
In America, you get to write the script of your own life. You are the architect of your destiny. In America your destiny isn’t handed to you; it’s constructed by you. You get to live a self-directed life. You get to be in the driver’s seat of your own life. This is why so many so desperately want to be a part of us. I should know. I was one of them. And that’s why I speak with the zeal of a convert. All I ever wanted was the chance to be the best that I could be with no one holding me up, stopping me or dedicating themselves to my failure. All I ever wanted was the opportunity to operate within a system that rewarded risk, boldness and individualism. With few exceptions and despite an entire movement dedicated to its eradication, American society still offers this privilege. Unlike the fictional privilege narratives pedaled by the left, American privilege unites and it inspires.
Five years ago, when I moved to the United States of America, I came for two reasons. Number 1 was to make a life for myself and number 2 was to preserve what I saw as the last best hope for man. Many of you know of my accomplishments, both in Australia and here in the United States of America. But one thing that I had seldom spoken about is what I had to go through in Australia, what drove me into the arms of America.
Many of you know that at the age of 19 I became one of the youngest ever elected councilmen in Sydney, Australia. On the 30th of September, 2005, just 8 days after my 21st birthday, I was elected the youngest deputy mayor in Australian history in Sydney, a record which still stands to this day. My high school, of which I was the valedictorian, to this day has never invited me back, has never asked me to speak. In fact, they have eliminated me from the school’s records. When my first bestselling book was published, I went to the University of Sydney. The University of Sydney is home to the largest library in the Southern Hemisphere. There is every single kind of book that you can imagine in Fisher Library. There’s Mein Kampf. There’s every single of the worst imaginable books in that library.
Well, I went as a graduate with both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to the University of Sydney to Fisher Library and I donated three copies of my bestselling book. And I was told that there was a process and that I would be advised and they would let me know. Well, sure enough, three days later in the mail came a one-page letter with the three books. And it said: Dear Mr. Adams. Thank you for your kind donation but we have decided to reject it at this time.
This is what not just Australia, but countries all over the world, are like. Success is resented. It’s not admired or aspired to. Mediocrity is what is aspired to, not greatness. Greatness is disdained. And that’s why the United States of America has always been the refuge to those whose dreams have been too big for their own countries.
I was a substitute high school teacher in order to fund my American dream in the early years. And once it was discovered — I had a couple of videos of interviews of mine on Fox News that ended up going viral — once it was discovered what I was doing during school vacations, traveling over to the United States and speaking and doing book tours and things like that, I was blackballed from being able to teach. Three different schools no longer called me in to teach. In fact, it was so bad that I had to change my name to try and avoid detection. And we went back to the very original Greek name, of Adamopoulos — Adams, Adamopoulos. And when it was discovered that, indeed, I was Nick Adams and I was the guy on Fox News making the case for America and criticizing all of the enemies that we’re not allowed to criticize, then, all of a sudden, I was persona non grata. To make matters even worse, they then went after my father, who was a lifelong mathematics professor and he was also fired.
So, the torture that me and my family went through in Australia, I came to the United States of America and this country embraced me in ways that my own never, ever did. Now, you might say that’s because I was an American trapped inside an Australian [laughter] body for the first 32 years of my life. But I came here and I’m dedicated to making sure that we don’t lose this country, that this country remains the shelter for people like me, who just want to be the best that they can be, who aspire to greatness, who disdain mediocrity, who want to do something different, who want to blaze a trail, who want to leave a legacy, who want to make a mark and without having to deal with everything and everyone trying to constantly stop them.
All of my life, the story of Abraham Lincoln has propelled me forward. Lincoln was a common man, who became an uncommon leader, an ordinary man who became extraordinary. Born in Indiana, raised in Kentucky, grew up in Illinois. No elementary school, no middle school, no high school, no college education. Everything he learned he taught himself. He was a physically strong man, a wrestler who purportedly never ever backed down from a fight. The qualities that define Abraham Lincoln — strength, character, courage and perseverance, are the qualities that we need everywhere around us. Lincoln lost his mother. He lost his job. He lost his siblings. He lost three of his four children. He failed in business. He lost six elections. He had a poor relationship with his father.
But Lincoln was a titan and titans refuse to give up. Their hearts are too big to fail, their passion too intense to deny their spirit, somehow irrepressible. Yes, it’s true. For one point, Lincoln could not get himself up out of bed for six months. But he rallied and he scratched and he clawed and he crawled to get back up on his horse. Just one more round, get up! He taught himself, again and again and again Lincoln sprinted towards his dreams. He was unstoppable, unwavering, unyielding, a true force of nature. And in the end, despite all of the misfortune, despite all of the tragedy, despite all of the disappointments, despite all of the loss, he rose to become President Abraham Lincoln, a man America needed at a most critical time, a man still very much in the psyche of American politics more than 150 years after his death.
So let the great lesson of 2021 be that all of us in this fight can start off ordinary, but become extraordinary, that in America you can begin common but become uncommon, that you can rise above any set of circumstances and go on to achieve anything that you can. The culture war that has raged for the last 60 years in this country has seen leftists do what they do and conservatives do what they do. The left are destroyers. Conservatives are builders. The left need to destroy everything in order to build the Utopia that they seek.
In July the United States of America celebrated her 245th birthday, a time for great celebration, but I would also submit a time for sober and somber contemplation. Because, if you don’t ask any historian worth their salt how long great nations tend to last, they’ll tell you somewhere between 230 and 270 years. And that, my friends, puts America right in the kill zone. To make matters worse, for the first time the enemies of the United States are no longer only foreign, they’re also domestic. There are people within America rooting for America’s failure or actively working to that end.
So to fight the battle, the war, the struggle that we’re going to have to embark on is going to be worse than any that we have been through before. It’s going to require us to summon every ounce of patriotism from the soles of our feet to the tops of our heads. But as a lifelong student of American history, I remain unswervingly convinced that our best days still lie ahead. From the early defeats by Britain in the War of Independence, to the loss of the Philippines, to Pearl Harbor, to the days following September 11, every single time America has been under attack, every single time America and freedom are being shoved up against a corner wall in a room, American has emerged bigger and stronger and better than ever before.
It was Alexis de Tocqueville, the famous French nobleman, who came out here in the 18th century, who observed in his sociological masterpiece, Democracy in America, that the true genius of Americans lay in their ability to repair their faults. He noted the, “uncanny propensity of these people to recorrect a cultural trajectory.” Sir Winston Churchill, the great wartime Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, half American himself, my lifelong political hero, the greatest speaker of the 20th century, in my mind, once similarly affectionately jibed that, “America always does the right thing after exhausting every other option.” [Laughter] And here I stand before you today as a third outsider, telling you that I identify the same boomerang spirit, the same resilience in the American psyche.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you something you already know, but you need to hear again. For the last 60 years the left in this country have been fighting a culture war. They are dedicated to nothing short of our annihilation. And in the dogged pursuit of that singular objective they’re governed only by three things: the rules of Saul Alinsky, the morals of a Chicago mob and the money of George Soros. While this culture war has raged, we conservatives, we hardworking everyday regular ordinary American men and women, have been busy paying off our mortgages, growing our businesses, saving up our money to send our children off to college — to get indoctrinated.
And we have consistently and constantly and continually sought the high ground and elevated things like collegiality and dignity and propriety to the point now where we wake up in the morning, we almost choke on our breakfast because we cannot believe what our eyes are seeing. The local high school is changing its name. The statue outside the courthouse that’s been there for eons has been designated for removal. The elementary school two counties away has officially changed the school calendar to read from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. Day in and day out there is a relentless assault on American values, a relentless assault on all of the things that you and I know and love.
And it is for two reasons. Number 1, all of the cultural institutions that shape and generate our culture our in the hands of people that want to fundamentally transform or, in their most recent terminology, reset America. They don’t love America the way that you and I love America. They don’t love the things about America that you and I love about America. They want to transform America into something it has never been, something that it isn’t and, quite frankly, something that it should never, ever become.
The second reason is what I call a passion gap and, while it does not apply to those in this room, it certainly does apply to conservatives as a whole. So here it is. For the last 60 years the left in this country have wanted to destroy America more than we have wanted to protect it. For the last years, the left in this country have wanted to destroy America more than we have wanted to protect it. And ultimately what this comes down to is no different to a street fight. It’s going to come down to who wants it the most. And, until we can match them in intensity, in passion and in strategy, we are going to continue to lose all of those things that are so incredibly dear to all of us. This is a war that we did not start, but it is a war that we have no choice but to finish. This is a war that we did nothing to provoke or invite, but this is a war that we have no choice but to attend, for where you sit and I stand is freedom’s Colosseum. Freedom will live or freedom will perish right here. The rest of the world is too far gone. And the pages of the history books yet to be written will reflect the actions that we determine to take at this juncture.
Did we invest in the next generation of Americans? Did we insist on our citizens believing in American values or did we continue to permit our children to be brainwashed by European values? Did we make every conceivable effort to secure our elections? Did we make every conceivable effort to win our elections? Did we knock on every door? Did we speak to every relative? Did we speak to every neighbor? Did we go into our church? Did we go into our synagogue and pull our fellow congregants out of the pews and into the voting booths? Or did we continue to be bullied and silenced and harassed and intimidated by political correctness? Or did we punch the bully in the nose and relegate it right where it belongs, on the dusty bottom bookshelf of some fourth-rate library in the middle of nowhere?
These are the questions whose answers will determine what happens. But I want you to have hope, because by virtue of the work that I do I get to be in a different city almost every single day. And I want you to know that there are patriots of the highest order fighting gallantly for our values and our cause. There are more of us than there are them. But they’re louder than us. They’re more organized than us. Let the history books record that in 2021, when faced with an unprecedented threat against America and liberty, that we responded with patriotism and gallantry, that we were undaunted by the odds, undeterred by the scale and magnitude of our fight and unintimidated by the cultural elites.
I want to share, as I close, a story with you that was shared with me by my late father. In 1944 on the island of Zakynthos — it’s a Greek island — the Nazi commander went to the mayor and the archbishop of the island. And he asked them to provide a list of every single Jewish person on the island. The word had gone out that any Greek caught hiding a Jew would be executed on the spot. The mayor and the archbishop agreed with the Nazi to provide that list within the next 24 hours. As soon as they left they started organizing for various people across the island to hide the Jewish people of that island. They returned the next day with a piece of paper and they said to the Nazi commander, “This is the full list of every Jewish person that lives on the island of Zakynthos.” There were two names on that piece of paper, the mayor and the archbishop. [Laughter] That’s the kind of courage, ladies and gentlemen, that we need. That’s the kind of passion that is required. That’s the kind of love — [applause] — and desire to do what is right no matter what the consequences are. That’s who we need to be. That’s what we need to do in our fight.
Thank you for giving me your shoulders these last five years. I’ve been able to stand on them and I’ve been able to do incredible things. I never, ever thought as a young man in Australia that I would one day become a president’s favorite author. I never thought that I’d become a presidential appointee. I never thought that I’d have a nonprofit that raises more than $2 million a year. I never thought that I would have a nonprofit that now has reached more than 1 million public school children that have at least one of our resources. I never thought that I’d be able to have the impact that I’ve had. But I’ve been able to do it because of people like you that embody the real America, that embody the America that the left are trying to eradicate, that embody the America that went to the moon, that defeated the Soviet bear, that saved the world and that have never asked for anything other than a plot of land to bury their fallen.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.