These days, it seems that no one can agree what Father's Day actually is.
In 2018, NBC used its Father's Day segment to lecture America about "toxic masculinity."
Three years later, by 2021, USA Today ran a piece about a transgendered man who claimed to employ the title of "father."
Broadcast segments and articles like these have sadly become the norm.
Authors and media outlets use Father's Day as just another excuse to lecture about their pet political or cultural crusade du jour.
As a much needed alternative, this writer would like to share with readers details about his own father, Mark Meckler, and what Father's Day really means — especially to me.
I grew up believing (like most kids) that my father was a superhero; invincible, immortal, and all knowing. As I got older, I saw that this wasn't quite the case.
During my teen years, he co-founded Tea Party Patriots.
I witnessed my dad's struggles with the hard realities of building an organization — from the ground up. I saw him worry about how the organization would survive, whether it would impact the state of the nation — and about our family.
I witnessed his emotional pain firsthand, when things didn't work out, or worse, when he suffered outright betrayals.
I saw him make mistakes. No, dad was not invincible, or immortal — nor all-knowing.
Like all of us, he was only human; with all the frailties that entails.
At the same time though, I knew he was always doing what he believed to be right, refusing to compromise his values for the sake of convenience or comfort.
While he may not have been immortal, his character was unbreakable.
His character remains unfailing today.
Over time, my admiration for him only grew. It's easy for Superman to be brave, he's invincible; but the more mortal my father became in my eyes, the more I grew to admire him.
Mark Meckler faced death threats; sadly, the more mundane threats come with public life in our present age. He faced down the IRS when it began targeting Tea Party groups, ultimately winning a lawsuit against them.
I saw others pale when asked to join the suit, worried that they would be audited or attacked by the Internal Revenue Service.
He was certainly aware of the risks suing the IRS posed, but he knew it needed to be done, and his principles were worth defending. That was and is enough.
Later, he founded Convention of States because he believed we needed to restore our Founders' vision of liberty. He lacked any assurance that it would succeed, or even that it would raise enough money to support him.
My dad saw the way the country was sliding towards autocratic centralized government, and he felt compelled to do what he could to save the country he loves so much, personal convenience aside.
Again, he took a stand for something he believed in, knowing the risks and the hardships, and doing it anyway.
Throughout my childhood, my father always lived his principles.
He taught me that being a man is about having the courage of your convictions.
He knew where he stood, and while he was always open to changing his mind, he could never be intimidated or scared into silence.
Let's never forget that Father's Day is a day when we give tribute to our fathers, the men in our lives who teach the next generation the meaning of character and principle; molding us into men who will stand to defend their nation and their families, and men who cannot be bullied into silence.
For me, first among them will always be my father, Mark Meckler.
Jacob Meckler is a graduate of the Antonin Scalia Law School, and works as a Law Clerk for America First Legal Foundation. Before this, he served as a Motor Transport Mechanic in the United States Marine Corps (2014-2018).
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