We are dedicated to a politics of civility. We will wage wars of ideas, but we will not demonize those with whom we disagree. We will hold our ground on what truly matters, and we will work hard to find genuine compromise on questions of policy…but not principle.
The Republican Party is a party of ideas, a party in which conservative principles underpin an intellectual curiosity about the most effective ways of addressing difficult policy issues. Republicans do not support policies because it makes them “feel” better; they support policies because of a rational sense that the approach will work, based on objective evidence. We are a party of the mind, guided by the heart.
We will engage in policy disagreements with those who practice a politics of “feeling”, a politics of “meaning”, who will ignore years and reams of data about the failure of a policy simply because that policy has become part of the social welfare system. We will not shy from these disagreements, but we will wage them with civility. We will prevail in these disagreements because of the coherence of our arguments, not the volume.
We understand that our ideas are not for everyone, and that there are some whose lack of confidence in their fellow citizens leaves them with a sense that they should not and cannot choose for themselves. We should treat these people with respect but contest their logic at every turn. Theirs is the politics of laziness, the politics of the slow drip of government largess into the veins of a benumbed populace. We represent an active constituency, one who questions where tax dollars go, and why. We look at each and every growth in the power and authority of government with circumspection, and we expect government to exercise the power it has been given with efficiency and effectiveness.
Most of all though, should be a party that walks away from the noisy, childish 24 hour news-cycle argument mill. We should avoid the 90 second clash with our policy opponents, where interruption and volume substitute for logic and intellect. When we do meet in debate, we should be civil and resist any urge to dehumanize the other side. We should not back down, nor should we stoop to the level of our detractors. Our ideas will prevail, and we must seek to support those candidates who can most effectively advocate them.