Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ten Principles for a Republican Renaissance

I had dinner with a very good friend last night, and we got to talking about the problems the Republican Party is having. At one low point in the conversation, I opined that maybe the American public has simply decided to move inexorably to the left. His answer was that OUR job was to educate undecideds about what the options were. I wondered aloud who is taking on this job? Who in the RNC or at the NRSC was putting out a simple set of principles that would and should guide the Republican party in the 21st Century. My friend challenged me to do it.

So here they are---Ten Principles for a Republican Renaissance. I will expound upon one principle each day for the next ten days, sort of in an effort to provide a lesson guide for each principle. I look forward to your comments.

Ten Principles for a Republican Renaissance

• America is a special place; it is different from every other nation on earth as a result of its founding, the way it grew, the causes it fights for and its dedication to freedom. It is a country worth fighting to preserve and improve.

• Markets that are more free are better than markets that are less free.

• The American people enjoy many rights. With those rights come obligations.

• The basic component of the American social fabric is the family. Families come in several different guises, but the primary responsibility of the family is to provide a safe and loving atmosphere for the development of children. A primary role of government is to support the family.

• One of the basic building blocks of our society is the public school system. We are committed to its sustainment and improvement. We believe that schools work best when parents, teachers and community leaders work together at the local level. National school policies and national teacher unions are not essential to the task of improving public education.

• Taxation is a necessary evil. In our modern society, we have come to expect many services from government that sustain our quality of life. We must never forget that taxation is always confiscation; the money was earned by the sweat of our brows, and it is government’s burden to prove why it needs the money, not our burden to prove why we should keep it.

• The business of America is business. This does not mean that the modern Republican party is beholden to business, big or small. It means that the modern Republican Party recognizes that commerce is the lifeblood of our Republic. It is what puts food on our tables, and it is what equips our matchless Armed Forces. One cannot be pro-America and anti-business.

• More government equals less freedom. It cannot be otherwise. Each and every function or power we grant to our government is a choice to surrender freedom.

• Human life is worth protecting, be it unborn or at its end. We are dedicated to policies that further these ends, but we recognize that there are those with whom we disagree. Those disagreements should take place in the bright light of the political system, where difficult questions of law and policy are best arbitrated.

• 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.


Nate Eaton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nate Eaton said...

Bryan - I didn't intend to remove my post permanently. It needed some editing, that's all. Anyhow, this is a great start. It should be read by anyone who is thinking of becoming or is already being deemed a "Republican leader." I'm someone who is on the slightly liberal side of the Republican party. Even though I'm a registered Republican and pro-life, I've really been an independent in recent years. (We just can't vote in primaries here in NJ, if we're not registered with a party. So I chose the Republicans over Democrats.) To my point: It's absolutely essential that we Republicans or right-leaning independents start upholding all of the Bill of Rights, not just Amendment II. I believe many Republicans are guilty of "cruel and unusual punishment" right now because of their staunch pro-Drug War stance (and so are many Democrats, too. It's largely been a bipartisan effort!) Busting and jailing small-time pot smokers has given us the top prison population in world, more than the USSR at its peak! So, I think embracing all of the Bill of Rights and verbally expressing our support for all of the Amendments will increase Republican influence and popularity. It will also eventually impress upon the general public that the Republican Party is superior when it comes to ethics and principle. I'm not talking about Obama, not yet at least, but the Clintons were the worst "citizen" opponents of the US Constitution in American history. Republicans can do much better than that while keeping our nation safe. So keep up the good work. You put it in such a way that I agreed with all of your 10 principles except to principle two. I would add that we could use at least some protectionism. Outsourcing has been a disaster! And I hope my posts don't drive away your readers. If so, then please delete them. I won't be offended at all. This your page afterall. And my conservative "cred" is certainly questionable! - All good wishes, Nate

Mudge said...

Nicely done. But before we etch #10 in stone, can we consider a cap and trade sort of approach here? I really cherish my rants about Mme Speaker and am struggling with the prospect of having to be civil while her voice or face arcs across the neurons in my brain. Still, spot on. Have you considered sending your posts on these 10 to the RGA? Brother Newt?

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Nate--thanks for tuning in. After doing it for a year, I've come to conclude that getting into back and forth volleys burns up my limited bandwidth and keeps me from moving on to other subjects. So most of the time I do not answer comments made...I love reading them, and I love it when readers get into their own battles, but in general, i've already moved on.

As to your points, you're right about the Bill of Rights being more than one amendment (and I'm actually a little soft on that one!). I think the move to normalized sentencing in drug crimes is a good one, possibly a first step to decriminalization of some stuff....also a good thing in my book.

Please keep reading and commenting as you see fit....your voice is a welcome one!

Smoothfur said...

The most important right that the American people enjoy is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But Republicans should make it abundantly clear that the right is to pursue happiness it is not a guarantee.

During the last 50 years our government (We the people) instead of supporting the family, have established laws and bureaucracies that aided in the destruction of the American family. When a single mother can enhance her income by throwing out her husband there is something wrong.

To be a building block, our education system (public school systems) (the communities) must set standards and must require that those standards be met. To do less is a disservice to the students and to the future of America. A social promotion is an insidious poison that takes years to destroy the recipient.

Taxes as you said are a necessary evil. But the way in which taxes are collected is not a necessary evil. Every right thinking American should be doing all in their power to make the establishment of the Fair Tax a reality.

Last but not least we need to identify ourselves less with our political party and more with our country work toward a better America, not necessarily a stronger Democratic or Republican party.

The two are not mutually exclusive.

Stephen Dickey said...

These are well written ideals, but they are not Republican ideals. These are ideals of an AMERICAN. This is fundamental to who we are, what we believe in. I am someone you would consider a liberal, and *I* like every word stated in these tenants. But everyone of these comes with specifics that you need to think about. Pro-business doesn't mean that the rich can do whatever they want and not pay their share. Valuing human life doesn't mean forcing a woman to give birth to an unwanted child. Valuing a family doesn't mean that a homosexual isn't a fit parent. And being free, does not necessarily mean allowing states to impose effective monopolies on health-care.

The problem with these tenants, is more regarding what is UNDERWRITTEN, than WRITTEN. You should continue to write, perhaps both a left and right expansion of each of these tenants. Because they are common to all Americans, but the believe in HOW they should be achieved, is the difference between the left and the right.

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