Well, they are done and out there. Over the past 11 days, I've formulated and developed each of the Ten Principles as an exercise in trying to move forward on a consensus view of what Republicans believe. The purpose--to repeat--is to advocate an ideology true to our core beliefs, respectful of those who differ, and inclusive of those who may not agree with the entire package.
I repeat the principles below for those who haven't seen them. Each was more fully developed in its own entry.
For my regular readers, I suppose I should apologize for this exercise, as interestingly enough, the regulars sorta hit the bricks during the time I worked on this project (though the number of new readers each day remained essentially constant). Total readership in the past two weeks is down 50%. Hopefully I can get the regulars back.
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.