What should we stand for? Here’s what I think we should stand for:
Life: Protecting life, preserving life, defending life, encouraging life and fostering ways to make life more abundant.
Liberty: There is a sense that there are too many laws, constricting too many lives, for too many idiosyncratic reasons. People need to be free from too many regulations and nit-picky rules. It has gotten to the point where nearly no person or profession can comply with the law. That’s a problem. Freedom equals economic determination. A person who keeps his money, keeps his choices.
Justice: Laws should be applied fairly and make sense. There shouldn’t be different standards for people of different races, genders, ages, etc. The punishments should be fair and equitable.
Limited Government: This is choosing the individual over the collective. The fundamental belief is people know how best to live their lives. The government is a harsh task-master. People should have their own money, not be taxed to death.
Strong Defense: Defend the borders. Win wars. Make the efforts swift and complete and as humane as possible. End war as quickly as possible. Terrorism is with us to stay. The government’s foremost job is defend the country. The intelligence and military serve as the country’s immune system. It must be strong.
Strong Infrastructure: Too much government money goes for stupid projects. Meanwhile, the country crumbles. It IS the government’s job to make sure people can travel and that includes on the information superhighway. Good roads, bridges, tunnels, communication, energy are a foundation for commerce, and heaven forbid, for defense.
Individual Rights: You’d think that the Bill of Rights would be enough, but no. Look at what happened with the Kelo decision. The Supreme Court made it simple for the government to take property away from the individual. This is wrong. Period. Individuals should be able to speak, congregate, keep their property, have as many guns as they want, etc. This shouldn’t even be a discussion, but some do-gooder is convinced that Americans can’t handle their rights and the solution is to take them away. The flip side of individual rights is individual responsibility. That is self-reliance naturally grows out of individualism. As families have broken down, government reliance has become the new way.
Conservation verses environmentalism. Environmental theories come and go, but a few principles remain: Clean air and water, pure food, and conserving of the species is a no-brainer. The top of the species is man. It is man’s responsibility to care for what he controls. Back to that individual thing.
I know this isn’t complete, by any means, but I’m trying to keep it simple. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments. If the Republicans are going to win back American leadership, they need to be guided by core principles. Retaining power for its own sake is not a principle, it’s been the problem.