If You’re a Thinker and Love Freedom, The Republican Party Welcomes You
- 18 October 2010 by Author 0 Comments
If You’re a Thinker and Love Freedom, Republican Party Welcomes You
By Richard Larsen
Published – Bannock Alternative, 10/25/10
The final word to escape the lips of William Wallace of “Braveheart” fame was “Freedom!” The scene still today sends chills down my spine, and arouses a profound gratitude for the freedoms we have in America, even with their gradual erosion that we’ve witnessed over the past 230 years. Even as William Wallace was willing to give his all for freedom for his country, his clan, and his family, so likewise Republicans in America are committed to the Lockean Creed which served as the ideological foundation for our republic: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
With that said, the Republican Party is no more monolithic than the Democrat Party is. There are elements within both parties that are more or less conservative or progressive. Those of us who are more conservative align ourselves ideologically with the classical liberals of the 18th century who founded this nation, again based on the Lockean Creed and embedded in our founding documents. These are the principles that have made America unique, and this legacy must be perpetuated for American Exceptionalism to survive.
As classical liberal Republicans, we acknowledge that the more government grows and encroaches into our individual lives, the more our individual freedom and liberty is diminished. It was this principle that Benjamin Franklin referred to when he stated, “Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.”
While we acknowledge the need for some security as a safety net for some in society, we believe that freedom is ennobling and the ability to achieve or fail develops character and is good for all, individually as well as collectively as a society. Consequently, we resist expansion of government power and incursion into, and control over, our lives.
We believe that in a representative republic we have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and that our elected officials are required to listen to the will of the people.
We maintain that the Constitution purposefully delineates the limited powers of government in order to maximize individual freedom and liberty. Consequently, we are supportive of the constitutional functions of government, and logical and progressive levels of taxation in order to support them. We support logical, protective regulation, but reject centralized planning and government intrusion into every aspect of our lives at the cost of our liberty.
We are supportive of rational levels of taxation to pay for the services we demand of government, but acknowledge the factual consequences of diminished return the higher taxes are. And as the former Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Christina Romer published, that for every $1 collected in taxes, there is a diminution of GDP (Gross Domestic Production) output of $3. Taxes, then, should be kept as low as possible to maximize growth of the economy and provide us individually with maximum financial freedom. We want the economy to grow, not just for the improvement of our station in life, but because we need 120,000 new jobs created each month just to keep pace with population expansion. That can only happen with a healthy, thriving private sector, that rather than being demonized by the powers that be and inflicted with senseless regulation and micromanagement by government bureaucrats, is fostered and facilitated by prudent policy and regulation.
We adhere to fundamental fiscal principles, that the government should be beholden to the same financial restraints that we as individuals are, and that we shouldn’t spend what we don’t have. We maintain that it’s illogical to presume that spending three times more than you receive in income or revenue is sustainable and that unrestrained spending threatens to bankrupt the nation and destroy the republic.
We believe in free market economies, not only because they work, but because they afford the most freedom to hard-working Americans. Government can serve a legitimate role in protection of citizens and their property, but should not have power to micromanage our health care, our energy use, or our commercial activities.
Thomas Jefferson succinctly stated, “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” We hold that to be a self-evident truth.
Right now we have a federal government that is neither wise nor frugal, but to that end we strive for a reversal at the national level, and an improvement in state and local government. The local Republican Party this year has fielded perhaps the most viable, capable, and competent list of candidates ever. We would encourage a thorough examination of the issues and the candidates, and a resolve to make logical, cogent decisions on how to vote. The era of voting for all the candidates with a (D) behind their name is over. If you love freedom and acknowledge the uniqueness of America, please join us. It’s time to reemploy some logic into where our nation, our state, and our community are heading.
AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at email@example.com.