This is not a step I take lightly. For more than 30 years I have been a loyal Republican, serving in positions within the party as well as being a vocal supporter of GOP candidates and the party itself. For years I excused the failings of the party and did what I could to bring about change from within. During that time it became increasingly clear that the party organization was more interested in playing political games for the sake of winning elections rather than advancing an agenda. It also became increasingly clear that they were not even very good at playing the game. The fact that the GOP was unable to win an election against the undisputed worst President in modern history is testament to need for new direction.
I know all of the arguments about it being easier to change the GOP from the inside because I’ve used them myself. I have reached the conclusion however, that the Progressives within the party are too well entrenched, and that they have so badly tarnished the GOP brand that it is not worth saving. From this point the two options we have are to either adopt an existing minor party and shape it into something more effective, or we can start from scratch and build a completely new organization. Frankly, I believe we’ve spent enough time trying to change an existing party, and that our best bet is to start fresh. Aside from the Libertarian Party, none of the others have enough of an organization to make them attractive. The Libertarian Party does have a fairly well established organization, but there are enough associated negatives to make it an unattractive option.
The task of creating a brand new political party is daunting, and obviously it will take a lot of time and effort to accomplish. I believe that, to be successful, we will need to begin at the local level and establish ourselves as a serious, credible organization. Once we run candidates at the local and state level, we can then set our sights on Washington.
One of the earliest hurdles we must jump will be to decide among us exactly what will be the mission and guiding principles of our new organization. In order to accomplish this, we must begin to have a conversation among ourselves. Having given this idea some thought over the past year, I have a vision for what I would like to see, but I recognize the fact that there are many points of view in the conservative community, and those points of view have great value. I will begin the process by describing my vision for the ideal political party and in the following days I will present its platform. I would invite my readers to comment on what I propose, and to give some thought to what your version of the ideal political party would look like. If there is enough interest, I will invite others to share their vision as guest bloggers.
Part 1: Principles
It would be the overall mission of my party to restore the foundational principles upon which our nation was built, and which enabled her to become the great nation that she is, so the name I have chosen to call my organization is the Foundations Party. Those principles include:
• Our rights were bestowed upon us by our creator. In order to protect those rights we, as free men, established a government charged with the responsibility of guaranteeing our freedom to exercise those rights to the greatest extent possible without infringing upon the rights of our fellow citizens.
• Government is the antithesis of freedom, and it is therefore necessary for any legitimate government to be limited in scope and nature to only those functions absolutely necessary to carry out its role as the protector of our freedom.
• All men are created equal, and are therefore entitled to equal protection and treatment by the government that serves them. No official or de facto recognition of any race, gender, or class shall be permitted.
• The authority to levy and collect taxes is one that is only legitimate when those taxes are used in accordance with the letter and intent of the U.S. Constitution in its enumeration of the powers granted to each branch of government. As a result, the federal government should never write a check for which it does not receive goods or services necessary to carry out its legitimate functions.
• James Madison once said, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” Charity is both necessary and commendable for individuals and private organizations, but it is not a proper function of the federal government.
• The federal government was created by the various states, and those states should be represented in Washington as our founding fathers intended. In order to restore that right to each state, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution should be repealed.
• The power and authority of the federal government is clearly defined in the Constitution, which specifies that all other powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved for the states and for the people. All proposed federal legislation should begin by citing the specific article of the Constitution which grants the federal government the power to enact that legislation.
• Citizenship in this nation is a precious privilege which should only be afforded to those who were born in this country to parents who were here legally, and to those who properly complete the legally established naturalization process.
• An open, honest, and secure election process is vital to keeping our nation free. The right to vote should only be afforded to those who have legal standing as citizens of this country, and of the state in which they reside. Each state has the responsibility and right to establish and enforce its own voting laws without interference from the federal government.
• As it is necessary for elected officials to have and maintain the confidence of those whom they serve, it should be the responsibility any candidate who seeks election to public office to provide adequate proof that he or she meets the legal qualifications to hold that office as a part of the filing process. The name of candidates who have not provided such documentation shall not appear on any ballot.
• It was the intent of our founding fathers for our government to be made up of ordinary citizens, not career politicians. The number of terms for members of the House of Representatives should be limited to three, and members of the Senate should serve no more than two terms.
Continue reading A New Direction for Conservatives (pt 2) - The Agenda