Welcome to RedState 3.0. It's been a long time coming. As we get under way on this first Monday after launch, we're going to have a number of guest posters throughout the week, helping us celebrate both the start of our fifth year and our new site. We wanted this to be our first post on the first Monday, a reminder of what we believe we should strive for.
The Republican Party has always embraced a wide range of ideological beliefs – and this diversity of thought has sometimes inspired conflict, as it has also led to great achievement. Yet through all debates, despite all regional or political concerns, the foundation of Republicanism has been the same since its inception: the freedom of the individual, and the value of every human life.
These principles have guided the party from its origin as a political force to destroy slavery, to the long fight against communism, to the ongoing battle for the sanctity of the unborn, to the present war against the forces of Islamism. Those principles will guide the Republican Party through the twenty-first century, and beyond. And we believe the GOP must rededicate itself to the idea of individual freedom – of being the party that believes not in government mandated parity, which wields the power of the bureaucracy to force a false equality of outcome, but in a level playing field for all Americans regardless of race, class, or creed – ensuring an equal opportunity to compete, succeed, and thrive.
The Republican Party must reclaim its rightful mantle as the leading champion of Freedom of Choice.
People must be free to decide how to direct their lives for themselves, and then be responsible for their choices.
On education, Republicans believe you must be free to choose how you want to educate your children. Government should not stand in the way of your choice, whether in the form of home schooling, government schooling, charter schools, vouchers to leave a failing school for a thriving school, or other opportunities.
On healthcare, Republicans should embrace an end to regulatory regimes that prevent citizens from buying healthcare across state lines. Republicans should embrace reforms that allow the free market to play a greater role in health care, not a lesser role. Republicans should embrace total portability of health insurance so workers can be free to choose a new job without fear of losing their insurance.
On taxes, Republicans should embrace the Republican Study Committee plan for an alternate flat tax. If you want to go through the regular 1040 process with itemized deductions, etc., do it. If you want to bypass that route, file a postcard return based on a flat tax — the taxpayer’s choice.
On energy, Republicans, including our Presidential nominee, should embrace every option. You want nuclear power? Republicans should favor that choice. You want to use the resources we have instead of buying it from our enemies? Republicans support legislation to allow us to drill here and now. You want methanol and other biofuels? Republicans should break down trade barriers that prevent the importation of ethanol and Republicans should break down subsidies that raise the price of food stuffs in the name of producing corn based ethanol and other biofuels. Republicans should be in favor of letting consumers choose which type of lightbulb they prefer for their own home.
On Social Security, Republicans should favor greater investment options for individuals’ retirements. If an individual wants to keep the current social security regime, we should let them. If an individual wants greater control investing their social security, we should let them have it. And above all else, because the government has already made certain choices regarding social security and medicare withholdings, Republicans should not use FICA/FUTA revenues for anything but social security and medicare/Medicaid payments respectively, in the current year.
When individuals are allowed to choose for themselves, they take an ownership interest in their choices. One of the greatest failures of the present administration has been not aggressively communicating and supporting the President’s idea of an ownership society, which contains at its core the revolutionary undercurrent that motivated America’s founding: that each individual holds within themselves the capacity and right to self-government.
This is an enormous contrast with the Democrats. In almost every area of their agenda, they are opposed to self-government. They advocate less freedom for the individual to direct their lives – they remove the Freedom of Choice from the American citizen, and give it instead to bureacracies and agencies and the many eddies and tidepools of the federal government, all managed with the efficiency and responsibility of your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
RedState friend Jon Henke reminded us a few days ago about the left’s agenda — or at least, the agenda the left is willing to blog about. You can take a gander here. On the whole, their cause includes:
- crippling a worker’s right to decide whether or not to join a union
- crippling a business’s right to decide what salary an employee should be paid
- crippling an individual’s right to decide on healthcare options outside the government
- crippling the ability of the military to defend the country abroad
- crippling free speech in radio
- crippling rights to own a gun and defend yourself
- crippling the freedom to practice your religion without government interference
- crippling the ability of the United States to grow economically outside of government mandates.
In fact, just days ago, Democrat Rep. Maurice Hinchley announced his favored solution to America’s energy problems: nationalizing the refinery sector. Forget the free market – forget the capitalist economy that made the country the envy of the world – in this area as in all others, the Democrats oppose the Freedom of Choice in directing your life.
Well, all areas but one. The only significant choice the Democrats will defend for an individual is to have the power to determine whether or not to destroy the life of their unborn child.
This is their only claim to the language of choice. It is a false claim. We do not believe this is a valid choice to be made, nor ever has in the course of human history, because it enables the purposeful destruction of innocent life. Where once the pro-abortion left could make their argument based on ignorance of the process of human development, we now know the only choice the Democrats advocate is one that in almost every case kills a feeling, thinking American at its youngest and most vulnerable stage of life, whose only crime is one of inconvenience.
We believe in Individual Freedom of Choice – preserving the individual’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – where the Left’s agenda is to cripple the individual’s freedom to choose, and replace it with dependence on government.
This is not new, but it is what we will have should the Democrats get to sixty seats in the Senate. The Republican Party should not be shy about fighting to give people choices, regardless of whether the Democrats claim to be the “pro-choice” party when they are, in fact, only supporting choices made for death, and state control of everything else of importance.
It is time for the GOP to push forward expanding choices for individuals and families to give them a greater stake in their lives and provide them ownership of their life as a whole. It is time to pose this question to the American people: who should have the power to choose the path for your life, for your family? To choose where you receive health care, where your children learn, and where your tax dollars go? Should it be the self-appointed elite, intent on building a perfect society, because they know what is best for the communal citizenry? Or should it be you, with your own goals in mind, for the simple reason that you are an American?
This nation is at a tipping point. We will either go toward more government control of our lives, which is what the Left wants, or less government control of our lives. When people have the power to direct their own lives, government will shrink – and it will be hard, once an individual has control of his own life, to cede this control back to Washington. We believe that Republicans in government should fight to expand our choices, so we can take greater control of our lives. We believe in Freedom of Choice.