What's That Thumping?
It's Time We Get Back To First Principles
By Tom DeLay Posted in Republicans — Comments (198) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
RedState is pleased to welcome the Hon. Tom DeLay, former Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, to the front page.
The cable television pundits and the editorial columnists of America’s major daily newspapers would have us believe that the election of 2006 was a broad repudiation of America’s foreign policy, of our prosecution of the war against terrorists, and of a Republican majority that either did too little or too much depending upon each particular pundit’s world view.
Some self-described conservatives have even said that the House and Senate spent too much time on ‘wedge issues’ like illegal immigration and gay marriage rather than engaging in protracted battles on social security and entitlement reform.
It seems to me that the protection of our border and the legal definition of the fundamental building block of our society are issues at least worthy of consideration in the public square. These fundamental issues are at least as important as retirement security and revamping a broad range of government programs. In fact, the 109th Congress raised all of those issues, and I believe that our nation’s public life was richer for the debate.
I would assert that this election was not so much won by the Democrats as it was lost by the Republicans.
Read on . . .
Too many Republicans failed to continue an aggressive fight for the principles which bring us together as Republicans and as conservatives. As the great political theorist Russell Kirk points out, we conservatives believe in a society built on three first principles: Order, Justice and Freedom. These principles are the three legs of the stool upon which our society rests. With anyone of these legs removed the stool, and our society, topples.
As we go forward to regain our majority and reconnect with the voters, Republicans and conservatives must remember that our society, our government, and our policies must align in a way that promotes and protects these three intertwined principles.
It seems to me that we can reunite and reenergize a majority of Americans by confronting and addressing five major challenges to the principles of Order, Justice and Freedom.
First, we must be able to protect our citizens and our allies from attack and ensure our domestic, national and international security.
America faces threats from committed terrorists who are dedicated to the destruction of our society and all that it represents. We face a growing nuclear threat from rogue nations with irresponsible leaders who seem intent on using nuclear blackmail and regional destabilization as tools in their effort to maintain power.
The primary responsibility of government is to ensure the protection of its citizens and as conservatives we must lead the effort to strengthen our nation’s military and homeland defense capabilities to protect our citizens from attack. This means a thorough modernization of America’s military and the deployment of strategic defenses against missile attack.
Second, we must lead an effort to radically redesign government and return it to its constitutional roots. The problem with our government isn’t simply that it has gotten too big or that it spends too much – but that it is involved in aspects of our lives and our economy in which it has no business. Further, our government has almost become a self-sustaining organism which continues to grow and propagate programs without accountability and without results for the people it is supposed to serve.
We need to completely restructure government to make it more results-oriented, performance-based and accountable to the American people. This is how you reduce spending.
Thirdly, conservatives must fight for fundamental tax reform. While some progress has been made to reduce marginal tax rates, meaningful tax reform will only occur with a radically redesigned tax code. Far too many dollars are taken out of the productive sectors of our economy by trying to interpret and avoid the complicated and onerous nature of today’s internal revenue code. It is time America had a 21st Century tax code so it can compete in a 21st Century global economy.
Fourth, in order to achieve true justice, we must make every effort to reverse the culture of death that threatens the weakest and the most infirm among us. Conservatives want a society that respects and protects all innocent human life regardless of some political activists notion that some lives may not be of sufficient quality to avoid termination at the hands of an abortionist or a euthanizer.
Fifth, conservatives are united in their agreement that we must bring into check the powers of an increasingly imperial judiciary which seeks to manufacture, rather than interpret the law. The Judicial Branch must be returned to coequal status with the Legislative and the Executive, lest we undermine the very principles of Order, Justice and Freedom upon which we believe our society to be built.
As a conservative I share much of Ronald Reagan’s world view; of an America that is strong and free; an America that is a beacon of liberty where individual responsibility is respected and rewarded; and of a government limited in its size, scope and power over people’s lives. Perhaps more importantly, I share Ronald Reagan’s optimism about the future.
I believe as Bismarck said that, “Politics is the art of the possible”. We must be dedicated to our principles, certain in our direction, bold in our action and relentless in our struggle to advance our cause.
So for me, and I hope for many conservatives, this week is a time of reflection and rededication and not one of recrimination and retreat. The ‘thumping’ I hear is of a conservative movement with a strongly beating heart.