January 22, 2020


The Values We Share (or Why I Am A Republican): Remembering the values we share (BILL WELD  JANUARY 22, 2020, The Bulwark)

The Republican party I joined on the eve of the Reagan era brought different people and ideas together. That was the secret of its widespread support. But although it was diverse, it was not unprincipled. When Republicans remember the good old days, we remember the values we share.

What do we share? First, Republicans are conservatives. We value order, stability, prudence, honesty, and the preservation of our republic. We have always put a premium on respect for established institutions: they can be improved, but they should not be denigrated or assaulted.

What else are we? We are patriots. We love the Constitution, revere the Madisonian system for the political work of art that it is, respect those who defend our way of life, and are watchful against those who would threaten it.

We love freedom, and our heritage of freedom. I've always said I want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom. That basic American tradition of individual liberty--and personal responsibility, because to be free you must run your own life--goes back to Madison, Jefferson, and the Founders, who gave us not only our laws, but our greatest words.

We are capitalists. We might differ on any number of policies, but we firmly believe there is no such thing as "government money," only taxpayer money. In my time as governor of Massachusetts, I was named one of the two most fiscally conservative governors in the United States by the Cato Institute. But I don't consider it just a matter of pinching pennies. It's about a genuine belief that people are wealthiest and happiest when the government stays away from micromanaging their work, and that if you produce something, it's yours to keep.

And we are republicans, in the original sense: We believe, as Lincoln put it, in government of the people, by the people, and for the people, not that government is a separate entity that dominates its citizens. There's a place for government, but fundamentally it is there to protect your rights, not to dictate what they are.

Posted by at January 22, 2020 12:00 AM