The Utah Republican Party Platform is a statement of our principles and values. What does that mean and why is it important? “Principles are the internal rules we live by while values provide the general guidelines for our conduct within those rules.” So, a principle is a moral rule or belief that helps us know what is right and wrong, and a value describes the personal qualities we choose to guide our actions.
What happens when personal and political interests get in the way of our stated values and principles? You get the modern-day Utah Republican Party.
When we as a party focus solely on electing Republicans, we are pursuing our political interest to control congress and the legislature. However, if we are unwilling to strongly voice foundational principles and values that underlie these political interests, we become a joke. Just look at the dumpster fire electing Mitt Romney has created...
How in the world can the Utah Republican Party square Mitt Romney’s stand on abortion? As articulated in our party platform, our principle is Pro Life. “We believe all human life is sacred and believe the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.” Our values associated with this principle include opposing "abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the public funding of any of these abhorrent practices.” Then, somehow...a man who fundamentally and publicly disagrees with this principle is elected as a Republican in Utah. Seriously? There is only one explanation, our Party has prioritized its political interests over its very own values and principles.
As our Party stood still...Romney's name recognition and deep pockets allowed him to become Utah’s junior senator while pissing on a major element of our Party Platform. I, along with many other state delegates chose Mike Kennedy as the party’s nominee at convention, didn’t matter. Romney won, and he won without any reference to our Party, the Utah Republican Party! All his campaign signage contained a graphic of the state of Utah and the message “Romney for Utah.” No Utah Republican Party logo...no Party affiliation...no public embracing of our principles and values...Yet, he ran as a Republican…do you think of him as a Republican? I'm pretty sure he is a good man…but is he a Republican? HELL NO! And every member of the Utah Republican Party statewide who pretended this didn't exist...needs to rethink their belief system!
Pursuing certain political interests to secure candidates and re-election of incumbents is apparently more important to our Republican leadership in Utah than promoting and living our conservative values and principles. SB54 is a stunning example of this and it is up to the State legislature to fix it. I hope they do…but sure doesn’t look like it. Think about it...what advantage would elected officials have in being accountable to a convention of delegates when it is much easier to just buy signatures and TV commercials while sitting around the pool drinking martinis...avoiding the whole mess of being available to the delegates.
In the meantime, I am unsure how we reconcile, as a political party, what a Republican is anymore. If anyone interested in running as a Republican can become one with a couple of thousand signatures, regardless of their agreement with our values and principles, why is the Republican Party necessary anymore?
If "Republicans" are unwilling to strongly voice foundational principles and values that underlie every interest they work to protect, the Republican Party will die. As it dies, it will suck the life out of every effort to oppose the Evil Empire occupying D.C. There simply will not be enough time to build a third party to carry the torch. "The spark of American liberty will go out."
We must have a Republican Party that stands for something of foundational importance: Liberty. That means smaller government with fewer departments. It means lower taxes. It means true Federalism, with a clear understanding of enumerated powers and the Tenth Amendment. It means that the law means what it meant when it was enacted. It means that you do not let your personal or political interest undermine the very principles and values we hold dear as conservative Republicans.
Get to know our Republican Party Platform, as elections near and candidates announce, use the values and principles in our platform to measure a candidates commitment to the Party as well as to our community.
In conclusion, when our interests are filtered through our values first, in support of our stated principles, qualified candidates will make for more efficacious representatives within our constitutional Republic.
Please do not forget to vote!