Principle Before Party

December 24, 2003

By Tom DeWeese

Fifty years ago the modern movement to defend the principles of liberty, outlined in the United States Constitution, began. That was when conservatives and libertarians began to stand up to those who advocated government as the answer to the basic questions of life, as opposed to individual responsibility.

The new conservatives advocated individual freedom, free markets, entrepreneurship, and limited government intervention into the everyday lives of American families.

At the time, the Republican Party was the best vehicle for promoting the ideals of the new movement. It was the party of Robert Taft and, later, Jesse Helms and Ronald Reagan. It was the Party that preached the gospel of limited government and the Judeo/Christian ideals that are the foundation of Western Culture.

The problem was the Republican Party was also the home of Nelson Rockefeller and the Eastern Establishment elite who advocated their own plans for a welfare state, much like that of the Democrats, only on a slower, smaller basis. They liked the benefits of the money business could provide, but wanted to use government to keep it in check. It was also a handy tool to control your competition.

So a titanic battle between ideologies began for the heart and soul of the Republican Party. Political parties are simply tools for winning elections. The kind of candidates they produce and the policies they advocate are a product of those in control. Conservatives in the middle of the Twentieth Century understood this. They took up the battle cry of “principle before party” and then set out to make sure the Republican Party was true to conservative principles.

However, somewhere along the way, conservative principles got watered down with “Republican” policies. The once mighty conservative grassroots activists have been reduced to taken-for-granted pawns, warned to speak no evil of a fellow Republican. Above all, don’t be so childish as to “stand for principle.” Do so at the risk of finding the label “extremist” permanently tattooed to your name. We are warned that the alternative to the Republicans are the devil Democrats – and you know what that means! Big government. Uncontrolled spending. Higher taxes. Greater regulations on business. Assaults on family values.

In fear, we comply. Conservatives shuffle their feet, look down at the floor, bleat the party line, accept the “compromises”, and acknowledge their fate on the backbenches.

Republicans now have a new agenda. It started with the label of the undefined “compassionate conservatism.” Now, the compassionate Republican Administration has ventured on a new path called “National Greatness” with the express purpose of creating an American empire which seeks to re-draw the map of the Middle East and use American might to force American ideals on others. They believe force should not just be limited to the defense of our country.

According to this new policy, big government isn’t bad – it just depends on who is running it. “We can make government great for the American people as long as we’re in charge” goes the Party line. Three years of complete Republican rule have given us a clear understanding of its meaning. Close inspection will show that this is not your father’s GOP. And it’s not conservative!

On the domestic front, the Republican Party just forced the passage of a Medicare bill that will cost $7 trillion of unfunded entitlement. According to reports coming from Capitol Hill, Republican leadership in Congress applied unprecedented pressure on GOP members to get it passed so the President would have a major campaign issue in his pocket.

According to Congressman Nick Smith of Michigan, there were threats and intimidation for him to swallow his convictions that the bill was bad for America. He was threatened in midnight appeals from House Speaker Dennis Hastert that, should he vote against the bill, his son, now running for Smith’s seat, would never get elected. Rep. Tom Feeney of Florida, after resisting phone calls from President Bush, was told that a no vote would delay his ascent to House leadership by three more years. In the end, only 25 Republicans stood for the conservative principle that government shouldn’t be in the healthcare business and voted against the Medicare bill. Big government just got a whole lot bigger under Republican rule.

Remember 1994 when the Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives? One major battle cry was their determination to abolish the Department of Education. Why? The federal government has no business being involved in education, which should be controlled at the local level. That’s a point of fact in the Constitution and a conservative principle. Today, under Republican control, the issue is simply no longer on the agenda.

The Bush Administration, under the “No Child Left Behind” Act has created more regulations and more funding for federally controlled curriculum than ever before. The Act itself was basically written by Ted Kennedy. No-Child-Left-Behind is simply the permanent solidification of the failed policies of Goals 2000, School to Work and the Workforce Development Act. As a result, American education is now completely controlled from Washington. The federal education bureaucracy just got a whole lot more powerful under Republican rule.

Sustainable Development is the official policy of the Bush Administration. It is a leftover from Bill Clinton and could have been eliminated in preference to reestablishing our Constitutional form of representative government in which the local town councils and county commissioners are empowered to decide local issues.

President Bush chose not to take that action. Instead, he chose Sustainable Development, a top-down federal zoning approach designed to restructure American communities to fit the dictates of the United Nation’s Agenda 21 treaty. As a result of Sustainable Development policies, private, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with specific political agendas are now in (partnership) with elected officials, guiding policy from a central blueprint. As once guaranteed rights under a rule of law are now pulled and stretched to fit the current fad policy, homeowners are no longer confident that their property is secure from new regulations. There is fear that, at any time, their investment (indeed their home) could suddenly be taken at the whim of newly created Sustainable policy. Belief in the American dream is dying under Republican rule.

Christianity, the very foundation of Western culture, is being systematically eliminated from the United States. We’ve witnessed the incredible sight of a monument of the Ten Commandments being physically removed from the Alabama Supreme Court at the edict of a federal judge. Both the U.S. and Alabama Constitutions clearly state that the federal government has no jurisdiction in the case. Not only has the Bush Administration stood by and let it happen, it is now considering the prosecutor in the case for a federal judgeship. As a result of that case, actions to remove any sign of the Christian religion from public places have quickened in pace. God is being removed from America under Republican rule.

Our nation is being attacked by fanatical terrorists and we must defend against them. We have the U.S. Military, the FBI, the CIA, State and local police. It’s well defined that their job is to defend our borders, coastline, airspace and cities from threats, both inside and out of our borders. Why is a massive new agency, armed with the power to intrude into our homes without a search warrant, necessary?

Does the reader remember hearing the term “Homeland Security” prior to September 11, 2001? Where did the term come from? Familiar terms for defending our borders have always been national defense or national security. Where did the term “Homeland” come from? It seems the term has been rattling around the United Nations for some time. And, in fact, in 2000, at the UN’s Millennium Summit, attended by 179 world leaders, all nations present agreed to adopt, without reservation, recommendations for Homeland Security. It was all contained in a document called the Brahimi Report.

According to researcher Joan Peros, several paragraphs in the section on Civilian Police are of special note. It calls for member states to increase their numbers of civilian police and to reform and restructure local police forces so they can be used in UN peace operations. It calls for joint exercises and regional training partnerships. Paragraph 124 calls for Member States to designate a single point of contact within their government structures to be responsible for coordinating and managing the provisions of police personnel. In compliance, the United States set up its single point of contact: The Department of Homeland Security.

By the way, the German translation of the phrase “Homeland Security” is “Schutz Staffel.” The Nazis shortened it to “SS.” A massive, intrusive cabinet-level agency with power beyond the wildest dreams of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson combined has just been established under Republican rule.

The Bush administration put our country back into UNESCO. The Bush Administration is moving forward with plans to put illegal aliens on our already-bankrupt Social Security system. Indeed it wants a full amnesty granted to millions of outlaw aliens who disregarded our rule of law just to sneak in here.

Conservatives, Libertarians, Americans who believe that the Constitution was and is the best document yet devised to protect human liberty, it’s time to come out of your trance and begin anew the fight for “principle before party.” It is not wrong for you to oppose these actions. It is not wrong to speak ill of a Party that has lost its way. It is not treason to oppose these outrageous excesses of the Republican Party. Indeed, it may be treason if you do not.

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.