I have been asked why I want to continue to serve in the Idaho legislature after a string of legislative accomplishments that are changing the educational landscape. The answer, there is work to do that I don’t see anyone else doing.
I believe the focus of politics needs to change. Politicians currently view their role in one of three ways.
1. Some see government growth as the answer to every problem and want to grow it. This has given us the failures of the Great Society with intergenerational poverty, huge budgets, and higher taxes.
2. Others feel their job is to take care of the needs of government agencies while ignoring the struggles of the citizens.
3. The third group of politicians I like to call “the complainers” just say no to everything.
I believe it is time move to the next level of politics where we have discussions on how to empower families to solve their own problems. My dream is to have everyone see the family as an economic unit worthy of public policy discussion and political campaigns as a tool to share the latest ideas on how to empower families with the voters. As the number of economically self-sufficient families increases, social problems will melt away and government growth halted. Strengthening families is the essence of limited government.
Why have once Republican states turned Democrat? The answer is simple: Democrats believe the way to improve education or solve poverty or drug usage is to create government programs and spend money which is clearly a materialistic, top-down, control model of government.
Republicans often have no clear strategy to address education, poverty, or health care. They think that the free market and private forces are the solution. They are right, but they don’t have concrete public policy that puts into practice these principles. In effect, Republicans have abdicated all government efforts to the Democrats in these critical areas.
The truth is limited government relies upon economically, independent family units. Too many Republicans and conservatives believe that false narrative that all limited government needs to thrive is to keep government within its proper bounds. This idea can be summarized with this mathematical formula:
A free society = a small government acting within its proper role
The belief that freedom is only a function of the proper role of government has led many Republicans to focus only on the size of government, on what government should or should not do, to fight about government budgets, government programs, or government regulations. Don’t get me wrong, these things are important. But freedom is more than what government does or does not do.
A free society also requires a responsible, independent citizenry.
A more complete freedom formula is this: A free society = the proper role of government + an empowered citizenry.
Most responsibilities of citizens are exercised within the family unit.
Therefore, freedom is only possible if there are strong families.
A more complete freedom formula = the proper role of government + many strong families
The reason government keeps growing is because the party of limited government has not actively promoted increasing the number of economically, independent family units as a way to deal with poverty, education, health care, unwed pregnancy, drug usage etc. Republicans have no plan to deal with these issues while we let Democrat policies that undermine the family to continue and grow. Poverty and education are the issues that are important to urban voters. We need to show urban voters that family-friendly polices benefit them. I would like to invite you to take politics to the next level and make strengthening the family a essential element of public debate. This is how we turn blue state red and areas of Boise from blue to red. There is no other way.
Final note: the purpose of this newsletter, The Political Mechanic, is to explain small changes in the structure of government that will increase the freedom of the people and allow for government to be reduced.