Sunday, February 03, 2013

A Message for the Republican Party

By Bryan Baumgart

Chairman, Douglas County Republican Party

With the ever increasing numbers of Americans forced to live off of the government dole, the Republican Party needs to confirm a vision for those living in poverty. A vision of empowerment, rather than entitlement. The vision should have nothing to do with any specific language group, ethnicity, country of origin, sexual orientation or gender. It should just be about people, and all people deserve more than they are currently getting from their government.

The message of the Republican Party must have the capacity to be delivered in any community at any time by those who are willing to go and serve every resident of that community.

The GOP was created to battle slavery over 150 years ago. Today, the Republican Party continues to battle slavery; the slavery of dependence. The slavery of creating a majority class of Americans so completely dependent on government for their basic needs, that they are terrified to take a stand against it. The Republican Party continues to stand up as the party of independence and freedom. The GOP remains true to its intent 150 years ago. We believe in the mantra of: “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever.”

But if we want a truly appealing message, we can’t let our focus be directed at the former. Our message can’t be: “We oppose giving away fish.”

If we want to truly appeal to people, and more importantly…if we want to truly make a difference, we must instead focus our message on the latter part of that saying. “Teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever.”  Our message must be one of compassion and hope. It must be one of the freedom and self-reliance we can help Americans achieve; and we must have a plan to help them achieve it.

It’s true that it isn’t the duty of government to provide charity; but it is the moral responsibility of each one of us.  Charity must not be forced, but in everything we say and do; in every issue we debate and every law we introduce…we must ask ourselves…”How can we best help our fellow man.”

We must keep in mind, the virtue of compassion. That message will return American’s faith in the Republican Party. And it will bring back the prosperity that makes this country that “shining city on a hill.”

1 comment:

B2 said...

First, everyone can benefit from profit. Wealth is either created or destroyed. I would not argue that anyone is better off when wealth is destroyed. After-all, you cannot have charity without wealth. The goal should be fewer poor people, not fewer rich people. As Milton Friedman pointed out, “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.” The only time exchanges take place where both sides do not benefit is when the government, and so coercion, is involved. This is when wealth is destroyed.

Secondly, not always is the private sector about profit. Let me offer examples. I have spent almost a decade working in the private sector for various non-profits. Currently I work for an organization that operates on a loss of I believe to be around $40-$50 million annually in order to care for the children and families they serve. They rely on donations to operate in the black.

During this time, I have also worked in coordination with various state agencies in the same field. I assure you, "service" is not the focus. In fact, I have witnessed first hand the very destructive consequences of governmental policies aimed not at serving these children and families, but focused on money instead.

Joe is correct, these issues all boil down to principles. He isn't being vague. The principles of freedom offered under smaller government; or the streamlined cronyism offered under the guise of "serving" under bigger government.

When government calls on the "wealthy" to "pay a little more" it isn't charity. Charity must be voluntary. If it is forced, we strip away the moral component reducing charity to mere income redistribution. We can promote true charity though, by offering tax incentives for charitable giving. This is key.

True charity leads to more effective social assistance, and guarantees the sustainability of that assistance because wealth isn't destroyed through policies involving the redistribution of wealth. True charity provides effective social assistance while respecting the potential of the individual and encouraging the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. While entitlement programs destroy personal accountability and breed generations of dependence, charities encourage and motivate the individual to strive to reach their full potential rather than enabling dependence. They provide a true safety net for America’s needy. One look at the efficiency of government programs compared to that of their private counterparts and it is clear that if we truly want to "SERVE" the needy, the best way to do so is through the policies of wealth creation and freedom that only the private sector can offer.

Government is expanded under the guise of "good intentions", but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I point you to a relevant quote by Henry Ford, “Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian.” As I said before, we must be about EMPOWERING rather than enabling. These entitlements have created modern day slavery. You cannot be truly free if you are dependent on the government or others for your basic needs.