Fred Thompson: First Principles
This is the first of a series of posts meant to showcase Fred Thompson’s values, beliefs and position on major issues of importance to our nation. All the information is available at Fred08.com. I encourage everyone jump over there and spend a little time reading. If not just visit here over the next week or so. Here we go.
Anyone who has heard me speak knows my firm commitment to what I call “First Principles.” These grow out of the documents of our Nation’s founding and the wisdom of the ages. They are core beliefs that guide my approach to the issues that are crucial to our Nation’s future. I believe in–
- Individual Liberty. As Jefferson spelled out in the Declaration of Independence, our basic rights come from God, not from government, and that among these inalienable rights is the right to liberty. We must allow individuals to lead their lives with minimal government interference.
- Personal Responsibility. The corollary to liberty is responsibility. No society can succeed and thrive for any duration unless free people act in a responsible way. All of us must take responsibility for our actions and strive to improve our own lives and to contribute to building a better society.
- Free Markets. Free people are best equipped to order their own affairs, and the common interest benefits from and is improved by the aggregate success of all. We must reform our tax system, encourage investment, support entrepreneurial spirit, open markets abroad to American goods, and minimize burdensome government regulations to continue to expand the economy and bring increased wealth to all Americans.
- Limited Government. Government must be strong enough to protect us, competent enough to provide basic government services, but limited by the delineated powers in the Constitution.
- Federalism . Our Constitution innovatively guarantees our liberties by spreading power among the three branches of the federal government, and between the federal government and the states. In considering any action by the government, we must always ask two questions: is the government better equipped than the private sector to perform the task and, if so, what level of government (federal or state) ought to do it. Washington is not the seat of all wisdom.
- Protecting our Country. The first responsibility of the federal government is to protect the nation and the American people. There is no more important task. We must have a strong and effective military, capable intelligence services, and a vigorous law enforcement and homeland security capacity.
- Traditional American Values. A healthy society is predicated on belief in God; respect for all life; strong families centered on the institution of marriage—the union of a man and a woman; and self-respect and tolerance of others. While we are all free to live our lives in the pursuit of our own happiness, the government has a responsibility to respect the right of parents to raise their children and to promote the values that produce the strongest society.
- The Rule of Law. We protect our liberty, secure our rights, and promote a just and stable society through the rule of law. We owe to ourselves and our fellow citizens our own adherence to the rules, but tough law enforcement and punishment for those who do not. A free and independent judiciary that interprets the law by adhering strictly to legal text and respects its limited role in our system of government is essential to our security and freedom, and we need judges who understand that role if we are to preserve our republic and freedom.
- Conserving Our Nation’s Resources. Each of us is put on Earth for a limited period of time. We must always strive to ensure that the resources we use to lead our lives are here for future generations to enjoy and use as well.
We live in the greatest country on earth. We have been truly blessed. This blessing carries with it an obligation: to keep it that way and to leave this country at least as strong, prosperous, and united as when we entered it.