The Liberty Test moves on to evaluate how liberty shapes a candidate’s policies. The Preamble to the Constitution helps prioritize the problems that we face. We the people have come together to….
Establish Justice and Insure Domestic Tranquility.
Justice and Domestic Tranquility are important to all Americans, but the public peace is strained. Many citizens and others living in America feel unjustly treated by the justice system, denied due process, deprived of economic opportunities, and shut out of the American Dream. In their anger, violence often explodes. How do we get to a point where we engage in civil, non-violent debate about our concerns? Remember, liberty is freedom under the constraints of morality. Let us find that shared morality again!
On the Great Seal of the United States it says E Pluribus Unum – out of many one. We need a president who will emphasize what unites us rather than what divides us and bring an end to the race wars, gender wars, age wars, income wars, marriage wars, faith wars and all the rest. We are not each other’s enemies.
These internal divisions are the greatest threat to our liberty. When we are united in our values, our mission and by the law of the land, we can work out any differences and be the most prosperous and free nation on the earth. Liberty shared is liberty preserved. The current administration has been a major factor in keeping us divided – which candidate will be the one to unite us?
Provide for the Common Defense.
James Madison wrote in Federalist #45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government …will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.”
National security should be at the forefront of the new president’s agenda: Immigration, radical Islam, Russia, China, Iran, military preparedness, cyber security, etc. Strengthening alliances is be an important part of this. We recently saw the president reject increases to the military budget because he wanted similar increases in domestic spending. This reordering of constitutional priorities must be reversed. Our liberty is best protected when our national sovereignty is secure.
Madison also put taxes in this category, thinking America’s largest expenditures would be for defense, but alas our need for revenue is exacerbated by entitlement polices. Benjamin Franklin envisioned this problem saying: “When the people find they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.” Let’s hope we are not too far gone.
Promote the general welfare.
Now let’s talk about the economy – jobs, taxes, regulations, entitlements, budget deficit and national debt. There is an answer to the progressive mantra on the left and the right about how the government can fix the economy with its various programs, tax incentives and redistribution efforts. Americans must shout from the rooftops that it is liberty, with its emphasis on private property, free enterprise and capitalism that lifts people out of poverty and promotes the general welfare.
The key to well-being is work. Liberty, the union of freedom and morality, acknowledges that work brings meaning to life, and we have a God-given right to pursue that happiness. America needs and wants all her sons and daughters to be productive and prosperous, but then why is the labor participation rate only about 60%?
Unfortunately, over the past several decades, the government, perhaps with the best of intentions, has increased barriers to work rather than removing them. Now is the time for liberty to reign again in the economic lives of Americans through reduced regulation and a simplified tax code. These two steps alone will reduce our deficit and ultimately our debt, by freeing the amazing economic engine and ingenuity of the American people.
We talk a lot about rights, but Americans also have responsibilities, including for the general welfare of us all. America is a land of opportunity, not guaranteed outcomes. The liberty-loving president will exercise his or her constitutional authority to remove barriers to opportunity, so that the people can make their own way. The consequences of liberty are that some will earn more, save more, and become wealthy. Some will earn less, not save, and stay poor. Our shared morality requires that we take responsibility for ourselves, our families and each other by helping those who need help. We do that as individuals, as communities, through charities, and sometimes through the federal and state governments.
America’s liberty will only be preserved if we the people do the hard work of identifying the candidate who will put liberty at the forefront of their policy making process. If we do any less, our liberty will continue to disappear one policy at a time.
Who is the liberty candidate?
Next: The Liberty Test – Part Four – Liberty and the People