We Are Republicans!
The following is excerpted from “The Arizona Republican Party Handbook for Precinct Committemen.” Please forward this to all the elected Republicans who may have forgotten who they are and which Party they represent.
WHAT DO REPUBLICANS BELIEVE?
I am a Republican Because…
I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability, and responsibility must be honored.
I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice, and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age, or disability.
I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth, and prosperity.
I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.
I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible, and responsive government is government closest to the people.
I BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.
I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom, and human rights throughout the world.
I BELIEVE that the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.
A BRIEF HISTORY
- The Republican Party was born in the early 1850’s by anti-slavery activists.
- Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President.
- Republicans worked to pass the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery.
- Republicans worked to pass the 14th Amendment, which guaranteed equal protection under the laws.
- Republicans worked to pass the 15th Amendment, which helped secure voting rights for African Americans.
- In 1896 Republicans were the first major party to favor women’s right to vote.
- The first woman elected to Congress was a Republican, Jeanette Rankin, Montana, in 1917.
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
- Reduce the size of government
- Streamline the bureaucracy
- Return power to the states
REPUBLICAN VERSUS DEMOCRAT……IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
Myth: “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference; both parties are exactly alike.”
A candidate is listed as Republican or Democrat because he or she subscribes to the basic political philosophy for which the party stands.
THE BASIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REPUBLICANS VERSUS DEMOCRATS:
The cornerstone of Republican philosophy is the belief that each person is responsible for his or her own place in society. Individuals are encouraged by the Republican Party to work to secure the benefits of society for themselves, their families, and for those who are unable to care for themselves.
Republicans believe in solutions which are decided upon and implemented by the people themselves (read “We The People”), through their locally elected representatives. Republicans believe that the solutions to America’s problems will spring forth from the greatness of the American people.
Democrats are more willing to subordinate individual rights to the assumed needs of the group. They assume that society is collectively responsible for each of its members. They place less emphasis on individual enterprise and initiative.
Democrats tend to stress a powerful, centralized bureaucracy aimed at solving local and national problems from the top down—a method which, after 40 years of trial is a proven failure.
GOVERNMENT AND THE GOVERNED.
Republicans believe that government should be limited to doing for people those things which they cannot do for themselves. The right to determine individual destiny should lie in the hands of the individual. Similarly, Republicans believe governmental power and resources should be kept close to the people, through their state and community leaders rather than centralized in distant big government.
Recent Democrat administrations have pushed for more and more centralized power in Washington, with secondary consideration for the rights of individual citizens and communities. This has led to increasingly more federal controls and regulations, often in the hands of unelected bureaucrats unaware of the concerns and needs of local citizens—and causing severe erosion of local government across the country.
Republicans believe in the competitive free-enterprise system. Individuals must be free to use their talents. This is the key to personal and national prosperity. Republicans believe that the only limits to an individual’s opportunity to succeed are the limits of his or her own initiative and enterprise.
Democrats say that the economy is too complicated to be left to free enterprise alone, and therefore must be subjected to ever-increasing controls by the federal government. They say that we are “entering an era of limitations” and therefore must lower our individual economic expectations.
Republicans believe that peace and freedom can be protected only if America maintains a defense force strong enough to deter any aggressor. Republicans shun away from the paternalism of the 50s and encourage other nations to shoulder responsibilities for their own problems. Republicans oppose unnecessary intervention in the internal affairs of other nations and stress helping our friends around the globe develop the skills and strengths necessary to protect themselves.
The Democrat party has vacillated between extreme isolationism, intervention, and confrontation tactics in cases like Vietnam, Cuba, and Korea. This inconsistent foreign policy has confused our allies and encouraged our potential enemies.
TAXES & SPENDING
Republicans strive to cut governmental spending and to eliminate costly overlapping and unnecessary governmental programs. Because Republicans believe that the individual should control his or her own and the government’s pocketbook, they believe that tax increases should be voted on by the people.
The Democrat view is that the federal government knows how and where to spend money for local needs better than elected community leaders, and federal bureaucrats should continue to control the flow of funds to the states and localities and dictate how the taxpayers’’ money will be spent.
ARIZONA REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM (ADOPTED 01/23/09)
TAXES, JOBS & ECONOMY
The Arizona Republican Party:
Believes hardworking businesses and entrepreneurs create jobs and drive the economy. Government should reduce regulations, fees, and taxes to foster an ideal economic and business climate. Government should not favor one private concern over another through the use of subsidies.
Believes we should continue to develop, maintain, and improve a favorable climate for business, job creation, and entrepreneurship.
Supports only essential government regulation and calls on our elected officials to repeal those regulations upon individuals and businesses which are obsolete, unnecessary, or serve only to restrict personal freedom.
Believes reducing taxes not necessary to pay for essential government services creates jobs and economic growth, encourages new businesses to come to Arizona, and ultimately increases public sector revenues in our state.
Believes the federal income tax code is repressive and burdensome and should be replaced with a national consumption tax or national flat tax.
Believes Arizona workers deserve to take home more of their paychecks, deserve to have a say in how their union dues are spent, and deserve meaningful comp-time reform at the federal level.
LAW & JUSTICE
The Arizona Republican Party:
Believes it is the obligation of the state and local governments to protect the rights, person, and property of its citizens.
Believes in the constructionist interpretation of the Second Amendment, that the right to keep and bear arms belongs and applies to law-abiding individuals.
Believes that the best way to decrease violence in our schools and in our communities; the best way to decrease crime on our streets; the best way to decrease spousal abuse and child abuse in our homes; is to pursue policies supporting a drug-free Arizona.
Supports the efforts of communities to prevent crime create safe living environments, because Republicans have shown that cleaning up cities and urban centers, stopping gang violence, and offering children and young adults viable alternatives to crime does indeed reduce crime and recidivism rates. We further support the fostering of strong families and moral values by supporting community and faith-based programs.
Believes in swift enforcement of laws against violent crime, speedy trials of accused criminals, and long prison sentences for those convicted. In addition, repeat offenders should not be eligible for parole.
Supports the appointment of constructionist judges to the state and federal supreme courts who will interpret the constitutions of Arizona and the United States with the idea of enforcing the intent of the Founding Fathers.
Believes it is the duty of the federal and state government to protect our citizens by securing our borders, including:
- Completing the border fence without delay;
- Preventing illegal drugs and weapons from being smuggled into our country;
- Increasing the number of Border Patrol agents on Arizona’s border;
- Protecting our children and schools from the drugs and weapons flowing over the border.
Believes government has an obligation to enforce all citizen-passed initiatives deemed constitutional, and that government must lead by example and first and foremost follow the rule of law.
Believes repeat sexual offenders, particularly those whose victims were children, should be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Supports consistent sentencing to impose appropriate, strict, and severe penalties on crimes, including restitution to victims and their families.
Supports tougher sentencing guidelines and prosecution of smugglers, manufacturers, users, and dealers of methamphetamines, and supports appropriating additional resources to law enforcement agencies to combat this tragic crisis.
Promotes privatization whenever possible. Multiple private companies should be engaged to provide the same types of services in the same geographic area rather than hire just one company, in order to foster competition and market reforms rather than extend the problems of government monopolies to private companies hired to do the work. When possible, government activities should be completely shifted to the private sector and eliminated as government functions.
The Arizona Republican Party:
Believes government should protect, not infringe upon, individual rights and freedoms, and that “good government” begins with all elected officials being constantly aware of the tremendous responsibility they hold as public servants.
Supports an “Arizona paperwork Reduction Act” reducing the bureaucratic requirements of state government imposed on other government agencies, private institutions and individuals by 20-percent annually in the next four years.
Supports our fundamental rights to free speech, to keep and bear arms, to private property without fear of government intrusion, and to those freedoms and liberties we hold dear that protect us in the Arizona and United States Constitutions from an oppressive government.
Supports state and national Right to Work legislation.
Opposes unfunded federal mandates on state or local governments; and opposes unfunded state mandates on local governments. Supports the citizen-passed law of Arizona that individuals must provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote, and proper identification at the polls.
Supports additional systems of checks and balances to protect Arizona and American citizens from activist judges, including limiting the terms of judges.
Supports greater legislative oversight on all state executive agencies to protect Arizona children, veterans, and all those who rely on state care.
Believes that a good budgeting process includes the disclosure of all sources and uses of funds received and spent by every state government agency.
Strongly supports transparency in government regarding how taxpayer money is spent and with regard to actual and potential conflicts of interest on the part of government officials -- elected and appointed--who are making decisions regarding government spending or government policy. This information should be provided to the public in a convenient, accessible, inexpensive format such as on a web site.
The Arizona Republican Party:
Believes the provision of public schooling is a function of the state as provided by the Arizona Constitution while also acknowledging that no student should be forced to attend a failing school. We affirm the right of parents to seek a quality education and comparable public funding at home, charter, private, or parochial schools. We acknowledge that a diverse marketplace of schools helps Arizona compete in the global economy.
Believes that State Government subsidies, such as the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition, for college education should follow Arizona students enrolled in Arizona’s public and private colleges rather than get appropriated directly to educational institutions. There should also be incentives for students to get college educated as economically as possible by providing a portion of unused subsidies to the student upon graduation.
Believes that Arizona’s continued commitment to education at all levels, public and private, should remain among the highest legislative priorities.
Believes that parents naturally possess the primary responsibility for their children’s education and should therefore have the right to choose the place and type and method of schooling without governmental interference.
Supports voluntary prayer and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in its present form in public schools.
Believes all school districts should institute mandatory drug testing and background checks for all public school employees.
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
The Arizona Republican Party:
Believes that the core principles upon which the modern Republican Party has been built – faith, family, and freedom – are as relevant today as ever before, especially as the basis of values to be taught to each new generation of Americans.
Believes that Arizonans should have access to affordable health care that provides for their physical and mental well-being with fair, reliable, and portable insurance coverage. Also, individuals and insurers should be able to determine, without government mandates, the type of procedures and items to be covered as well as premiums, copays, limits, and deductibles.
Supports a range of reforms to retain health care professionals and improve the affordability and accessibility of health care, including meaningful federal and state lawsuit abuse prevention to keep trial lawyers and frivolous lawsuits from bankrupting doctors, hospitals, and health care providers.
Supports allowing Arizonans to buy health insurance from providers in other states in order to encourage more competition, greater accessibility, and lower prices for consumers. We also support other states allowing Arizona health insurance companies to provide health plans to residents of their states.
Believes substance abuse, especially methamphetamine abuse, is a continuously increasing problem in Arizona, and we support strong enforcement, education, and treatment.
Opposes euthanasia or any physician assisted death, but supports individuals’ and their legal guardians’ or designee’s right to refuse medical treatment.
Believes innocent life should be protected and supports alternatives to abortion such as adoption.
Supports the definition of traditional marriage as only a union between one man and one woman.
The Arizona Republican Party:
Believes our nation should never surrender to terrorists and should never willingly weaken our position in the war against terror. We call upon the congress and our nation’s leaders to continue to prosecute the war to its successful conclusion.
Honors the brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and guardsmen at home and abroad who, through their courageous service to God and Country, secure the blessings of liberty and protect the freedoms under which we live today. They are our heroes and are always in our thoughts and prayers.
Honors the tremendous accomplishments and sacrifices of Arizona’s 700,000 veterans who are responsible for defending our nation in countless wars and military actions, and for securing our freedoms for much of the past century. We pledge to them our service and our voice, and our promise that their great deeds shall never be forgotten.
Welcomes to our state and nation all legal immigrants and newest citizens, and wishes them God Speed in their pursuit of the American Dream. We share their struggles, for once they were ours. We share their hopes, for they are ours today.
CALL TO ACTION
The Republican Party of Arizona today is honored to represent more than one million registered voters, and we are growing each day. We understand that not everyone believes in every principle outlined in this platform, but we offer it respectfully as a guiding document approved by a majority of voting members of our party’s leadership with the hope that those who read it might find some comfort, reference, or even inspiration in our words. We offer this platform at a time when our nation is at a crossroads in its war against Islamic terrorism, at a time when our politics at home are often heated and divisive, and at a time when we believe our bright hope for the future might help unite some wounds within our society.