What Conservatives are For
I recently delivered a speech at the Heritage
Foundation where I articulated the need for conservatives to focus on what
we stand for. In Washington, we debate public policy
so persistently that we can lose sight of the fact that policies are
means, not ends.
We say we are for lower taxes, or less regulation, or
spending restraint. But those are just policies we advocate. They�re
not what we�re really for. What we�re really for are
the good things those policies will yield to the American
would like to watch the speech, you cand find it by clicking this
wanted to share a few excerpts from this speech:
Ours has never been a
vision of isolated, atomized loners. It is a vision of husbands and wives;
parents and children; neighbors and neighborhoods; volunteers and
congregations; bosses and employees; businesses and customers; clubs,
teams, groups, associations� and friends.
The essence of human freedom, of civilization
itself, is cooperation. This is something conservatives should
celebrate. It�s what conservatism is all about.
Freedom doesn�t mean �you�re on your own.� It
means �we�re all in this together.�
What, exactly, are all those supposedly cut-throat, exploitive
businessmen and women competing for? To figure out the best way to help
the most people.
That�s what the free market does. It
rewards people for putting their God-given talents and their own
exertions in the service of their neighbors.
they earn is the wealth they create, value they add to other
Freedom doesn�t divide us. Big
government that turns citizens into supplicants, capitalists into cronies, and
cooperative communities into competing special
The great obstacle to realizing this
vision today is government dysfunction. This is where our vision must
inform our agenda.
What reforms will make it easier for
entrepreneurs to start new businesses? For young couples to get married
and start new families? And for individuals everywhere to come together
to bring to life flourishing new partnerships and
What should government do � and just as important, not
do � to allow the free market to create new economic opportunity
and to allow civil society to create new social capital?
We conservatives are not against government. The free
market and civil society depend on a just, transparent, and accountable
government to enforce the rule of
The biggest reason the federal government makes too many
mistakes is that it makes too many decisions. Most of these are decisions
the federal government doesn�t have to make � and therefore
Every state in the union has a functioning,
constitutional government. And just as important, each state has a unique
political and cultural history, with unique traditions, values, and
There are a lot of other
great points in the speech, so I hope you will take the time to .
However, I wanted to end on the note of federalism and role that each state
plays in contributing to the diversity of our nation. I believe I
represent the greatest state in the nation, and if any state is
poised to offer proven solutions to our nation's problems, it is the state
of Utah. I like to refer to the unique mix of individual
liberty, voluntary civil society, and principle-focused governance as The
Utah Model. I am always looking for ways that I can bring the
strengths of The Utah Model to Washington.
I will be holding my next tele-townhall on May 8 at 7:00 p.m.
MST, and I would like a part of the focus of this event to include a
discussion on how I can bring the strongest elements of The Utah Model to
Washington. If you haven't signed up already to participate in
my monthly tele-townhall meetings, you can do so here: