Indiana Congressman, short-term Presidential candidate, and now Governor of the Hoosier state Mike Pence defined himself as follows:
“I am a Christian first, a conservative second, and a Republican third.
I break down these affiliations as follows: voice, values, and vote
Voice, or identity, comes first. Who we are defines and influences everything else in our lives. How we define ourselves also sets the tone for what we think and say.
From our voice, or core identity, then follows our values, or our views on human nature, the role of government, the rights and powers of those who lead us as well as those whom we know or command under our authority.
From voice and values comes our vote. Who we are, what we believe, affects whom we vote for, or how we vote in the first place.
With this paradigm outlined, I would write the following.
First, I am a child of God: Romans 8: 15; 1 John 4: 17 — “Christian” gives off a standing in a church, or in an institution, which is not wrong, but the Spirit of adoption cannot be ignored.
Second, I am a classical liberal. I think of the Austrian Economists and free-market advocates like Milton Friedman as part of this milieu, along with many libertarian thinkers, but I am not a libertarian, since those values relate a political philosophy, but do not articulate a world view or a manifest understanding of human nature.
Third, I am a Republican, but I am more than willing to support an Independent or Democrat who espouses classical liberal views. To this day, the Republican Party, at least on its platform, better reflects views of free markets, free people, free enterprise. “Free” is the proper definition of “liberal”, not “equal”, as presented by Democratic Party leaders today.
Voice, values, vote — people need to know who they are in truth, not based on the suppositions of the state nor the opinions of men. When they have their voice, established in something sure and stable
The Massachusetts GOP decided that a grassroots effort must include explaining who they are, and what they represent. Jeff Jacoby advised Bay State Republicans to assess why anyone should vote for a Republican. A positive image, with a positive platform, better articulates the voice of the party than being negative and attacking the other party.
Values — here, the GOP is facing some struggles. The social issues like abortion, gay marriage, and gun control are raising more questions and conflicts than before. Do Republicans stick with the more conservative line of pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, or do they go with the flow of the more tolerant electorate, including the younger generation which has no qualms with “gay marriage” or with pro-choice stances on abortion?
Vote must come last. The Massachusetts GOP has learned this lesson already. Why vote for a political party if you do not know their voice or their values, or in the case of the disconnect between the National GOP and the New England GOP parties, if they do not have a clear voice on the issues, or if their values are in conflict with the national platform, or with the statewide attitudes of everyday voters?
Of course, this does not mean that Republicans should embrace liberal views on everything, or even anything. But who they are and what they believe must come through without hesitation or distraction.
Ryan Fattman of Sutton made his case, knocking on 5,000 doors, and he won his last election with 70% of the vote in deep blue Massachusetts. If he can succeed there, what’s to stop California Republicans, or Delaware Republicans, or even Rhode Island Republicans from replicating the same.
Establish the voice, outline the values, and get out the vote.