I was privileged to spend some time with fellow conservatives, Republicans and concerned citizens in Hershey, PA., last Friday, where I addressed the state GOP. Here's what we discussed.
We are not here tonight just because we are Republicans. We are here because we know that we have the strongest, freest and most prosperous country in the history of the world, and that if we adhere to the traditional principles of the Republican Party, which are the first principles of our country, we will keep it that way.
We know that we were given a country based upon certain eternal truths–the wisdom of the scriptures and the wisdom of the ages … the fact that there is such a thing as human nature that has to be taken into account when governing … and most fundamentally, based upon the fact that people are meant to be free. Our founders derived from these principles a government that had its powers separated, checked and balanced because they knew that power tended to corrupt. In keeping with that they incorporated in our Constitution a system of Federalism to make sure that there was not too much power concentrated in the central government, which was given delineated powers and no others.
From these principles we developed a market economy, with the rule of law, a system of trade with other nations, and a strong national defense. From the prosperity, freedom and strength that came from this system we became a friend and example to all those around the world who aspired to those same things. We won wars, including the Cold War, and enhanced world stability and a friendlier environment within which others could pursue their own freedom. This of course enhanced our own security as Americans.
But today many of the principles that made our country great are under assault. Some of our fellow Republicans say that things are different now and we must change with the times. We recognize that appropriate change is necessary, just as the conservative thinker Edmund Burke did when he supported the American Revolution.
However we must ask those who would modify our principles, “When did freedom and liberty become outdated?” Then, “What part of our Constitutional framework needs to be abandoned?”
We need to recognize that in a constantly changing world there are still some unchanging truths. It is when our party has abandoned our principles that we have gotten into trouble. Not when we’ve adhered to them.
The Democratic Party of today would abandon many of these principles and what they would not abandon they would distort. They have their own principles. They believe:
Fred Thompson has been a lawyer, actor and United States Senator. He writes exclusive analysis and commentary for Townhall Magazine.