What does it mean to be a Rational Republican?
It means believing that the majority of people do have the ability to choose what is best for themselves, and do have the ability and right to choose their government.
It means believing that the purpose of government is to extend individual freedom.
Recognizing that a government too strong can take decisions and freedom out of the hands of individuals.
That a government too weak will fail to extend equality of opportunity to its citizens.
It means recognizing that there is a middle path between the total government of Socialism and no government at all.
Believing that a strong national government is necessary to a strong national economy.
Believing that a democratic society can figure out which tasks and responsibilities should be entrusted to government, and which shouldn’t.
That government can be rationalized to effectively and efficiently fulfill its responsibilities, and it is worth the effort to try to get government right.
Believing in the scientific method, that empirical and measurable evidence can allow us to understand our world.
Being skeptical of theoretical arguments that can’t be grounded in real world examples.
Believing that global warming exists, even if the proposed remedies are flawed.
Believing the scientific method proves evolution and that teaching children to doubt evolution undermines the ability of our children to take control of their own lives.
Accepting that a basic social safety net is part of government and a necessary tool to insure that poorer Americans have the opportunity to pursue their dreams too.
It means acknowledging that every act of government engineers society in some way, and it is pointless to pretend social engineering is optional.
That the engineering part is critical to the process, that we must continuously apply the scientific method to evaluating and improving government programs.
It means remembering that equality of opportunity and equality of outcome are two different things, and the government’s obligation only extends to opportunity.
It means accepting that the outcome of freedom can be harsh, and some people will fail to take control of their lives.
Being a Rational Republican means believing that people are rational, that government has a role to fulfill, and we can figure it out and get it right. Ultimately, being a Rational Republican means believing that we still control our future, and because we do so the United States will continue to be a great nation.
Blake Ashby is president of Adjudica, LLC, a company that is developing an innovative transparency and engagement tool for the healthcare industry. In the early nineties he was active in Missouri Republican politics, co-authoring a book tracing the evolution of Liberalism with a local candidate for Congress and preparing a report on the St. Louis desegregation program for then Missouri House Member Jim Talent. He was also an early participant in the Internet industry, preparing the first financial models for the company that became Golf.com and the first business plan for the company that became Savvis Communications. In the late nineties he helped found a competitive phone company that was one of the first to offer high speed DSL technology in the Midwest. In 2001 he helped found mpXML.org, a technology standards development body for the meat and poultry industry. He is also periodically assists with Washington University’s entrepreneurship program.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org