Sunday, June 26, 2016

What We Stand For

What We Stand For

by Stephen W. Houghton II

          We stand for the traditional American ideal of a liberal, constitutionally limited, democratic, federal, republic. Let us break that idea down quickly. By liberal we mean the idea that all people are born with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and property, in sum to the pursuit of happiness. By constitutionally limited, we mean two things, first that all government power is limited by the principal of natural rights and second that the federal government is limited to its constitutionally enumerated powers. By democratic, we mean that government officials shall be chosen by the people, or by their elected representatives, or from among the people by random selection as in the case of juries. By federal, we mean that the state and national governments are both independent instrumentalities of the sovereign people, that the states are supposed to compete with one another to provide just and efficient government, while the national government deals with foreign matters and keeps the states within their legitimate bounds. By republic, we mean not only not a monarchy, but more, as John Adams put it, “A government of law and not of men.”

          We stand for the idea of the United States as an Anglosphere nation. That is a nation built of people who embrace the tradition of Magna Charta, the Petition of Right, the English Bill of Rights, the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, and the whole Whig common law tradition.    

Anglospherism does not mean nativism in the sense of believing that only native born Americans or those of British extraction can make good citizens. Many immigrants have come to our country because they love our ideals and want to be free, that is part of what has made our nation great and we welcome them. But we also stand against politicians who despise our people and way of life and want to import a new electorate. We believe we should elect new politicians instead.

We stand for the tradition of individual rights: life, liberty and property, free speech, free press, freedom of conscience, the right to keep and bear arms, that a person’s home is their castle, the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to a grand jury hearing, the right against self incrimination, the right to trial by jury, the right not to be subject to arbitrary punishment, the right to due process of law, the right earn a living without unreasonable government interference, and many more!

           We believe in patriotism and civic government: the town meeting adapted to meet modern conditions, the militia adapted to meet the challenges of terrorism and other modern problems, the grand jury to combat corruption in government, in private associations to meet public needs and for self help.

We believe in the free and equal system of English laws, especially in the Whig tradition of Sir Edward Coke and Lord Camden, applied to government and citizens alike by an independent judiciary.

          We believe in the tradition of representative democracy limited by an upper house, embodied by the British parliament and our congress.

          We believe in the economic system known variously as liberalism, the free market, manchesterism, or capitalism. That is to say we believe that people have a right to use their person and property to engage in the production of goods and services and to trade freely with others and to keep the fruits of their labor.

          We believe in a foreign policy based on free trade, freedom of the seas, defense of our interests and our allies, and a naval and trade oriented world order.  

          We believe in a defense policy based primarily on naval power and minimal foreign intervention. We believe that the ground forces should be kept small in time of peace so that the executive branch cannot get the nation involved in a war without the consent of Congress.

          In short we stand for Americanism!

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