I recently attended a Republican strategy session where the speaker discussed a list of activities for the group to pursue. Among them, he mentioned the need to “promote Republican values.” As morality is an important subject with me, I asked what he meant by this. At first, he referred me to the Republican Party Platform as produced in 2016 and still in effect to this day. It’s a nice document but doesn’t precisely define values. Instead, it lists a series of positions the party embraces, such as fair and simple taxes for growth, balancing the budget and reducing the federal debt, elimination of massive trade deficits, promoting legal immigration, position statements on the various amendments to the U.S. Constitution, etc. These are all noble efforts, but doesn’t precisely define Republican “values.” There is also a section on the GOP web site recapping the platform called, “Renewing American Values,” but I do not believe this was what the speaker was alluding to.
The platform is nice, but the items listed will change over time. Instead, I am looking for the hard “values” Republicans believe in, e,g, what is the fundamental dogma of the party, thereby becoming a litmus test for comparing it to others.
It is said Republican values are derived from Judeo-Christian values. These are values which ultimately defines modern civilization. Hence, this explains why Republicans embrace such things as the Ten Commandments, and why they hold dear the rights and freedoms of the common person as defined by the U.S. Constitution. Such values include basic honesty, fairness, truthfulness and more.
It also implies acceptance of the principles of a Supreme Being, such as the “Golden Rule” – “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” (which all religions accept). Such principles represent the morality people embrace. Judeo-Christian values ultimately represent an amalgamation of the principles of the various related denominations.
So, can an agnostic be a Republican? Yes, it is possible, but not likely due to the lack of acceptance of a Supreme Being. However, if the person accepts Judeo-Christian values, as well as those defined below, then, Yes, the agnostic will likely be a Republican.
What follows is not an official statement by the party, but if I had to articulate Republican values, I would suggest it comes down to three simple points:
- THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT, meaning the individual is entitled to unalienable rights and freedoms such as, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This gives the individual the right to pursue any form of livelihood, to build, create, invent, innovate and personally prosper from such efforts. This means values such as equality and fairness are vital to this effort, but it offers no guarantee for success, it just establishes the environment for the individual to operate, not to dictate their actions. This means the individual can either succeed or fail, which is an inherent property of capitalism. This value also means the individual should have purpose and meaning in their life. People should lead a worthy and productive life thereby encouraging them to live life responsibly and industriously. Again, this supports the concept of capitalism, as well as fair trade.
2. WE MUST LIVE AND WORK TOGETHER IN PEACE. To be able to “row on the same oar” requires recognition of the concept of equality, something Republicans have long touted since before the Civil War. This explains why racism has been frowned upon in the GOP for many years.
Living and working together also requires the rule of law thereby establishing common rules of conduct. The absence of law represents anarchy, thereby defeating the concept. Aside from laws, there are the unwritten customs and etiquette used to establish social interaction, such as forms of address, appearance, vocabulary, common courtesy, etc., not to forget honor and respect for our elders and predecessors. Republicans also promote patriotism so the country can come together in times of national or regional crisis.
3. SUPPORT THE FAMILY UNIT – Republicans value the sanctity of marriage, and the roles Mothers and Fathers play in raising their children. This includes support for the triumphs and tragedies associated with the family unit; e.g., a graduation, the arrival of children and grandchildren, a promotion, an accident, or a death in the family. All of these acts represent real world experiences all families must inevitably experience, which explains why the strength of the family unit is so important, and why Republicans are concerned with matters related to education, insurance, property, housing, religion, financial prosperity, and love of neighbor, community, and country.
Republicans also believe it is the family unit that is responsible for raising their offspring. Others may also influence the development of children, such as schooling and entertainment media, but the ultimate authority over the development of offspring lies with the elders of the family and nobody else.
These three simple values, along with basic Judeo-Christian values, spell out the values of the Republican Party and provides insight into why the party’s platform is written the way it is. They are good values and, Yes, Republicans should be promoting them to the public.
Keep the Faith!
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