To a Modern Whig, most political questions deserve to be viewed more broadly than through the traditional two sides of “liberal” and “conservative.” We believe each issue should be analyzed afresh and each challenge should be addressed on its own merits. By nature, we consider all relevant factors, data and ideas in our search for the best possible solution.
This doesn’t mean we simply pick a point in the middle, and we freely admit our method of problem-solving doesn’t always result in a quick and simple answer. But we do believe the comprehensive nature of our approach means the Modern Whig solution to a political issue is usually more honest and authentic -- not to mention more effective -- than what we’re used to hearing in our national discourse.
We also believe our honesty and authenticity are a direct result of our fidelity to a set of easily definable principles which have stood the test of time. And we believe the many failings of our government are usually caused by politicians departing from these time-honored principles. While our proposals are the result of how we think, our principles define who we are.
The Constitution is the foundation of the rule of law
Whigs believe too many politicians simply make up rules as they go along, as though they have the authority to do whatever they please once they have assumed office. We believe this presumptuous, yet all-too-common behavior in politics is dangerous and may undermine the trust Americans should have in our constitutional system of checks and balances. The rule of law must remain relevant to the governed as well as to those who govern.
We stand behind the Constitution as written in 1787, as amended over the years, and as interpreted by the Supreme Court in its ongoing process of judicial review. And we will defend our Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
We stand behind all the liberties guaranteed to us in the Constitution
We will stand in implacable opposition whenever government overreaches its authority and attempts to deny anyone their inalienable rights. These rights cannot be given away without our consent, nor can they be taken from us without due process. And we fervently believe every American is entitled to equal protection of the law -- we were all “created equal,” regardless of accidents of birth.
We stand for limited government
We believe government is specifically granted its authority by the consent of the governed and cannot simply claim any power not expressly forbidden to it. While our Founding Fathers were wise enough to leave us some flexibility in the Constitution, they never intended our government to take on a life of its own, to serve its own purposes and answer only to itself. They restricted its executive discretion regarding domestic policy within a very narrow range and subjected it to legislative oversight expressly to prevent the rise of a nameless, faceless bureaucracy which exercises authority it does not have over a constituency which did not elect it.
We stand for capitalism
We believe the ownership of private property and the free exchange of goods and services are central to the liberty of the individual citizen and fundamental to the American way of life. While we acknowledge the role of government in regulating the economy to ensure fair competition between privately-held businesses, create healthy macroeconomic conditions to promote prosperity and the general welfare, and provide sensible basic services for the well-being of the most vulnerable among us, we believe the government is obligated to respect and defend the property rights of our fellow citizens at all times.
We stand for electing honest and humble public servants of all the people
We believe public servants must serve all their constituents, work tirelessly to help solve their problems, and have the courage to clearly inform them when a tough decision is needed. But we also understand it is unrealistic to expect all our public servants to be pillars of integrity, humility, and a modest heart if the people they serve are themselves corrupt and sell their vote to the highest bidder. We believe we have a responsibility, as citizens and as voters, to hold ourselves and our elected officials to the highest standards.
We stand for civility, flexibility, and compromise
People of course have a right to their opinion, but we believe in finding common ground in a mutually respectful environment rather than treating the “other side” of an argument as deluded, selfish, or just plain evil simply because they disagree. To the Modern Whig, the true evil lies in an unwillingness to debate and compromise in an effort to discover effective solutions to the problems which cause our fellow Americans harm.
We stand opposed to the use of intimidation and violence to silence political views
We firmly support the right of the American people to peacefully express their opinions, no matter how objectionable they may be to some. We believe the “marketplace of ideas” will, if left alone, select the best ideas and scrap the worst ones. And we cannot, and will not, tolerate any intimidation, violence or the threat of either in an effort to deny any of our fellow citizens their right of free speech -- or we will begin the process of losing it.
We stand for meritocracy
We believe the most intelligent, creative, talented and hard-working among us should not be denied their proper reward from the exercise of these traits. Our most productive citizens drive the economic, social and cultural engines which support us all. Not only does society suffer when we create less incentive in others to develop and use the best skills they have to offer, we believe allowing our fellow citizens to enjoy the fruits of their own labor is simply a matter of justice.
We stand for the right of the voter to choose the candidate who best represents them
We believe the political power of the voter has been diluted, even corrupted, beyond recognition by our current system. Only two candidates have a realistic chance to win an election for most elected offices, but in far too many cases neither truly represents the voter. Citizens no longer get a real choice.
Because we believe we cannot allow this most important right to be made so completely irrelevant to the process, we support election reform -- most especially, adoption of approval voting to make our ballot more representative, more open and more fair.
We stand for independent and critical thinking in solving problems
In our analysis of political issues Whigs endeavor to explain all cases, respect the rights of all individuals, conform to traditional standards of fair play and not contradict any of our other principles. We believe any proposal must stand a reasonable chance of solving the problem it seeks to address, be practical and cost-effective in its implementation, and be carefully designed in order to mitigate unintended consequences. The time and resources involved in implementation must be reasonably accounted for and not be so burdensome as to prohibit success.
And while we are always cognizant of the proposals from other quarters -- and always keep history, custom and tradition in mind -- we believe in starting with a clean sheet. We choose to view challenges from our unique perspective rather than accept dogma from either the left or the right. And we always subject any measure, including our own, to our rigorous method of addressing the challenges we face.