Modern Whigs can best be described as sincere, pragmatic and centrist. We believe in rational solutions over dogma, integrity over impunity, and authentic public service above all.
Our core philosophy relies on several fundamental tenets:
INTEGRITY. To us, integrity means basic honesty and a commitment to an ethical approach to politics in both thought and action. Whigs practice what they preach, live up to their promises and do not make promises they cannot keep.
Integrity also means accountability; no one is above the law and everyone should live by the same rules. You'll find Modern Whigs nearly mum on issues of social morality. On issues of ethics or integrity, however, we will hold our candidates, elected leaders and ourselves to the highest of ethical standards, above today's actual legal requirements.
MERITOCRACY. Modern Whigs believe society should reward merit -- the combination of intelligence, talent, competence and hard work. An individual’s educational achievements, professional accomplishments, commitment to excellence and personal character should be the chief determinants of their financial and social success.
Similarly, proposed solutions to economic, political and social challenges should be formed and judged on a rational basis, not on prior prejudice, pure self-interest or false beliefs. We believe wholeheartedly in the power of a reasoning mind.
INDEPENDENT THINKING. Modern Whigs practice independent critical thought. We believe in challenging all assumptions, mapping and analyzing all possible solutions based on facts and potential outcomes, and not relying on party dogma as a source of political ideology.
Modern Whigs come from a place of discovery. We assume the best solutions are still waiting to be uncovered by an empowered and engaged electorate. An informed electorate who can approach issues with an open mind, without prior prejudice, is what our nation needs to forge bold new solutions built on firm common ground. We have boundless faith in American ingenuity.
Integrity, meritocracy and independent thinking are the foundation of the Modern Whig movement. Basing our project on these concepts allows us to look for effective long-term, sustainable policies not just for today's challenges, but for the next generation's as well. Our members are encouraged and expected to contribute to this process by helping to shape the discussion and support competent people for public office.
Modern Whigs are neither conservative nor liberal, and do not fit within a simple political paradigm. In fact, in a purely historical context, "classical liberalism" -- the belief in individual liberty, capitalism, free enterprise, representative government and the rule of law which forms the basis of our political system -- grew out of the first Whig movement in England in the late 1600s. In modern terms, we can be considered "conservative liberals." While we do indeed believe it's high time for a new political reality, the one we seek to create is intended to reinforce our traditional political and social order, not overturn it.
We often say we favor methodology over ideology, meaning we look at issues through the prism of intelligent analysis and common sense rather than a rigid, predetermined outlook. While we embrace a wide range of viewpoints, we all share the same basic framework for analyzing any particular economic, political or strategic issue.
First, we consider principle: Is the recommendation constitutional? Does the level of government involved actually have the grant of authority necessary to take action? Does it conform to traditional American values of fairness, fair play, respect for individual rights and the rule of law?
Next, we consider practice: Will the proposal or policy actually achieve what it is intended to do? Are there unintended results we should be concerned about? Will it be cost-effective?
And finally we consider pragmatism: Can the goal actually be reached? Is the policy or program based on a realistic assessment of available resources and capabilities? If it isn't, is it realistic to expect those resources and capabilities can be developed within a reasonable time frame? And how much will it cost?
We apply those three measures -- principle, practice and pragmatism -- to every analysis we perform. As you can easily imagine, working through those points can lead to some pretty robust debates within our party. But we welcome vigorous discussion, and we expect the energetic deliberations we engage in to result in the most rational policy proposals of any organized political party. We pride ourselves on the use of reason.
Ultimately, our core beliefs are easy to summarize. We believe in a transparent and representative government, acting with sincere determination to produce the greatest good for the greatest number while honoring, preserving and protecting the individual rights of all. We believe it's exactly what our Founding Fathers had in mind: a can-do government serving a can-do people.