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“I left the legislature in 2002 after serving 2 years as Caucus Chairman, 9 years as Minority Leader and 7 years as Speaker of the House.  Look what the two of you helped start. …Good luck Rick in your run for the legislature. You will be outstanding.” 

Former State Representative Clyde Ballard
(E. Wenatchee, Washington)

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Paid for by "Rick Olson -
The Voice for the People"
525 Judd Road
Saline, MI 48176

The Role of "Democratic" Discussions and "Public Voice"

There is more and more outcry among the public for a voice in the policy decisions that affect their lives. "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." Thomas Jefferson said. So, an informed and vocal populace is important for the retention of our freedoms.

Within the long debates among the founding fathers of our county, however, was just how much of a "democracy" the United States was to be. They strongly feared a totally powerful government, of any form, whether it be a monarchy, dictatorship, oligarchy, or an unbridled democracy. Thus they inserted numerous checks and balances into the U.S. Constitution. Then, before the people of the 13 colonies would approve the proposed Constitution, the Amendments were added. The county has come a long way from those initial limitations, with a continuous growth of government and government power.

The tension or conflict of beliefs between an all powerful government and individual freedoms continues through today. As a "compassionate conservative" Republican, I found it useful to examine just what our beliefs are as conservatives or Republicans to be best able to articulate those principles. The core principle in all of the following  articles is that of the necessity for limits on government, rather than America being a true democracy with the power of a simple majority to oppress the minority. That is a Constitutional principle that undergirds most Republicans’ desire for lower taxation, fewer regulations, opposition to the redistribution of wealth, individual liberties, etc.

Some of My Beliefs: Personally, I see some of the critical political values as:

  •  Limits on the power of the state (or federal government) vs.  a monarchy, an oligarchy, democratic socialism or totalitarian democracy, all of which cede total control to the state.

  • Personal responsibility vs. equal results as a right (e.g., welfare as an entitlement)

  • National sovereignty not limited by other governments, strong national defense vs. national weakness militarily or financially (e.g., dependence on foreign sources of energy, dependence on other countries such as China and Japan to fund our national debt) (This implies a fiscally responsible government to avoid massive national debts that must be funded by other countries and ultimately by higher taxes on future generations.)

  • Incentives to encourage people to work, save, and invest, and fostering initiative, innovation, creation of new wealth (ability to keep what one has created, to pass on to next generations) vs. disincentives - e.g., public welfare benefits so large as to discourage work as the total incoming resources would diminish if a welfare person began to work, excessive income tax rates, estate taxes)

  • Protection of private property vs. the redistribution of wealth

  • Primacy of the individual vs. the collective or community as the essential entity

  • Belief in free enterprise (capitalism) to cause flow of resources to where they are maximally valuable to maximize production and wealth in society via its ability to rationally derive prices based on supply and demand and thus determine production vs. government run businesses or planned economies

  • Belief in free trade among countries based on the concept of comparative advantage maximizes all nations’ total wealth and therefore is in each’s best self-interest (but beware transition and distribution of wealth issues) vs. protectionism

  • Political equality and color blindness vs. biased laws (e.g., affirmative action) to effect economic (or "social") equality

Having said that, I recognize that some of the problems have gotten so big and so complex, they do take concerted action and most often at the level of the national government. The issue of climate change is one such issue on which I currently believe we will need to accept trade-offs (but see the reasonable doubt expressed by the Alternative Views). Further, through compassion for the less fortunate, it is socially desirable to give those a hand up so that they can achieve self-sufficiency. Within this framework of favoring limited government, there is a continuing place for hearing the "public voice" and fully considering the values and opinions of every day Americans. How best to accomplish that is the focus of my web site Coming Together: Reaching Common Understanding.

What do you consider important? Let me know!