Thursday, February 21, 2013

Republican vs. Democrat debate on Federal Budget "Sequester"

You can listen to a recording of the debate on the Federal budget sequester between Wasatch County Republican Chair Aaron Gabrielson and Democratic Chair, Rudi Kohler on KTMP 1340am this week at the below links.

Spoiler alert, the Federal budget is still going up 8% this year, even with these "cuts".

Monday, February 18, 2013

Deadline for candidacy for Wasatch GOP leadership on March 6th

Deadline for candidacy for Wasatch GOP leadership is coming up! If you are interested in running for any of the below positions, please notify any county GOP officer by Wednesday, March 6th. 

Wasatch County GOP Leadership Positions
    • County Chair - Auto county delegate, auto state delegate, state central committee member
    • Vice-Chair - Auto county delegate, auto state delegate, state central committee member
    • Secretary - Auto county delegate
    • Treasurer - Auto county delegate
    • Central Committee Representative - Auto state delegate, state central committee member

Friday, February 15, 2013

Republican vs. Democratic debate on Gun Violence

You can listen to a recording of the gun violence debate between Wasatch County Republican Chair Aaron Gabrielson and Democratic Chair, Rudi Kohler on KTMP 1340am this week at these links: 

Are There Solutions to Gun Violence in America? by Aaron Gabrielson

Gun violence has dropped dramatically over the last twenty years. However, it is still a serious problem that affects thousands of lives each year. The recent tragedy in a Connecticut school has brought the issue to the forefront of our nation. Extremists on both sides are taking advantage of this terrible event and are using emotions and fear to further their own agendas.  Let's step back a moment and put gun violence in context.

6,200 homicides were committed with handguns in 2011. 450 people were killed by rifles. There were also 1,800 murders with knives, 900 with hands and feet, and 675 with blunt objects. There are an average of 20 people killed in mass shootings each year. In comparison, there are 33,000 fatal auto accidents, 11,000 drunk driving deaths, and 98,000 deaths caused by medical errors in hospitals each year.

What can be done to actually reduce gun violence? Adding new restrictions to the thousands of gun laws already on the books would make little difference.

I believe history may have an answer to the problem of gun violence in America.  

When the prohibition of alcohol was passed in 1919 the murder rate in our nation doubled, from five to ten murders per 100,000 people. Criminal gangs sought to control the illegal alcohol market and the vast sums of money that came with it. To defend their illegal businesses they killed their competitors, and innocent bystanders. After prohibition was repealed the murder rate dropped in half. There was no illegal market to fight over, and people were no longer gunned down in the street over alcohol. The government regulated and taxed alcohol, and the gangs were greatly diminished. 

In our day, the Department of Justice estimates one third of homicides are drug related. Just this week four people were shot in a drug house in Midvale, Utah.  Criminal gangs grow rich by controlling the illegal drug market through violence.  Our nation grows poorer by throwing millions of users into prison, with little effect on the flow of drugs. 

What if we could decriminalize some types of drugs? We could starve the drug dealers of money, make space in our overcrowded prisons for violent offenders, and greatly reduce the drive by shootings, murders, and gang activity related to the never ending drug war.  

Prohibition didn't work in the 1920s and by any measure it has failed today. Instead of more ineffective gun restrictions, why not eliminate what people are killing each over?  A responsible and just society owes it to the thousands that are killed each year to find a better way. 

Aaron Gabrielson
Wasatch County Republican Chair

Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 Lincoln Day Message by Aaron Gabrielson

2013 Wasatch County Lincoln Day Address

by Aaron Gabrielson, Wasatch County GOP Chair

It can be discouraging to think about the state of Liberty in our nation.  The Republican party feels like it is on the defensive.  And many Republicans feel powerless and small.  Maybe we can’t fight every battle, but we can fight for our beliefs right here in Wasatch County.  We can make a difference by teaching the next generation that their rights are not gifts of government.  We can explain to our friends and neighbors why personal Liberty is better than government security.  How a free market provides incredible abundance compared with the inevitable impoverishment of topdown government control. We can make a difference by electing honest men and women that understand the principles contained in our party platform. 

The theme of our breakfast today is “How do Conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?” Our essay contest on that question had 30 excellent responses.  You will get to hear the winning essay shortly.  But I would like to provide my own answer to that question. 

I believe Conservatism is compassionate and ennobling.  It expands the human spirit, allowing individuals to reach for their own divine potential. It makes a space for individuals to freely help those around them in need, without the resentment of forced compliance and the degradation of generational dependence. There is virtue in helping others freely, both the giver and receiver are uplifted and improved. Benefits forcibly taken and distributed by government bureaucrats result in no virtue, no gratitude, only entitlement and hopelessness as individuals are desensitized to their own worth and their god-given abilities atrophy.   

When government is limited to its proper role as a protector of our rights, it is a positive force for good.  It can provide an environment where individuals can flourish, take risks, succeed and also learn from failure.  Government is destructive when it exceeds that mandate and tries to protect us from all harm, from all financial calamity, from all natural calamity, and all human calamity.  As it seeks to protect us, it destroys us.  A government that has lost sight of its true role as protector of our god-given rights gives us instead 77,000 new pages of rules in the Federal Register in 2012, an IRS Tax code that is now 72,000 pages long, and a US Federal Code of laws that is over 200,000 pages long.  Each word, page by page, line by line, slowly, steadily, incrementally diminishes our God-given, natural individual liberty. 

I would encourage everyone here to fully embrace Conservative principles at home, at work, and in government.  Stand up for them, fight for them, and teach them.  Wherever conservative principles are practiced they unleash the beauty, the love, energy, and creativity of the human spirit.  And that is the kind of place I want for my children.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Your help is needed, donate today to the Wasatch GOP

It takes resources to promote Republican principles in Wasatch County.  Your help is needed in this fight.  Donate today, so we can continue to elect good Republicans, educate youth and adults, and defend Liberty in our area.  Every dollar is carefully spent to get maximum results. 

Donate today by clicking the button below.  

Aaron Gabrielson
Wasatch County Republican Chair

Lincoln Day nearly sold out

There are only a handful of tickets left for the Wasatch Lincoln Day Breakfast tomorrow, Saturday February 9th.  Get yours at .

We have an excellent program planned with some amazing speakers including Governor Herbert, Senator Mike Lee and Congressman Jason Chaffetz. 

2013 Wasatch County Lincoln Day Breakfast Program
Saturday, February 9th – Soldier Hollow Clubhouse

8:00am - Breakfast service begins
8:30am – Welcome, Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance
8:35am - Patriotic musical performance
8:45am - Aaron Gabrielson, Wasatch County Republican Chair
8:50am - Keynote Speaker - Senator Mike Lee
9:05am - Essay contest winner presentation
9:15am - Governor Gary Herbert
9:25am - Rep. Jason Chaffetz
9:35am - Thomas Wright, Utah Republican Chair
9:40am - John Dougall, Utah State Auditor
9:45am - Utah Legislators.  Sen. Van Tassel, Sen. Hinkins, Sen. Bramble.  Rep. Powell
10:00am - Closing

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Essay Contest Submission by Tate Stone

The Wasatch County GOP apologizes that this excellent essay from Tate Stone was mishandled and did not get published in time for the contest.

"How do Conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"

by Tate Stone

        Throughout history we’ve seen civilizations rise and fall, and those who are smart learn from these examples of failure and success. Our founding fathers were smart people, they saw the consequences of a government that is too big, that taxes its citizens in large amounts, that offers programs without knowing how to fund these programs. They knew governments should be responsible, they should be limited in power, and they should be conservative.

        Thomas Jefferson said “That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.” The role of government is something that shouldn’t, that mustn’t be something that restricts freedom. A liberal government, when unchecked will legislate its way into a bloated, controlling, and abusive government.

        When a conservative government is in power, its people flourish. They have lower taxes, thus more money, thus they spend more money, thus the economy grows. It’s called supply side economics and we’ve seen it implemented and we’ve seen it work. This idea is also nicknamed Reaganomics for its implementation under the administrations of President Ronald Reagan. He said “The truth is that outside of its legitimate function the government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector”. The man knew what he was talking about. Conservatives believe that the solution to poverty is not more welfare or more handouts but it is an economy where job opportunity is abundant. We see time and time again that when a government takes full control it will fall, but when a government turns the economy over to the people, to businesses, it will succeed and prosper.
        The entire American Revolution was founded on the idea of not wanting an overly powerful government. The founding fathers wrote the constitution in a way that was supposed to offer checks and balances, to restrict, and to limit the government. All of this was done because the founding father trusted the people. That’s the difference between a conservative and a liberal government, the issue of trust. A conservative trusts your average, loyal, law-abiding citizen to have a gun, a liberal doesn’t. A conservative trusts the average citizen with their own money in forms of tax breaks, a liberal does not. A conservative trusts you to run your own business and take care of that business as you see fit, a liberal does not.

        This brings up the point of how a liberal thinks the government can spend your money better than you can. A conservative would disagree and explain that when the government spends wastefully it can raise taxes or borrow money, but real people like you and I cannot wastefully spend. If we spend more money than we take in, we simply can’t buy the things we want. It’s a simple principle that conservatives understand.

        Overall I believe that conservative government brings more overall happiness and prosperity because they trust the people. Limited government, protection of individual rights, and fiscal responsibility are all conservative principles that, when applied, result in a very content, successful, and prosperous people.

Essay Contest Submission by Morgan Van Alstine

The Wasatch County GOP apologizes that this excellent essay from Wasatch High School student Morgan Van Alstine was mishandled and did not get published in time for the contest.

"How do Conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"

by Morgan Van Alstine

To answer this question, one must first realize what it means to be Conservative. From what I have read, and learned, and from what I have deduced from my own reflection, my definition of a Conservative is someone who acknowledges the past and continues to uphold and cherish policies already in existence in order to make progress in a methodical manner. In his book The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot, Russell Kirk provided an analysis of Conservatism, and how, today, the aspects of idealism and fanaticism break the very foundations upon which this country was founded. “For the Conservative,” he wrote, “custom, convention, constitution, and prescription are the sources of a tolerable civil social order.” Obviously a far better definition than my own. The aspect of prudence also empowers Conservatism. Conservatism itself is a manner of thought, perception, comprehension, and an approach to life. For western civilization, it follows the idea of a Christian moral compass and sets a defined line between good and bad. Conservatism encourages independent thought and discussion, the freedom of speech if you will, and thereby gives the greatest liberty to the peoples of America, “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (The Declaration of Independence)

A Conservative makes change only when it is prudent to do so. This keeps the people safe, and continues to move America forward as a whole without tearing rifts between people of different ethnic, religious, or political beliefs. However, revolutionary ideologues reject gradual change entirely, seeking immediate action without any regard for the consequences. Radical change tears countries apart; it fuels hatred among its people. The French and the Russian Revolutions were both extreme examples of radical change, and both were followed closely by tyrants who, in turn, made the situation much worse than it already had been. Then there was the American Revolution, which was quite revolutionary in itself by invoking conservative principles to secede from the British Empire. For goodness sake, we sent them a letter! And America has prospered for it. Conservatism promotes the public’s safety, cooperation, and keeps tyrants at bay.

Some people state that only non-conservative views promote the preservation of the environment, which is simply not true. Conservatism strives to utilize the environment without harming it, in order to improve our lives; Conservatism recognizes that we are only stewards of the land we possess, not masters. Theodore Roosevelt created the national park service in order to “conserve” a land that was in threat of annihilation from people who could not appreciate its beauty, nor foresee its usefulness to future generations. Many people also tend to define conservatism as rigid, archaic, and living in the past, never wanting to move forward. But, we aren’t moving at all if we aren’t moving forward; and conservatism simply seeks to preserve what we hold as valuable, and change only when prudence suggests we do, as Russell Kirk said in The Politics of Prudence. History has taught that radical change too often, flips society on its head! It can result in civil war, and make attempts to reconstruct societies nearly impossible.

Furthermore, Conservatism provides this nation with a stable economy by recognizing established economic rules which allow the American people to plan their economic activities. In an economy subject to unpredictable change in rules, regulations, and laws, people might not pursue innovative and novel activities which might otherwise prove to be beneficial to all of society. This fear to move forward is a bad economic practice; our economy would dwindle.

There are those who disparage Conservatism simply because it stands as an impediment to their “change at all costs” approach to life. It can be said that the principles of Conservatism reflect moral decisions that a society must make when developing the policies by which it will govern itself. It is an acknowledgement of the value of the lessons learned from those who came before them; as well as recognition of its duty to safely convey these sentiments to the generation that follows them. It is an awesome responsibility which too many today are willfully failing to perform. It reflects the arrogance of a selfish generation. And a long list of social, political, and economic trends which aptly prove the consequences of not following these principles, but that would require a longer paper.

Russell Kirk was an apostle for the practice of prudence in developing social, political and economic policy. He saw in it a power central to the idea of conservatism. Prudence requires a consideration of potential long-term consequences of a policy. In a complex society, imprudent action invariably leads to unhappiness for many.

Conservative principals promote the “American Dream.” They preserve a person’s unalienable rights, without compromising others. America allows people to be free to do whatever they so wish on the condition that they do not infringe upon the liberties of others, and they preserve the greatness of America not only for the citizens of today, but for those who are yet to be born. Conservatism “conserves” the rule of constitutional law, and America will continue to grow and prosper if we remember the words of Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, “You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.” The absence of these long forgotten principles will undermine America’s ability to provide for a greater happiness for her people, which is why we must remember what it truly means to be Conservative, and hopefully rekindle the Conservative way of thought.

2013 Essay Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the 2013 Essay contest winners!  Thanks go to everyone that participated.  The executive committee was very impressed with the quality of the writing.  Links to all thirty essays are below. 

2013 Essay Contest Winners

Essays in Order of Submission

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Essay Contest Submission by Jim Smedley

"How do Conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"

It Is The Holding Fast To Principles, Correct Principles 
That Promotes and Preserve Happiness and Prosperity

By Jim Smedley

It has been said that, “Principles are concentrated truth packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances.  A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and compelling circumstances.”

Conservatism in its true sense implies the quality of having the tendency to uphold and preserve that which is good in the institutions of a sound country, both civil and ecclesiastical, preserving it from radical and destructive change.

Conservative principles aim to preserve from ruin, innovation, injury, or radical change.  Thus, conservative principles and wise conservatives are the ones that protect all that is good in the existing institutions of a country, and oppose and protect against undesirable changes, but they also embrace that which may be new and for the good of the people, speaking for the citizenry collectively and not individually.  Such conservative principles and men and women keep the institutions in a safe state.

If one labels himself as liberal and another labels himself conservative the likelihood is that neither is as open minded as he might be to preserve and embrace all that is good, and each is disposed to oppose desirable changes; whereas a true conservative is opposed to that which injures, be it labeled as a liberal position or a conservative position, but also to embrace that which is good from whatever source it comes from.

I think it was Harry S. Truman that said, “It is not hard to get men to agree if they have the facts.”  But the radical which ever side of the isle he is on seems to lack the wisdom and understanding necessary to accomplish the common good, whereas the wise conservatives on both sides of the isle become enlightened and are in a position to truly shape and fashion wholesome legislation that strengthens the nation.

To mold temperance and moderation into legislation is not always easy, especially for one who holds himself out as a true liberal or a true conservative, and thus it is difficult for many public servants to really numbered among the ones who strive to preserve the good as well as promote that which good – to conserve that which is good, to cleave unto that which is good in the existing institutions of a country, and also at the same time embrace that which is good and needs to be incorporated because of the events and circumstances of the day.  Some become enlightened enough, agreeable enough, and effective enough to solve the problems of the day, but many are unwilling and/or unable to contribute to the solution.

Conservative principles and conservative individuals embrace goodness and temperance and resourcefulness, for the fruits of such promote happiness and prosperity.  In fashioning legislation a conservative might ask, as does it promote resourcefulness and industry as opposed to idleness and is it yet tempered with compassion and a concern for the downtrodden.

The true conservative who desires to preserve as well as embrace all that is good will not lay aside the words: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.”  But in considering such, the words “yearning to be free” will have special meaning.  And he will be ever mindful that that mighty woman, with the torch in her right hand, grasps in her left arm a tablet bearing the date of the Declaration of Independence, and that at her feet is a broken shackle symbolizing the overthrow of tyranny – be it in whatever form: oppressive government, the rich and powerful, the corrupt in or outside the government.

Conservative principles embrace the words of Thomas Carlyle knowing that “A man must get his happiness out of his work.  That is the first of his problems: to find the work he is meant to do in this world.  Without work he enjoys, he can never know what happiness is.”  Yes, in conservative principles are contained the words, “Blessed is he who has found his work,” for such is one of the concentrated truths packaged for application in all legislation, but here again it is to be tempered with the good of compassion and a concern for the down trodden.

We each have the responsibility to preserve the good that exists in the institutions of our government for such it is that promotes happiness and prosperity.  Conservatism opposes the radical (despite his sincerity) and it strongly opposes whatever ruins and spoils, but at the same time, it also embraces new solutions that help solve the problems of the day so long as they do not flying in the face of concentrated truths upon which the welfare and happiness of a nation is founded.  When conservative principles are ignored it allow the unwise and ignorant to build upon the sand, but when they are adhered to they allow us to build upon the rocks, those concentrated truths, those truly “conservative principles” that prevent the rains and floods and troubled times from destroying the land of the free.

Essay Contest Submission by Ruby Petralli

"How do Conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"

by Ruby Petralli

            The question I have to answer is: "How do conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"  First I'm going to give the definition of Conservation.  Conservation, according to the dictionary, means to hold traditional attitudes and values and remain cautious about change or innovation.  It could be a positive or negative reaction to Americans, it just depends on what the change is.  For example gun control brings out a positive reaction and abortion a negative reaction in conservative principles.

            Conservative principles will impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans in a positive way by letting people keep guns.  It's much safer to let people have guns in more ways than one. First off people have a right to bear arms.  People have the right to protect themselves, and they can with the second amendment, which is the right to bear arms.  By letting people have guns you're only letting them protect themselves other than to get in a bad situation with no protection.  Those are some of the reasons that the conservative principles will impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans in a positive way, by letting people keep guns.
            Conservative principles will impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans in a positive way by immigration.  Conservatives support legal immigration only and oppose amnesty for those who enter the U.S. illegally (illegal immigrants).  Those who break the law by entering the U.S. illegally do not have the same rights as those who obey the law and enter legally.  The borders should be secured before addressing the problem of the illegal immigrants currently in the country.  The Federal Government should secure the borders and enforce current immigration law.  Those are some of the reasons why conservative principles will impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans in a positive way by immigration.

            Conservative principles will impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans in a negative way by immigration.  Liberals support legal immigration and support amnesty for those who enter the U.S. illegally (undocumented immigrants).  Liberal Americans also believe that undocumented immigrants have a right to:  all educational and health benefits that citizens receive (financial aid, welfare, social security and medicaid), regardless of legal status, the same rights as American citizens.  It is unfair to arrest millions of undocumented immigrants. Those are some of the reasons why conservative principles will impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans in a negative way by immigration.

            One conservative principle that will impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans in a negative way is abortion.  Some might think that it's not right in any way to get rid of a baby, even if its not born yet. The baby is another human being that has its own rights from the mother, even if its not able to speak for itself.  It is wrong to take a life no matter the circumstance, even if it wasn't born yet, or not even close to being born yet.  Or also some might think that it's not alive yet so it doesn't matter what happens to it.  That since the woman is its mother she gets to make the decision on whether it gets to live or not.  It is a choice the mother gets to make know matter what. Those are just a couple of the reasons that conservative principles will impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans in a negative way.

            In conclusion, conservative principles would impact the happiness and prosperity of Americans in a positive way.  It would be best to just follow the 2nd amendment and let people have the right to bear arms.  And for abortion, it just depends on the person, if the person is just too poor to care for it and can't pay the hospital bills then let her abort it, but if the person can support the child and has no real reason not to keep it then they shouldn't even consider abortion.  We should stop letting illegal immigrants in because we already have a lot of them here.  That concludes my Essay about "How do conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"

Student News Daily. n.d. 22 January 2013.

Essay Contest Submission by Holly King

"How do Conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"

by Holly King

To me, it’s always been very simple—very simple to understand and very simple to explain. In order for the wheels of a community to turn and for the people in that community to feel fulfilled, everyone must be accountable for their own actions. Accountability is a trait that no man, no society, and no government can be successful without. Having the self-sufficiency to stand in any situation and take responsibility for your actions is an essential key to happiness and prosperity. One must be allowed to work hard, and reap the benefits of that work. One must also fully embrace the consequences of their irresponsible actions and grow from them. It’s easy to speak of faith, but it’s truly fulfilling to have faith in the knowledge that you can stand on your own two feet, regardless of your previous stumbles.

The more self-sufficient citizens become, the more they prosper. And the more they prosper, the more they feel a desire to help others. Involuntary collectivism takes away the opportunity for a flourishing, loving community to develop. People are innately good, however government abuse of that is wrong. No one should be told that they must love their neighbor. They should be able to choose to love them and to support them in their own way and time. The most genuine kind of happiness comes from completely selfless acts; to strip someone of the opportunity to be selfless is callous.  All efficient things in government and in everyday communities are fueled by cooperation and passion. When government takes that accountability away from its constituents, it starts a deprivation of compassion that will root itself into society and will deprive us of our innate goodness, more and more with each passing day.

The United States was formed on the principal of accountability. Founding Fathers knew that the journey and process of independence would be anything but smooth, but they also knew that if you wanted something, you had to work for it. If you messed something up, you had to fix it. We have only come this far as a country because of the work those behind us have put in; we can only see so far because we are standing on the shoulders of past laborers. It’s crucial to the United States’ sustainability that we don’t forget the lessons of history or overlook the teachings of our forefathers. We must take responsibility for our past and present actions, in order to move forward and remain the commanding power that we are.

Twelve years before Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States, he said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore to the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Those words ring true now just as much as they did then. What you mark down as your political affiliation will never matter as much as the practice of taking responsibility for your actions. No amount of laws or legal obligation for mandated service or mandated aid will ever mean as much as true service and true camaraderie for your fellow human beings. Every person must stand up and embrace their right to accountability. Praise it. Rejoice in it.

Three years after his presidency, at the Republican National Convention, Reagan said, “America’s best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead.” Again, words that rang true then and now. As long as human beings cling to their right for accountability, good will prevail and The United States will always have their best days to look forward to.

Essay Contest Submission by Christianna Burt

"How do Conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"

by Christianna Burt - age 15

Right now one of the hottest topics circulating our media is gun control. Some people say that common sense demands that the government confiscate guns to prevent death while other people say common sense demands that citizens maintain the right to protect themselves not only from intruders but from the historically common fact of governments oppressing people using weapon control.

Although the ideas presented by those who wish to take away guns may sound appealing, it all comes back to freedom. Are we not willing to take the risks that come with having guns to keep freedom?

Some people say no. Senator Gabrielle Gifford from Arizona has been in the news lately saying, "Too many children are dying." She promotes gun control and her case is made stronger by the fact that she was in the news not long ago when she was shot in a grocery store.

On the other hand, the Herman family of Georgia have also been in the news lately. They promote gun rights. Mrs. Herman saved the lives of her children and herself because she had a gun and used it when an intruder broke down doors to try to hurt them when they were hiding in the attic.

The foundation of America has from the start been based on conservative principles. Our founding fathers did not build America to be governed and controlled by an overpowering government, but instead they founded America to get away from the controlling England. Why then do we try to push towards a bigger national government? The conservative principles affect the happiness and prosperity of the American people by giving us many freedoms.

Isn’t that what we strive for as an American people? We have fought numerous wars and lost thousands and thousands of precious lives for the concept of freedom.  We struggle to be brave in the times when it would be so much easier to surrender the wars against those trying to take away our freedoms because we want to be free from the control of others.

That is why conservative principles affect our happiness and prosperity positively. Conservatives believe in limited government, which is the only practical thing to believe in. We should not let our government become so controlling that the collective government is stronger than individuals' freedoms.

When we study history, wars are sparked from too much control and greed for power. If we want to stay a peaceful and prosperous nation without contention and war, we need to learn from our past and implement more conservative principles in the laws we pass and support.

History has shown that when a government takes away the weapons of the people, it is almost effortless to continue to take away more and more freedoms. Without weapons, the people are powerless against other nations, and even against their own nation if it is necessary. We have the right to bear arms. It says it right in our constitution, the document that was written to protect us from ever being under the control of a government like England's ever again. That document  was written so we would have our freedom.  No matter how many terrible incidents have happened with guns, we are still entitled to bear arms. It is one of the many freedoms we have that makes America so successful.

Essay Contest Submission by Richie Lowe

"How do Conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"

by Richie Lowe

Two hundred and fifty-eight years ago in Lexington, Kentucky, a gunshot was fired. It was that morning that marked the beginning of a revolution—the American Revolution. It was also on that morning that our country embarked on a journey that changed the world forever. From 1755-1783, thousands of men died in the Revolutionary War. Ask yourself this question:  “Why would so many men sacrifice their lives in an endeavor to challenge the British army in what seemed like an impossible war?” The answer is simple. It was for the same reason that 1,343,812 American men died in wars since. These men died to protect our rights as American citizens. It is the conservative principles of America, upon which this country was founded, that continue to ensure those rights. These rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Life can be defined as the general or universal condition of human existence. More simply stated, life is the quality of existence we live. Here in America, we live one of the highest qualities of life in the world. Our capitalistic economy, educational systems, religious freedoms, military, government, the right to vote, our access to knowledge, the freedom to travel, family, and many other things sustain this quality of life.

We know for a fact, from countless examples in history, that liberty is an essential right to further progression. This liberty is manifest in our country through the same things I have mentioned before.  Again, these are our capitalistic economy, our educational systems, our religious freedoms, our military, our government, our right to vote, our access to knowledge, our freedom to travel, our families, and a whole host of other things.

Our free market economy promotes specialization of labor and entrepreneurship, which places our economy as one of the best economies in the world. Our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) remains to this day as the highest in the world. Our freedom of public education places our nation as one of the top five most educated nations in the world. Our freedom of religion allows anyone of any ethnicity to live here and avoid persecution while practicing his or her beliefs. As a result, we are the most diverse country in the world. Our military gives us freedom while helping other countries to gain their freedom. My point is that our liberty has allowed American citizens to advance our nation to be the greatest nation on the earth.

We find happiness through the same things with which we sustain our quality of life and the same things that liberty ensures us.  However, I want to concentrate on three things: Family, religion, and economy.  If you ask people what brings them happiness, in general they will say, “My family, my religion, and financial security.” These three things bring true happiness to people, and most people in American society enjoy all three things. They exist as a result of our quality of life and the liberty we enjoy. These two things ensure that we live in the pursuit of happiness.

I have talked about what life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have brought to American citizens.  However, I have not explained how conservative principles affect these things. Conservative principles support the Constitution. Without the Constitution, it is very unlikely that we would have any of these things. If the right to vote was not upheld by the Constitution, we could have lost the right to vote long ago. If a well-regulated militia was not upheld by an amendment to the Constitution, we could have lost the right to have access to a military long ago. If the principle of capitalism was not the dominant principle driving our economy, the government by now could be running our economy.  Heavy taxes that oppress people could exist if our founding fathers had not developed restrictions like “No taxation without representation.” Perhaps we would not even live under a democracy if power was not distributed through a constitutionally established structure of government. Our nation would not be what it is today if it were not for the Constitution.

Furthermore, the biggest supporters of the Constitution are the people who abide by Conservative principles. Conservative traditions and morals have allowed our Constitution to remain intact to this day. It is our Constitutuion that upholds our rights. It is up to us to continue to ensure that our Conservative traditions and morals uphold the Constitution for years to come. Only if we do this can and will American citizens remain free to pursue life, liberty, and the happiness.

Essay Contest Submission by Anissa Wardell

"How do Conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"

by Anissa Wardell

Do we have a model conservative? Who embodies that term? I would say on earth there is no such person.

What is the most succinct definition of Conservative Beliefs?

"Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense.  Believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals.  Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems."

I believe we need to use the word conservative as an adjective. Conservatism is not ideology; it is a state of mind, a type of character and a way of looking at the civil social order.

What many of us refer to as conservatism is actually a body of sentiments. I think we have seen recently that it's nearly impossible to create a list of conservative convictions. I do believe that most could agree on particular adages. These adages may change from circumstance to circumstance or the necessities of the generation we are in, however, there are certain adages that conservatives adhere to and believe reflect their core beliefs.

#1 - Moral Order. There exists an abiding moral order that is God given to man. You might say it’s a moral order that was made for man and that man was made for it. Moral truths are permanent. Order signifies harmony, which to Christians is the inner order of the soul. The essence of order and morality is that all social questions are the responsibility of private morality. Any society that believes in an enduring moral order, a sense of right and wrong, with personal convictions about justice and honor will always be a good society.

#2 - Customs, Assembly, & Consistency. You could call this by other names, but customs, assembly and consistency is what enables people to live together peaceably. It's when we discard our customs, our assembly, and consistency that we lose that link to generations before us. Whenever social justice has been used to abolish customs, assembly and consistency, we have seen new customs, assembly, & consistency be created to replace the old. This is a slow and painful process that often emerges as an inferior replacement. Changes are necessary but should be done gradually and discriminatory without undoing old interests all at once.

#3 -  Direction. Conservatives believe that we were given direction from God in the form of morals. God gave us personal revelation, but it is perilous to weigh every societal issue on the basis of private judgment or rationality. In politics we do well to abide by precedent and precept and even prejudice.

#4 - Reflection. Reflection or prudence is a virtue. Conservatives act only after sufficient reflection, having weighed all the consequences.

#5 - Agency. We all come from a variety of thoughts and circumstance and none of us are perfect. We know that there will be imperfection and that there will be evil and inequality. We would grow bored or lash out in rebellion if there were to be a utopian domination. To seek for utopia is to end in disaster. We must have agency in order to protect our freedoms. Great civilizations were built on the foundation of freedom. Private property is essential in order to have a more stable and productive society.

Private property and agency are powerful instruments for teaching man responsibility and providing motives to integrity. Agency allows for the affording of leisure to think and freedom to act. Conservatives believe in voluntary association not in involuntary collectivism. All decisions should be made locally for those who come from a similar series of thought, therefore providing different thought processes to be implemented where a similar thought is acceptable by the majority of the community. A federal administration cannot confer justice, prosperity, and tranquility upon its society who is deprived of their responsibility and agency. Voluntary performance of individual duty teaches prudence, efficiency and charity.

#6 - Restraint. Conservatives aim to limit and balance political power so that anarchy and tyranny may not arise. When every person claims a power unto himself society falls into anarchy. Enforcement of laws, constitutional restriction, and political checks and balances maintain a healthy tension between authority and liberty.

#7 - Heritage. Change is necessary; therefore progression must happen but only with an equal dose of continuity. Change must happen in a regular manner that is stable.

"The great line of demarcation in modern politics is not a division between liberals on one side and totalitarians on the other. No, on one side of that line are all those men and women who fancy that the temporal order is the only order, and that material needs are their only needs, and that they may do as they like with the human patrimony. On the other side of that line are all those people who recognize an enduring moral order in the universe, a constant human nature, and high duties toward the order spiritual and the order temporal." by Eric Voeglin

Are we as a nation after temporal pleasure or are we after eternal blessings? What makes Conservatives different? How do our principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans? Our principles make it so that no matter what the desire of your heart is, you are free to pursue it!