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.  

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