2014 Wasatch County Lincoln Day Address
By Aaron Gabrielson, Wasatch County Republican Chair
I'd like to thank everyone that came out on this snowy morning to support the Wasatch County Republican Party.
This morning I'd like to talk about values vs. principles, and to help you see our dysfunctional Federal government in a new light.
Our party is unified and working hard to advance Republican principles in Wasatch County. Principles of thrift, family, of promoting opportunity for all, of rewarding education and hard work, and protecting our divinely given individual rights. By being here you are part of the solution.
If you want to solve a problem, if you don't like the results you are getting, look for the principle that governs that outcome. "There are a thousand hacking at the branches, for every one striking at the root". Striking at the roots means getting to principles.
Values are not the same as principles. Values are social norms -- they're personal, they’re subjective. All of us have values. Even criminals have values. The question we have to ask ourselves is if our values are based on principles?
Our behavior is governed by values, but consequences are based on principles.
Stephen Covey said "Humility teaches us to understand and live by principles, because they ultimately govern the consequences of our actions. If humility is the mother of all virtues, courage is the father. Because to truly live by principles when they are contrary to social norms and values takes enormous courage."
I hope our party will never cave to what is popular, to compromise with error and ignorance, but will remain true to its bedrock, time tested principles.
Teaching the principles of our party to the citizens of Wasatch County, and to the next generation is why we have a Republican party. Encouraging our elected officials to hold to these principles, even when it isn't popular is why we have a Republican party. I ask you today to help us in this effort, by donating to the Republican Party. Your funds will be put to good use in accomplishing this purpose. I would ask you to not leave today without giving something; we can't do this job without you.
I'd like to talk for a minute about our party's obsession with the Federal government. It seems to be our favorite past time to lament the state of our Republic. So let me lament with you for a moment and then propose a cure for our lamentations.
In America, President Obama has an approval rating that continues to sink ever lower, yet in the District of Columbia, his approval rating stands at over 80%. And it's no wonder; the Washington area has eight of the eleven richest counties in America. The top three wealthiest counties in America are all suburbs of Washington D.C. now. The good times always roll in D.C.
Recently Peggy Noonan compared Washington with the shallow and corrupt capital in the Hunger Games. She said, "It is the chattering capital of a nation it less represents than it dominates." We watch with alarm as the Federal behemoth grows, borrows, spends, and adds thousands of absurd complexities to our lives from a multitude of acronymed bureaucracies. It gives us that helpless, hopeless feeling, of being in an out of control car heading for a cliff. I’m sure you know the feeling I’m talking about.
Let me help with a dose of perspective. What looks strong and unstoppable is actually weak.
By growing every bigger and more complex, the Federal government becomes more irrelevant. I propose that the Federal government in its current expanded form, far removed from its original purpose, is well on its way to becoming an anachronism, a relic of a bygone age. Young people today live in a time of constant technological progress. They are growing up in a world where thousands of apps appear every week to solve any problem they can think of for a dollar.
The Feds on the other hand, have taken three years and spent half a billion to create a healthcare website that still isn't working right. I read that the department of the Federal Register is still using floppy disks to move information around. I'm not kidding. They are starting to have trouble ordering them. In 2014, where do you still buy computer floppy disks?
The Federal Government is like a boulder in a stream, the water runs right around it. They are too slow, and burdened by bureaucracy to even hope to keep up with the pace of innovation and change. The idea that they can regulate and control what they don't even understand is laughable. Like a game of whack-a-mole, they put down one disruptive idea, while a hundred new ones surface. Federal power is being dwarfed by the exponential growth of technological achievement and progress. My nine year old daughter today has far more advanced global communications in her hand, than President Reagan had available to him in the 1980s.
The Internet combines the best ideas of billions of people, to produce abundance on a scale unimaginable to the last generation.
There are seven billion people on the planet. Three billion people are connected to the Internet right now. In the next decade another three billion new people are going to be connected. These are voices with new ideas that have never been heard from before. They will provide contributions to the world that we can't predict or imagine.
I have total confidence in the future, because the people themselves are now empowered with everything they need to solve the grand challenges of our time. We are not on the cusp of disaster; we are not in a car headed for a cliff, but on the cusp of a golden age of abundance. And the Feds can't stop it. They couldn't prevent if they tried ... and in their misguided attempts to help, they will try.
Let's continue to work toward a Federal government that lives within its constitutional role, where it can flourish, instead of becoming an irrelevant embarrassment as it expands far beyond its intended purpose.
Now is not the time to despair. The power is with the people, like it never has been before, and that should give us unabashed confidence for the future.