Lincoln Day Closing Remarks

By Tim Rudd
Clermont County Republican Party Chairperson

2010 stands to be a pivotal year for the conservative voters supporting the Republican Party. All statewide offices, the apportionment board, the Ohio General Assembly, the U.S. Congress and various local races are up for grabs.

So, what is a conservative? The fundamental belief of a conservative must be that man is a fallen creature or if you want it in more secular terms that man is not perfectible. We should see ourselves as direct descendants of the Scot-Irish-English Enlightenment whose ultimate progeny is the most beautiful sentence written in North America: We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…

We recognize the maxim and injunction in Madison’s Federalist 51: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary .If angels were to govern men neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” We recognize that there are immutable laws that not only regulate nature but also human behavior.

We recognize that the greatness of our country lies in the decisions made daily by a free people interacting with one another freely in a free market. Therefore any solutions that government proposes should be limited, should enhance the liberty and freedom of its citizens, and should enhance our free market economy. We totally reject the notion that a few elites know better the solutions that effect millions than the millions themselves. We also totally reject the notion that a few should pick the winners and losers in our free market economy.

To quote Lincoln:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot do so well for themselves, in their separate and individual capacities.”

Last summer saw a revolution begin on the streets of our nation, a revolution that became known as “The Tea Party Movement”. Much hand wringing and consternation has been done in party circles regarding the movement. Let me be plain, if the intentions of the movement is to hold the Republican Party to core conservative values then you are welcome.

You will find that the vast majority of party members, central committee members, and elected Republican office holders in Clermont County are true red conservatives. If the intentions are self aggrandizement or third party candidacies then history shows that will lead to ruin for both the movement and the party. History shows that H. Ross Perot begat Bill Clinton. My message to the Republican Party is that you better heed the message to return to the values of our conservative core or we will be left on the ash heap of history as the next American Whig Party. If you don’t believe that is a possibility, I can only point out that the quote I used earlier was not Lincoln as a Republican but Lincoln as a Whig.

Jefferson the greatest proponent of human liberty, admittedly in word more than deed, had his own seal struck during life- something that seems odd now but not during his time. On it he had inscribed:

“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

The tyranny he most feared was the same we face: a centralized overbearing elite that through its actions is impinging upon the freedoms of its citizens. Jefferson also wrote: The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Metaphorically Jefferson was recognizing the need for an occasional revolution. It is time to repeat the revolutions of 1980 and 1994. Let the rebellion begin, let the bells of revolution ring a true conservative song.