Conservative principles work for everyday life, too

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Last week, candidates for local and state offices were sent acompelling booklet encouraging them to consider and follow theprinciples of limited government if elected. The principlesidentified in the booklet, prepared by the Mississippi Center forPublic Policy, offer meaningful insights into government, businessand family issues.

The principles include:

* Government exists to protect rights, not create them.

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* The legitimate power of government begins and ends with thepeople, while its authority comes from the Creator.

* Just because a problem exists doesn’t mean government shouldtry to solve it.

* Long-term and cumulative consequences should be consideredmore carefully than short-term benefits.

* Government has nothing to give anyone except what it firsttakes from someone else

* Individuals are ultimately responsible for governingthemselves and for the consequences of their decisions.

* Free enterprise, not government, is the engine of personaleconomic prosperity.

* The free market should not be distorted by government-designeddictates or advantages.

* Government has a responsibility to protect the fundamentalinstitution of society: the marriage-based, two-parent family.

* Parents, not government, are responsible for the education andupbringing of their children.

These principles would seem to be so self-evident that it islamentable they need to be spelled out for candidates. Indeed, theprinciples should not only be the purview of government activities,but also the foundation upon which all citizens build their viewsof government, business and family.

But people – including some candidates seeking office – who viewgovernment as a mother or father whose task it is take care ofeveryone will undoubtedly disagree with MCPP’s statedprinciples.

That’s unfortunate because, as one principle mentions,government was not created to solve every problem that arises insociety. Without office seekers and office holders willing to abideby the principles of limited government, society runs the risk ofcreating or worsening a variety of problems that neither governmentnor anyone else can solve.