Guest Author - Linda Sue Grimes
Individual philosophical systems may be easier to express than those of groups. If one has not yet articulated a philosophy of life for oneself, however, a look at the basic philosophical tenets of a group might offer a starting point for formulating a life philosophy. A basic philosophical plan can be useful in helping to decide the steps to take when a problem arises. If we have a plan, we can use its strictures to help decide our actions or what we might say, and even what we will continue to think and believe.
The Purpose of Government
A basic tenet of Republican philosophy is that the strength of a nation depends on the strength of each individual. Each individual is endowed by the Creator with the freedom to seek and achieve goals and is also obliged to respect the rights of others to seek and achieve goals. Each is endowed with free will which brings the responsibility to respect as well as compete.
The purpose of government is to ensure that the rights of the individual are protected, and at the same time the government must restrict its activities to providing only the services that individuals cannot provide alone, such a national defense.
Best Government is Local
Republican philosophy recognizes that the best place for government to operate is locally at the community and state level where it can more effectively offer services that help individuals who may be unable to provide for themselves. While offering individual service, the ideal goal is to help those in need to become independent.
Total dependence on governmental services or the aid of others weakens the individual's abilities and self-esteem. Therefore, with equal rights and equality of opportunity secured by the government, the individual should be also to exercise his/her free will to achieve personal and economic goals.
Importance of Individual Rights
Because our American strength as a nation has been enhanced by our Constitution, the rights of each individual are guaranteed, and the Republican philosophy encourages individual support for our laws and the court system. In its protective role, the government has to be ever vigilant that excessive taxation and over-regulation, which bloat the government and make it sluggish in responding to its rightful duties, are to be avoided. A watchful citizenry is necessary to keep government accountable.
Strong National Defense
The Republican philosophy insists that a strong national defense system is required to keep the nation safe from outside forces. Recognizing that negotiation must always provide the first line of defense, it claims that it is safer and more effective to bargain from a position of strength rather than from a position of weakness. World peace depends on a strong America, and a strong America depends on strong Americans.