Two weeks ago, I suggested that the grassroots activists behind the Tea Party movement craft a compact, a agreement for candidates for federal office to sign to show that they understand our concerns about the burgeoning size of the federal government. Now, via Instapundit, we learn that there is a move afoot to do just that:
. . . at least one group of tea partyers is turning directly to “we the people” by using technology in an unprecedented way: build a party platform from the bottom up.
Taking cues from the “Contract with America” that led to the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, a group known as Tea Party Patriots used a website to gather ideas for what they’re calling the Contract from America.
In response to my post, Justin Nace, one of our readers sent in a draft compact (full text below the jump). While I might tweak some of the language and combine some of the points, I think he succeeded in outlining the broad principles of modern American conservatism. It’s a very good start, but I wonder if in addition to the broad principles of this compact, we need add specific language (of legislation) similar to that included in 1994’s Contract with America.
I do like that this contract is not being generated by elected officials, but by the people.
TEA PARTY COMPACT
I ______ upon taking the office of _____ solemnly swear the following:
- To uphold the Constitution
- That the government belongs to its people.
- Recognize that I am a servant of those people.
- To understand freedom is only possible if all citizens are treated equally, no laws should favor one group over another.
- To uphold the sovereignty of the United States of America.
- I understand that a bill that is too big to be read is a bill that should not be voted on.
- That government best stimulates the economy by giving money back to its people.
- That health care can be improved through tort reform and allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines.
- Government intervention into private industry costs businesses money and man-hours harming the economy.
- To balance the budget which includes forging a path to pay off the national debt.
- Listen to the opinion and needs of my constituents.
- Seek to understand not just the effects of proposed laws but what they will cause to happen. (law of intended consequences. )
- That social issues are best decided by the people not the courts, with decisions made at the state and local levels.
- To represent the needs of the people over special interest groups.
- Seek to decrease the size of the government.
- To show restraint when using public funds.
- To treat the office with the civility and humility it requires.
If this compact is broken, I acknowledge the right of every constituent to remove me from office.