A New Republican (ANR) offers a discourse on current events, politics, ideology, and coherent, rational policy. ANR attempts to question and improve ideas and foster dialogue and communication. It aims to step above the fray of partisan politics and rhetoric and develop new approaches to policy issues.
ANR believes there is a dichotomy within the Republican Party between conservatives and "classical liberals." While in practice both share common perceptions and policy prescriptions, they can differ in their approach. Conservatives are generally backward looking and aim to return to the "golden days." In many senses conservatism is a relative philosophy - as time progresses, the golden days can (and often do) change. Most conservatives believe in parts of classical liberal philosophy as it was the founding ideology of the United States.
Classical liberals also believe in the same classical liberal philosophy, but are forward looking. Their motivation comes from the underlying principles and ideas within this philosophy and not from a rear-window perspective. The past was not necessarily better and in many ways had its own flaws. While there is much to learn from the past, progress and continued development is the essential direction needed for the country. Change can be good or bad and should thus be judged on what is changing, whether it coincides with certain princples or ideas.
While both conservatives and classical liberals thrive in the Republican Party, ANR ascribes to the classical liberal position - akin to the beliefs of many American founding fathers and Enlightenment thinkers, such as John Locke, Benjamin Franklin, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton. It also values the work of modern philosophers such as F.A. Hayek and Irving Kristol.
Furthermore, while preferring not to wear any labels, ANR acknowledges influence from both the neoconservative and libertarian strands of thinking. In brief, ANR holds that the individual should largely be left alone to pursue his or her own life. The state is a necessary component of society and exists to provide essential services where private markets are unable to successfully function. In practice, this implies negotiating conflicting rights between individuals (eg. defining property rights), providing security (external and internal), and maintaining certain infrastructure. It also can yield the provision of certain services in specific instances.
Accordingly, ANR aims to study and learn from history and philosophy to develop a deeper understanding of how governments and societies should be structured. Such understandings should be applied to develop appropriate and successful policy.
This is, of course, an ongoing (if neverending) process, that is always subject to missteps and necessary changes. Part of the process is thus a healthy dose of skeptism and interaction with others in order to discover flaws and needed changes. In this vein, ANR encourages rational, coherent (if not impassioned) dialogue and discourse in order to perfect the underlying ideas. While achieving perfection is most likely impossible, a continual progress in that direction is imperative.
ANR encourages readers to come with an open mind and desire to question themselves and others. Ideas and facts should be used productively to help increase our understanding of issues and theories. Discussion is an essential component of this. Benjamin Franklin aptly summed the ANR mission by saying "Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man."
This blog is a working experiment - a chance to present and explore ideas. It represents much more of a process than any end result. As such ideas will grow and change. Hopefully, the musings presented will influence the thinking of those who read them and in turn be inspired by the comments and insights of ANR's readership.
ANR and its main author, Josh Grundleger, would like to thank all who have read or contributed, in any way, to making ANR what it is today.
The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of any entity associated with the author.