I believe in America!
Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls District 28,
I believe in America!
I believe in the American free market economy. In fact, our
nation was established on the principles of the free market. It
is indeed what has made the United States exceptional and what
has sustained the our nation for more than two hundred twenty
five years. In my opinion, a great deal of what is wrong with
our country today can be traced to our governments’ attempts to
control and regulate our free market economy.
I believe in American capitalism! Our ability to fairly, openly,
and freely compete is what makes the free market economy
Our government does not owe success to anyone. However, it does
have the obligation to provide its citizens the opportunity to
succeed in business, as well as the opportunity to fail.
However, it is certainly not the role of government to determine
the success or failure of a business. That success or failure
must be driven by the free choice of the consuming public.
No government should be allowed to pick business winners and
losers. It is not government’s role to favor one business over
another by skewing the playing field through the selective
application of tax deductions, tax credits, guaranteed loans or
accelerated depreciation. Neither is it government’s role to
influence the development of business and industry through the
application of punishing regulatory burdens, punitive fees or
Moreover, it is not governments’ role to encourage consumers to
pick the products of one manufacturer over the products of
another. And it is certainly not the role of government to
dictate what product, or how much of a product, its citizens
should purchase and use. Governments’ only regulatory role in a
capitalist free market economy should be limited to insuring
that competition is fair. No more-no less.
I believe in the American Constitution! The Constitution is
really an agreement, or covenant, between our government and our
citizens. It is a covenant wherein the people grant limited
authority to their government to control their lives. That
authority is limited to preserving civilization, supplying
services necessary for the common good, providing for the
national defense and maintaining a fair and equitable system of
The founders worked long and hard to craft a document that would
insure that the United States government would never exceed the
authorities granted to it by the people. Their system of checks
and balances was carefully designed to maintain the ultimate
power to the people that consent to be governed
The first ten amendments specifically spell out certain rights
and privileges that are retained by the people. But those are
not the only rights that are preserved. The Constitution clearly
states that government authority is limited to only those powers
specifically conferred to it by the people. All other rights and
privileges are retained by the states and by their citizens.
Every legislator is required to swear, by oath or affirmation,
to defend and uphold that Constitution. I believe that the
primary obligation of every legislator is to determine whether
the constitution confers the authority to enact a law,
administrative rule, or regulation. It is our first duty to
vigorously oppose any law, rule or regulation where that
specific constitutional authority cannot be cited.
Unfortunately, the last few generations of Americans have not
done a very good job of controlling government growth and power.
We have allowed ourselves to become complacent during several
decades of relative prosperity. We have failed to teach our
children either how our government works or the critical
importance of those Constitutional limits.
Meanwhile, our governments have succeeded in incrementally
eroding away our Constitutional guaranteed rights, privileges,
Government has intruded into virtually every facet of our once
proud and productive free market economy. That intrusion is
regulating several of our natural resource industries virtually
out of existence. Many of our manufacturers have been forced to
move their businesses over-seas as the direct result of labor,
consumer and environmental regulations.
We have allowed our constitutionally protected property rights
to be redefined. Governments, now limit what we can and cannot
do on our own property. Even more onerous, our government now
tells us what we must do on our own land.
We have allowed our right to freedom of speech to deteriorate to
generally include language that our political elite consider to
be correct and acceptable. Free expression has been displaced
with the concept of creating social justice and our political
elite are determined to define what is just.
Our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom
from religion. Separation of church and state is imperative to a
free people. That is undeniably demonstrated by the chaos and
persecution rampant in many of the Muslim controlled countries
Governments must not be allowed to impose their selected
religious beliefs on their citizens. But that does not mean that
free people should not be permitted to express their religious
beliefs whenever and wherever they choose.
Finally, the right to own and bear arms is the bedrock of the
foundation of a free society. That right is under siege in the
United States. Our citizens’ response to that dire threat is
encouraging. The current rate of purchase of firearms and
ammunition is unprecedented.
Freedom has never endured in any nation where its citizens have
given up the right to own firearms. If we the people fail to
draw a line in the sand on this critical issue we surely will
lose the ability to protect any of our other constitutionally
guaranteed rights and privileges. Like most Americans, I believe
in and love this great nation.
I believe that this election is the most critical in the history
of our state and nation. It is past time for we the people to
stand up and take back control of our governments. It is past
time that we the people demand that governments be once again
constrained by their constitutional limits of authority.
Our governments have always been directed by the vote of their
people. This time, apathy and indecision are not an option. The
future of our state and nation, as we know them, are at stake.
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