First Principles

The Constitution is for “we the people,” not “we the politicians” or “we the bureaucrats.”

A society is formed by the voluntary bonding of individuals into overlapping, ever-changing groups whose members strive to serve each others’ emotional and material needs. Government — regardless of its rhetoric — is an outside force that cannot possibly replicate societal bonding, or even foster it. At best, government can help preserve society — as it does when it deters aggression from abroad or administers justice. But in the main, government corrodes society by destroying bonds between individuals and dictating the terms of social and economic intercourse — as it does through countless laws, regulations, and programs, from Social Security to farm subsidies, from corporate welfare to the hapless “war” on drugs, from the minimum wage to affirmative action. On balance, the greatest threat to society is government itself.

The promises made in America’s Constitution are valid only within the United States, not across international borders. Even with the benefit of a common Constitution, we Americans find it harder every year to honor and respect each other’s lives, fortunes, and honor. Expecting other nations to behave as if they were bound by our Constitution is like trusting Hitler in the 1930s — an exercise in false hope and self-delusion.>Free speech is a right. A free pass based on gender, race, religion, or any other incidental characteristic is extortion.

Liberty is not anarchy, nor is it the government dictating how we may live our lives and pursue happiness.

Liberty: the right to make mistakes, to pay for them, and to profit by learning from them.

The best government is that which walks the fine line between the tyranny of anarchy and the tyranny of special interests.

The constitutional contract charges the federal government with keeping peace among the States, ensuring uniformity in the rules of inter-State and international commerce, facing the world with a single foreign policy and a national armed force, and assuring the even-handed application of the Constitution and of constitutional laws. That is all.

The business of government is to protect the lawful pursuit and enjoyment of income and wealth, not to redistribute them.

Each citizen is a unique minority of one who should enjoy the same rights as all other minorities.

The most precious right these days is the right to be left alone.