*This is a developing platform. More planks--and more details--will be added as the campaign goes on*
POSITION STATEMENT #1: FAMILY
Family is the sacrosanct, wellspring of social governance—the garden from which all other levels of government derive. Inasmuch, the role of any other government is to revere, defer to, and safeguard family to the utmost. Where family thrives, societies thrive. It is incumbent upon us to see that the families of Missouri are provided an environment conducive to flourishing. No other platform issue is as important.
Marriage is the optimal staging ground for building a family. Possible measures to strengthen marriage:
Revisit “no-fault” divorce. Marriage is a covenant; a bona fide contract. When someone breeches such contract, that party should bear the brunt of their infraction.
Marriage-friendly tax codes. Tax codes should be constructed in such a way as to encourage, support, and sustain marriage.
Parenthood is the epicenter of family. Possible measures to respect and strengthen parenting:
Mitigate abortion. We must work to discourage abortion:
Through recognizing, respecting, and giving legal status to the life of the unborn child;
Through education programs designed to encourage life for expectant mothers;
Through measures to encourage the relinquishment of the child to adoption—as opposed to abortion;
Through discouraging the mindset abortion is viable method of birth control.
Encouragement and facilitation of adoption.
Utilize credits, deductions, grants to ease the financial burden of adoption and encourage qualified and willing parents to step forward.
Facilitate an integral role in the adoption process for social and religious institutions.
Affirmation of parents as the rightful frontline of guidance, discipline, education in the lives of their children.
Children are the fruit of the family, and family is the setting in which children best flourish. Tacit acknowledgement and affirmation of the autonomy, essentiality, preeminence, and rights of parents in the upbringing and guidance of our children is of foremost importance. Being our state’s finest treasure and our posterity, the welfare of Missouri’s children must be central to any platform and subsequent initiatives.
Child welfare. Shore up and maintain child welfare agencies; encourage development of child welfare initiatives among private institutions.
Gender confusion. Initiatives to prohibit gender reassignment among minors.
POSITION STATEMENT #2: CHURCH
The so-called separation of church and state is primarily for the protection of the church and the right of the individual to freely exercise the dictates of his or her conscience. This however does not preclude the church from being an integral contributor to civil discourse and electoral engagement. Such things are the right—and responsibility—of our religious institutions.
The church as provider of social services. We must support initiatives to encourage and facilitate the church as a provider of social services of various kinds—substance abuse; child services; food kitchens; etc.
Freedom from governmental intrusion. The free exercise of conscience is a fundamental right. The church should have friends in the government—committed to averting government infringement or interference upon this basic institution.
POSITION STATEMENT #3: SCHOOLS
Missouri’s fine schools provide a forum for the acquisition of specific and relevant knowledge, for the exchange of ideas and philosophies, for the impartation of a wide array of life skills, and for community socialization and cohesion. The wide array of public, charter, private, parochial, and home school cooperatives provide the degree of choice necessary to allow parents to readily find a venue best suited to their particular family’s needs. We must be diligent to guard, protect, and never cease to fine tune and develop an ever-improving educational complex for the state of Missouri.
Competition and choice. Choice and competition are great motivators. Continued development of these can only enhance our education system.
Parental control. Since parental authority and choice in the education of their children is paramount, educational savings accounts (ESA) would be a possible initiative to develop and enhance such control.
Cultural adulation of our educators. Initiatives to enhance our teachers’ status among the ranks of Missouri professionals are essential.
POSITION STATEMENT # 4: BUSINESS
Small business is the engine which drives Missouri’s economy. This institution must be safeguarded and strengthened. Overburdening rules and regulations all-too-often prove the death-knell for many family entrepreneurs. Government should avoid an antagonistic or oppositional posture with small business; it should avoid an opportunistic outlook. Rather it should see itself as the partner of small business; an entity which blazes the trail for entrepreneurial pioneers.
Furthermore, business of all stripes and sizes should be encouraged by the state. Missouri should strive to be known as business-friendly--implementing initiatives designed to attract and keep businesses in our state. Additionally, a “buy local” mentality ought to be overtly encouraged.
POSITION STATEMENT #5: INCLUSION
There are a number of populations within our state who are—for myriad reasons—marginalized in Missouri society. Missouri government must take to heart our motto: “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.” For those on the fringes of society, it is incumbent upon us to affect inclusion.
Felon re-enfranchisement. For former felons who have fulfilled established restitutionary obligations; have genuinely altered their errant ways; and have demonstrated a good faith effort to assimilate productively into their community, there ought to be a prescribed means of re-enfranchisement into Missourian society.
Immigration policy versus national security. Issues of immigration and national security can certainly be intertwined. However—while vested national security issues are non-negotiable—immigration policy should be humane, welcoming to those who come with good intentions, attendant to “inalienable, natural law” human rights, assimilative in design and function, and committed to simple, clearly delineated—but non-negotiable—legal procedures. While the states are limited in the implementation of immigration policy, we should be actively engaged in this national discussion.
POSITION STATEMENT #6: FEDERAL-STATE DYNAMIC
Not only is there a constitutional balance between the three branches of federal government, but there is a constitutional balance of power clearly delineated between the federal level of American government and the governments of the individual states. This balance was designed by the founders to establish a government powerful enough to govern, but limited enough to avoid federal despotism. Over the years, the boundary between these two entities has become hazy. Federal reach has subtly, but surely increased with each passing generation. Until now, we find the federal government assuming an ever-increasing and prominent role in the lives of individual Americans which was never intended by the founders. The scope of federal government—whether intentionally or by unconscious drift—now far exceeds the original constitutional mandate.
The state of Missouri, in cooperation with amenable entities within the federal infrastructure and with other amenable states, should—through negotiated reorganization of the power structure—strive to reestablish the constitutionally mandated balance between the federal government and the several states.