Who is President Barack Obama and what does he stand for? I used to think I knew, but after seven years of an unprincipled, meandering presidency, I'm not sure that even he knows.
When President Obama first ran for office, he promised “hope” and “change.” As a Republican who didn't vote for him, I nonetheless believed he might right some of the wrongs of the Bush administration. Instead, he has further concentrated power in the executive branch and eroded our rights.
The president's failings provide an opportunity for Republicans to grow our party, but to do so, we must genuinely stand for limited, constitutional government. That means spending less time on the excuse that we don't control every part of government and more time persuading others to join us on sound policy. More important, it means fully advocating for liberty—not just economic liberty but also personal liberty—for all people.
We must uphold the Rule of Law by ending cronyism and corporate welfare. Every person deserves equal protection under the law, and no corporation, group, or individual should receive special treatment under the law.
We must protect civil liberties and stop the surveillance abuses that violate our privacy, and we must defend the rights of all people to speak and worship freely.
We must reform our justice system to combat overcriminalization, and we must ensure that every person accused of wrongdoing receives due process and, if found guilty, fair sentencing.
We must pursue a rational, conservative foreign policy—focused on defending Americans, not bravado and rash interventionism. Our sons and daughters never should be sent to war without congressional approval.
In short, Republicans must embrace the fundamental principles of limited government that we profess to hold. I am honored to be leading the Republican Party in this direction, and I am grateful to the people I represent for their continuing trust.