23 Aug Identifying and Using the Top 7 Principles
Can you imagine a United States in which elected officials make decisions based solely on principles, and govern pursuant to philosophies that will help all Americans? Principle Based Politics exists to make that image a reality. The aim is to bring attention to the need for our national leaders to put principles—the right principles—ahead of partisanship, tribalism, extremism, and other harmful motives.
Basing political actions on principles no doubt already occurs, to some extent. The United States needs to build on that. Basing political actions on principles consistently is what our country needs, as only that will restore Americans’ confidence in our government. Principle-based politics will produce better laws, and it certainly will lead to a better law-making process. In short, adherence to principles will preserve democracy.
Principles are fundamental. Basing political decisions and actions on principles is essential.
Reviewing the Top 7 Principles for Federal Leadership
Starting next week, a series of seven posts, adapted from our earliest blogging a year and a half ago, will enumerate and explicate the seven principles we see as most important for the elected leaders of our federal government to personify.
All seven are crucial. We are not pollsters (thankfully enough!), but the belief here is that these principles are what the majority of voters want most to see in 2022 and beyond. We also are not mind readers (although that might be more fun), but we think all well-intentioned party officials and politicians would agree with every one of the seven.
In reading our next seven posts, you will be reminded that there really are good, positive principles political leaders—and all other participants in the political food chain—can embody. There also is a plethora of support for each of the principles we will identify. They have been the subjects of famous speeches; books have been written about some of them; laws built on them and lives devoted to them. It will be encouraging.
Principled Use of Principles
Now, we are not saying to politicians or anyone else that they must espouse principles they do not have or with which they disagree. We will try not to be didactic or to hector people to “be this way…have these principles.” What we sincerely encourage is depicted in the following chart.
Our message to voters
Our message to politicians
Nominate only candidates who demonstrate sound, positive principles that will move the United States of America forward.
Follow this five-step process: (1) Identify the decision or action at issue, (2) determine which principles apply, (3) consider which principles control, (4) analyze the impact of principles on outcomes, and (5) decide or act in accordance with this analysis.
Hold your elected representatives in Congress and the White House to high standards of principle in their decision making and conduct.
If you share the seven principles, prioritize them in your policymaking and decisions.
Please come back next week as we start reviewing the top seven principles we wish were honored by all federal leaders (and voters).
Written by Quentin R. Wittrock, founder of Principle Based Politics.
Look for his posts each week, as this blog will explore and promote the idea of principle in politics, both as to individual elected leaders and our federal government as an institution.