"The world is not a lodging-house at Brighton, which we are to leave because it is miserable. It is the fortress of our family, with the flag flying on the turret, and the more miserable it is the less we should leave it."
-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.
Conservative answers to liberal problems Orrin Judd points to a New York Sun piece on the Urban Republicans in New York City. Like the Estonians below, these people are doing something I thought of a while ago. Well, sort of. I've always thought that someone should run under the banner "Conservative answers to liberal problems." Bush, admittedly, did that very thing in 2000, though without my slogan. And these guys are doing the same thing--again, without my slogan. The city has been neglected too long by conservatives, and I'm glad someone is doing something about it.
Something I learned in the Urban Church class I took in Amsterdam is that a) the city is chock full of people, and b) Americans (especially, say, liberal college professors) tend to presume that if you care about the city, you are liberal, and must go about caring for it in liberal ways. I'm glad to see the Urban Republicans challenging that. Check out their Statutes of Liberty (get it? Get it?):
We, the undersigned, pledge to…
1. Place Parents Before Bureaucrats Empower individual schools to make decisions and establish priorities that enable it to create an effective, competitive teaching environment. Empower parents, within this new competitive environment, to be able to choose the school best suited to their child’s needs, giving each student the best possible chance of receiving a high-quality education.
2. Place People Before Government Fundamentally change how government views the taxpayers – rejecting the concept that each person who lives, works or conducts business in NYC exists to support a bloated government bureaucracy. Implement both tax and spending cuts to bring our tax code, at the very least, on par with the second-highest taxed city in America, and our spending down to a manageable level that does not unfairly burden future generations.
3. Remain Vigilant in the Fight Against Crime Ensure that our neighborhoods remain the safe havens to which we have grown accustomed in recent years, and that we have the best-trained and equipped Police force in America. We will strive to keep the NYPD to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism.
4. Abolish Barriers to the Creation of New, Affordable Housing Streamline the process of, and eliminate the barriers to, building new housing, and encourage new construction with a guarantee that rents on these buildings will not be regulated by government bureaucrats, but rather be set by contract between owners and renters.
5. Fight for Good, Responsible and Responsive Government Reform the way that city government is run. Adopt methods of doing the city’s business that create competitive forces and efficiencies in delivering taxpayer-funded services. Create more competition in municipal elections by modernizing the election process itself - reducing the power of incumbency thereby ensuring that New York has the best, most dedicated public servants possible.
We believe that this platform will benefit every citizen of our great city, regardless of ethnicity, income level or political party affiliation. Through this Platform we will build on the history that shows that bold, innovative Republican ideas will make our city a better, more secure place to live for every New Yorker.
Sounds good to me, though they're still couching it in conservative language that is not going to catch the ear of someone who instinctively votes Democratic. They are, however, telling truths about the good that their policies can do, and hopefully that will start them down the path pretty well.