Flipping through some old files from my earlier campaigns I came across a letter written to party leadership in April, 2006, along with a "manifesto".  I don't see that my core values have changed during this time, but I found it quite interesting.  I soon remembered the scenario that led to the letter and values document.  The term manifesto has gotten a bum rap-often tied to probably the most famous manifesto (the communist one), but Ron Paul called one of his books a manifesto-so we find it used at both ends of the spectrum.

Today's leaders are careful not to fulfill the definition of manifesto in their words.  They hold their fingers up to see which way the wind (money too) is blowing, and then make decisions on that.  Not to be caught in flip-flopping or taking a position that might be unpopular with some, we see leaders with hidden agendas, scurrilous motives, and unable to take a stand for much of anything.  Looking back now, though I felt a bit indignant in having to defend myself, giving definition to who I am and what I believe has made me stronger in my convictions.'s all good.

My letter stated that it was done to defend my conservative nature and began with "To write briefly of my Republican"ness":  I am descended from generations of Republicans and for over a decade had the opportunity to glean insight from probably our best party model, Doc Bowen......Regarding a possible agenda, I have no defense.  I do have an agenda-it's called a vision, a set of goals.  The thought that it is somehow hidden is ridiculous.  Likely I have been scrutinized more than most because of what I have produced.  There has been nothing hidden or inconsistent since I returned to my community after college.  My agenda is to serve the public, to make our community and county the best they can be."

And now publicly for the first time, the Manifesto:

I believe foremost in modeling Christ as the method to which I will apply myself and weigh decisions.  I will make and have made mistakes, but it is core to my belief system.  My values have been instilled through generations of conservative family and political leaders I admire.  Doc Bowen has been my model of servant leadership, I also admire the vision Ronald Reagan outlined for our country and the rugged spirit of individualism Teddy Roosevelt adhered to.

I believe in individual rights, but with those rights come great responsibility.  We must not infringe upon the rights of others or burden our society.  While my responsibility may be to serve the public, I believe our greater responsibility is to the next generation.

One should teach a person how to fish rather than give them fish, but not permit them to starve in the learning process.  Empowerment of the individual makes contributing members of our society, but in that must be understood the need to act collectively as a community.  I believe in, and am a product of, a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit; my expectations of others are grounded in this.

I believe in order and enforcement of our laws.  There must be firm and appropriately severe consequences to the violation of our laws.

I believe in strict financial stewardship and diligent savings.  I do not believe in spending beyond available means.  I personally do not believe in the pursuit of wealth for its own sake; our calling should be our pursuit.

While me must continually find ways to streamline government and lower costs, I also recognize that our quality of life has the potential to attract people and investment to our community.  Dollars spent wisely will prove financially prudent long-term.

Private investment is the bedrock of economic success for society.  I also believe that there may be circumstances for government to apply itself or assist investment for the greater good when private investment on its own proves impossible.  I am also committed to the preservation of local vendors versus national competition for our local economy.

Government should set the standard for society.  Government should be a symbol of civic pride, just as our forefathers created it to be and left as a heritage for us.

We have been divinely appointed as stewards of our environment and therefore should work actively toward its betterment.  Our health depends largely upon its health.

I believe that there must be a vision for the future and careful planning to achieve it.  This vision must be one that is created by and for the people, championed by leaders and be grounded in our rights under the Constitution.


Unknown said…
Here's a Democrat that agrees with much of what you say. A strong and well-thought out statement. As per my small issues with it, that will have to wait for later discussion.
Keith Board said…
Very nice Kurt. I agree with all of it!

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