We at Neighbors are a diverse bunch. We are divided into several chapters, and the kind of candidates you will see us help get on the ballot will vary depending on which chapter is sponsoring them. Still, we do have some things in common, and it is those commonalities which bring us together.
That the current method of selecting candidates for public office is broken, that both parties have been unduly influenced by their Washington D.C. Headquarters which in turn serves the interests of large donors. These donors are in many cases not even individual American citizens, but large corporations which are global in scope and therefore have no special affection for our country or its people.
We believe that not only is it completely unnecessary to vet local candidates, including our state legislature, through a political machine headquartered in Washington and controlled by persons or entities who do not know us, but that doing so necessarily makes our local officials accountable to someone besides the people they are supposed to be serving. Further, when members of the legislative branch are in the same political party as the Governor, they tend to support the plans of the Governor whether their constituents want those plans or not. We therefore believe that the legislative and executive branches should not be elected through the same political organization. When they are, the independence of The People’s Branch is undermined.
We further notice that under our current political system those in government and those connected to it are getting richer and richer, while the rest of us get poorer and poorer. Those who control the issue of our currency have arranged a system where vast quantities of money flows back and forth between Washington and Wall Street while leaving Main Street both under-capitalized and made responsible for the debt created in the process.
While we bear no ill-will toward our neighbors who lend their good names to one of the existing establishment political parties, we have concluded that left to themselves these Washington based entities will not be the ones to fix the mess which their own policies have brought about. For those who want to reform these organizations from within, we wish you success, but believe that internal pressure alone will not be sufficient to accomplish true reform. We propose to serve the good ends of any would-be reformers by applying pressure to reform from the outside.
We are grateful to live in a nation where we can re-claim our ancient right to self-government and we choose to exercise that right by selecting our candidates for the state legislature and local offices via decentralized networks which are undirected by national groups. We find our current candidate selection system is both overly centralized and overly interconnected, with the result that the voices at the top of the hierarchy are given disproportionate influence while those of the great mass of citizens, even those citizens who are most politically involved, are discounted. In addition, our formal governmental system of checks and balances between legislative and executive, local and state, state and federal, is undermined and circumvented by the overly centralized and interconnected political system. This too serves to concentrate political influence into fewer and fewer hands to the detriment of self-government.
We Endorse the view of Individual Rights espoused by The Founders- that they are Endowments of our Creator which are only recognized by the state, not granted by it. Rights are every citizen’s claims against the state, delineated areas of life which are the purview of the individual and therefore outside the scope of government. We further hold that government should at all times be bound by the rights which they themselves have recognized in our constitutions.
At the same time we reject the devious abuse of the language of rights to illegitimately separate the people from self-government through the spurious manufacture and imposition of contrived pseudo-rights which have no basis in the Divine, no root in our History, no expression in our Constitutions, and no consent from our People.
Let every infringement of the rights of the people be challenged by this view, and let every claim to a right be informed by this view.
We are not anti-government. Rather we are anti corrupt government. We oppose lawless government. We oppose partiality in the administration of justice. We support government in its necessary function of bringing wrath on those who do evil, and in its edifying function of granting honor to those who do good. When government does less than this, the innocent suffer injustice, and when government does more than this, the innocent can also suffer injustice. We are in the broad middle ground between those who oppose government in principle, and those who feel it is the answer to every human need. Our liberties are most secure when government does neither too much, nor too little, but rather does well that which is justly under its purview.
We understand that differences of opinion exist about the amount of government we ought to have. Whatever answer we think best, let us resolve to pay for it in present revenues, and reject this heinous policy of robbing the next generation, children with no vote to defend themselves from plundering, through the use of debt to pay for government services. Each generation should pay for the government that it wants, however much or little that might be. No generation should swindle the next by handing themselves state-sponsored largesse through the use of public debt.
We at Neighbors believe that the closer government policy makers are to the citizens they serve the wiser, more just, and more pleasing to the citizens that policy will tend to be. Poor government policy is easier to change, more within reach of the individual citizen, and if all else fails easier to escape, if polices are made at the local level rather than the state or national level. We therefore favor the decentralization of government power to the local level whenever feasible, especially on matters of great controversy where the public is evenly divided. We understand that this policy may produce a diversity of outcomes in various locales in our state. We do not view this diversity as a weakness, but as a strength, allowing people of various viewpoints to live in places where public policy on many questions is more to their liking. Traditional in our values, forward in our thinking.