One of the blessings of being out of work, if one can describe it as such, is time. It's like a child being put in a timeout; I can either pout or wallow in self-pity – and hey, I've done it – or I can be still and learn while I wait on God's timing. It would be easy to focus on the negatives of the past few years since I'm an optimist by training, not by temperament, so I've been assessing the gains from my two attempts at elective office – the networks I've developed, the relationships I've built, the writing I've done and the skills I've honed to be a spokesperson for what I believe – and thinking about how to preserve them. I still care deeply about my country, and I still believe I have something to offer my fellow citizens.
To that end, I'm going to keep my website, Team Ron Miller, up and running, except it will be an online community rather than a campaign site. I am still a correspondent for Regular Folks United, Red County and Southern Maryland Online, and I will keep writing about current events and issues to offer people information and opinions they won't get from the mainstream media.
If I'm invited to speak at a Tea Party rally and I can make the time, I will be there. By the way, isn't it amazing how those Tea Party "racists" continue to invite me to speak and treat me so well when I attend? Frankly, the only time I encounter racial slurs are when they're hurled at me by liberals, black and white, who hate my outspokenness on individual liberty, personal responsibility, free markets and my unabashed love for America.
I'm tweaking the web site to be more of a meeting place for liberty, and one of the things I'm working on is a statement of beliefs – my worldview in black and white. I welcome your thoughts on it.
First Things First
- Whatever one places first in their lives governs everything else that follows. I place Jesus Christ first in my life as my Lord and Savior who came, died and rose from the dead to intercede on my behalf with a pure and holy God, thereby guaranteeing my salvation. My works on earth are not to gain favor with God, but to show my gratitude through my obedience. In Him I find purpose in this world and eternal life in the next.
Freedom of Religion
- People of other faiths, or no faith at all, have nothing to fear from me or my fellow Christians. Our God is a God of free will, and the same liberty that has allowed Christianity to thrive in America protects all expressions of faith, or lack thereof.
- The First Amendment protections of free speech, freedom of religion, freedom to assemble and freedom to petition the government, are applicable to people of faith as well as all other Americans, and they cannot be denied the exercise of their rights because of their religious beliefs.
- A nation in which liberty is proclaimed throughout the land must also be a moral nation. Liberty without morality is anarchy, and morality without liberty is oppression.
- Our houses of worship should transcend politics and the debates of the day, and help us to develop and maintain virtue in the exercise of our liberties. John Adams said, "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
- People of faith should not be silent in the face of public injustice or immorality. We who place our trust in God are called to be in the world, even though we are not of the world. If we are not salt and light to a world that needs us, then we are useless to God.
- Our founders, whether they were Christians, deists, agnostics or atheists, read and studied the Holy Bible and, from its pages, derived the American principles of individual dignity and worth, personal liberty, freedom to create and subsist on our bounty, governmental authority limited to the roles of protector and enforcer, and the importance of virtue in a self-governing society.
Proud to be an American
- America is exceptional not because we are like everyone else but because we are unlike anyone else. No other nation in the history of man has done more than the United States to advance the cause of liberty, save lives, or care for the hungry, homeless and hurting around the globe.
The Role of Government in our Republic
- Government is inherently a protector and enforcer, not a provider. The Bible calls government "an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer." George Washington said, "Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. Government is force; like fire it is a dangerous servant -- and a fearful master." James Madison said, "The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."
- Government is charged with national security, public safety, public infrastructure and the administration of justice. Beyond those roles, if it isn't in the Constitution, it is a violation of the supreme law of the land.
- When we fail to understand the nature of government, and we allow it to become more to us than it was intended to be, it becomes ponderous and destructive like a large-bodied, feeble-minded dinosaur trampling the landscape.
- Government is in constant conflict with liberty, and we must ensure that liberty prevails, or we are in bondage.
- Those who seek to place more power in the hands of government should be wary of doing so, for the government they embrace today may not be the government in control tomorrow.
- Our elected officials work for us, not us for them, and we should not tolerate them treating us with contempt.
- Our unalienable rights are not a privilege granted by man or government, but a birthright from God.
- The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America, and the Bill of Rights are the global standard for individual liberty and self-governance. All questions on human rights and the role of government are answered by these documents.
- The right to life is the first and most essential of our unalienable rights, reflecting the dignity and worth of each individual in the eyes of God, in whose image we are created. Without it, no other right could exist, and if there is doubt, we should always err on the side of life. There is no liberty without life, and the pursuit, not the guarantee of happiness, is the reward of liberty. That means I will defend life at all its stages so every human being has a shot at living in liberty and pursuing their dreams.
- Individual liberty is the unit of measure by which all government policies and action should be evaluated, and government should promote and protect individual liberty, not deny or constrain it.
- The relative disharmony and conflict of liberty is preferable to the siren song of conformity, which is a signpost toward tyranny. Thomas Jefferson once said, "The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave," and while it would be clean and convenient to restrain those people or institutions that bother us or act legally but selfishly, the truest test of our devotion to liberty is when it benefits even those we dislike.
- The purpose of our Constitution is to constrain government, not to enable government to constrain the people.
- The right of the individual to keep and bear arms is the last defense of liberty against tyranny, the lawful against the lawless. Don't treat law-abiding gun owners like criminals – reserve such treatment for the lawbreakers with guns.
- Conservatism is the devotion to and defense of liberty over authority, individualism over collectivism, prudence over impulse, and evidence over emotion.
- The desired outcome of conservative governance should be a nation true to its founding principles.
- Conservatism is, at its heart, prudence and restraint over impulse and emotion. Go slow – every policy has unintended consequences and an impact on real lives.
- A person has the right to earn, possess and enjoy the fruits of his labors; that is the founders' intended and documented purpose for declaring the pursuit of happiness an unalienable right.
- Capitalism is the most productive economic engine in world history, because it frees human beings to create wealth to the fullest of their talents and industry. Capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system or government program in the world.
- Wealth grows when you and I get to keep more of what we earn, and we spend it wisely, save it, invest it, or use it to become entrepreneurs who create jobs and generate more wealth for families and the community.
- Free markets allow businesses to compete fairly, and competition is good for the consumer and the economy. Businesses should not look to the government to make laws that give them an advantage over their competitors.
- Small businesses are the engine that drives American economic growth, job creation and wealth production. They should be relieved of as much of the tax and regulatory burden as possible so they can thrive, and our communities along with them.
- Government cannot create wealth; it can only confiscate and redistribute it. Therefore, government is dependent on a strong private sector to meet its obligations, and should do everything in its power to energize our businesses to produce and create jobs. That usually means government must do less, not more.
- Government should not be charged with meeting our needs, for its provision comes at the expense of our freedom.
- Care and compassion begin at the lowest level of human interaction – the family. From there, friends, neighbors, communities, private charities and houses of worship exist within the circle of care.
- Charity is a voluntary act of generosity by individuals or associations; it is specific, intimate and requires personal sacrifice for another's benefit. It is neither charitable nor compassionate to petition government to confiscate your neighbor's earnings, no matter how noble the cause. It is coercion.
- Government's shortfalls as a charity are its distance from the point of need, the inefficiency and waste of feeding a massive bureaucracy before a single person is helped, and its inability to deliver anything other than generic help, no matter how well-intentioned.
Family and Marriage
- The trilateral construct of the family – mother, father and children – is the foundation of civilization. While I will always have compassion for those who, through no fault of their own, do not enjoy the benefits of having both parents in the home, I will defend the family against deliberate efforts by government or society to undermine its authority and viability.
- The family is the first and most critical level of governance in an orderly society, because it is the best possible environment for raising, nurturing and modeling responsible male & female behavior for children. The institution of marriage is designed primarily to create a stable and lasting environment for children; self-fulfillment is an ancillary outcome.
- I am empowered to make the choices for my family, especially my children, and the state will not raise them nor teach them the selfish, hedonistic, and rudderless so-called "values" so prevalent today. That is a task assigned to me by God and I take it seriously when government tries to interfere with my familial duties.
Respect for Others' Choices
- Consenting adults in permanent living arrangements, regardless of orientation, gender or relationship, should be allowed to enter into legal contracts to make life decisions for one another.
- No one should be discriminated against in the workplace or in public institutions for consensual and legal behavior conducted in private. That is antithetical to our nation's guarantees of liberty and opportunity.
- Parents and children should come first in decisions regarding education. More choices in education and accountability for results are essential to effectively teaching our children, and we must institute these principles today, not somewhere down the road while we wait for public education to improve. We cannot lose another generation to hopelessness.
- America is a beacon to millions of people from around the globe who emigrate here in accordance with our laws every year. We dishonor their respect for our laws when we enable illegal immigration, either by commission or omission.
- Proponents of illegal immigration do not have the high ground when it comes to the morality of how we are to treat these desperate people. Illegal immigration is an immoral act.
- It is immoral to violate the rule of law, especially when there are legal paths to immigration.
- It is immoral to implicitly condone the status quo of government corruption and economic malpractice in their home countries by encouraging them to flee.
- It is immoral to subject illegal immigrants to mistreatment, capture or even death as they attempt to cross our borders.
- It is immoral to implicitly condone their exploitation by unscrupulous employers who pay them meager wages and offer no benefits.
- It is immoral to take bread from the mouths of poor people in our own country who cannot work for the substandard pay and lack of benefits that illegal immigrants are forced to endure.
- It is immoral to subject our citizens to the rising crime rate caused by illegal immigrants who bring gang violence and other crimes into our neighborhoods.