Values Voters Summit, Lee: Conservatism is about big ideas

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Sen. Mike Lee told the audience at the Values Voters Summit it is time for conservatives and the Republican Party to develop a reform agenda and to once again become the party of big ideas.

For too long, Republicans have put off the difficult work of developing a modernized, principled conservative reform agenda to meet many of the new challenges of the 21st century.  There are many reasons why this is so. But I think the biggest is that in this city, conservatives often fall into a trap – defining ourselves by what we are against: Big government, debt, higher taxes and regulations, Obamacare. But we haven’t invested nearly as much time and energy in communicating what we conservatives are for.  I’m talking about more than simply the policies we advocate. Conservatism is not about the bills we want to pass, but the nation we want to be.

Last month, Senator Lee announced a tax reform plan that replaces today’s complex tax system with a new, simple structure that provides solutions for America’s ongoing opportunity crisis.  The “Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act” incentivizes social mobility, promotes middle-class economic security, and improves opportunity for all Americans.

The real goal – what conservatives are really for – is not an agenda for government. It’s a vision of society. A view of the world we want to build, together. “Together.” That word, “together,” is an essential – and too often overlooked – part of what we conservatives believe.  We’re all committed to bedrock principles of individual liberty, individual rights, and personal responsibility.  But the reason we fight for individual freedom is the strength, vitality, and value of the communities free individuals form.

The alternative to big government is not small government.  The alternative to big government is a thriving, flourishing nation of cooperative communities – where your success depends on your service. It’s a free enterprise economy where everyone works for everyone else, competing to see who can figure out the best way to help the most people.  And it’s a voluntary civil society, where free individuals come together to meet each other’s needs, fill in the gaps, and make sure no one gets left behind.

Click here for Sen. Lee’s full remarks at the Values Voters Summit.

Submitted by the office of Sen. Mike Lee

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews


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  • Brian Homerguy October 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    With the current shutdown game being played out in Washington, Mr. Lee has lost my vote.

  • Valerie October 12, 2013 at 10:29 am

    While i grew up in fairly conservative lifestyle being roman catholic i have lost my patience with the right movement that was my republican party. Senator Lee said it best, “For too long, Republicans have put off the difficult work of developing a modernized, principled conservative reform agenda to meet many of the new challenges of the 21st century”. I am not sure about them but i only have about 90 years to be on this earth the 4 years i voted republican were 4 years too many. I know that now , Thank you for your article i will never vote for him or people that think like him.

  • Gail October 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Sounds like a return to the Articles of Confederation. I prefer the US Constitution.

  • John Lofton October 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    FORGET, PLEASE, modern “conservatism.” It has been a failure because it has been, operationally, de facto, Godless. In the political/civil government realm it has ignored Christ and what Scripture says about the role and purpose of civil government. Thus, it failed. Such secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God they are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson’s Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:


”[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn.


“American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth.”

    In any event, “politics,” for the most part today, is whoring after false gods. It will not save us. Our country is turning into Hell because the church in America has forgotten God (Psalm 9:17) and refuses to kiss His Son (Psalm 2.) See, please, 2 Chronicles 7:14ff for the way to get our land healed.

    John Lofton, Recovering Republican
    Dir., The God And Government Project
    Active Facebook Wall
    [email protected]

    • philiplo October 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Refuses to kiss his what, now?

  • Chris October 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Can you explain the complete absence of any reference to God or any deity in the text of the U.S. Constitution? The Constitution is, in fact, a completely secular document. The intent of the founders is clear in this omission.

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