The essential role of state government is to protect our rights to life, liberty, and the right and control of property from the harmful actions of others (including from the federal government as required), not to protect people from themselves; to provide essential government services that we can’t be provided at a more local level of government; to provide for the education of our children as required under our Utah Constitution; and to help those in our society who simply cannot help themselves.
Before I was elected to public office, I created a little card that I called my “I Commit” card, which I carry in my wallet to this day. Some of the most challenging legislation can raise a conflict between two or more closely held principles or beliefs.
This card lists the principles I value. I refer to this card frequently when considering legislation.
I COMMIT… as your representative, to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and of this State
- to secure to the State and to the people all powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution
- to promote excellence in education at the most local level
- to secure Utah’s lands and resources for the benefit of Utah
- to defend our right to keep and bear arms
- to oppose government interference and competition with private enterprise
- to defend and empower local government
- to support and fund only essential public services
- to exercise fiscal responsibility through cutting expenses, not raising taxes
- to defend our rights and freedoms through the efficient administration of justice and the rule of law
I ask you to join me in this commitment. State Representatives can only most effectively with the active support of their constituents. We can only uphold principles that our friends and neighbors believe in, value and uphold.
When I lived and worked in Japan, they had a popular saying about crossing busy intersections, “It’s not scary if we all cross together.” If you’ve ever tried to cross a busy Japanese street, you’ll know where this phrase came from! All around us, we see our liberties being eroded by special interest groups who seek for government to intervene for their particular needs at the expense of everyone else. They fear personal liberty and self-determination. But our wise Founding Fathers knew that in order to be free to succeed, you must also be free to fail, and learn, and grow, and pursue your own vision of happiness. And they believed that the American people had what it took to succeed and govern themselves. To make the necessary sacrifices to lift one another…harness their resources…and build up a nation of free people who would be a beacon to a flailing world…a light shining in the darkness of tyranny and hopelessness.
Let us uphold the principles of freedom with which we have been so blessed in this great land. Let us restore and protect those principles for our children…as well as our children’s children. I believe that as the rich blood of freedom that ran through our ancestors’ veins inspires and motivates us, we will meet head on the challenges and opportunities of our day with their blessing.