Letter to the Editor: Principles Vs. Policies
Published: October 23, 2008
To the Editor:
Why should a candidate’s position on life be a basic criteria for how to vote?
If a person votes for a candidate based only on his pro-life/family values record, are they ignoring the other positions of the candidate such as on the economy, taxes, war, energy, environment, etc.?
Distinguish principle from policies.
Most disagreements between candidates and political platforms do not have to do with principle, but rather with policy. For example, it is a basic principle of our Constitution that people have a right to the safety of their own lives and possessions. We don’t see candidates campaigning on opposite sides of that principle. Instead there is agreement on the principle, but disagreement on the best policies to implement the principle.
A basic principle of our government is that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. … That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.” (Declaration of Independence).
To allow abortion, which is the killing of a human child in the womb, is to break the principle that every human life is sacred and to deny the principle that life deserves protection.
When a policy breaks the very founding principle of government, it is more than an ordinary political disagreement. That’s why a candidate’s position on abortion is about more than abortion. It is about the kind of authority government has. It is about who is ultimately in charge, God or government.
Candidates are supposed to advocate policies that advance the common good and the dignity of the human person. A candidate who advocates policies that violate those fundamental principles should not be elected to public office because he or she violates the purpose of public office.
A candidate of principle will always have the courage to make the right decision when it comes to policy.
John Virag, McDonough