Principles Matter.

By Aaron Whitener
Watauga Chairman

Reality is that the Republican Party in Watauga County and across the United States has suffered some set backs in recent elections. Some in our party lost their way and have paid the price at the ballot box. Others were victims of the tsunami caused by the Obama campaign. These set backs have led some in our party to question the direction of the party.

This weekend I attended the North Carolina Republican Convention in Raleigh along with 12 other delegates from Watauga County. The race to become NCGOP Chairman had become a heated one and the convention center was packed with passionate Republicans from across the state. While I do not like to see negative campaigns within the party, it was exciting to see the enthusiasm with those in attendance.

President Ronald Reagan once said, “When the chips are down and the decisions are made as to who the candidates will be, then the 11th commandment prevails and everybody goes to work, and that is: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.” Former Raleigh Mayor, Tom Fetzer was elected NCGOP Chair and at the end of the vote, all four candidates stood on stage, arm-in-arm, pledging party unity. We find ourselves at that moment.

Regardless of past ills or disagreements, we are united by common principles and a common purpose. Now is the time for us to come together as a party. The principles of smaller government, lower taxes, personal responsibility and strong national defense unite us. Our purpose is to elect individuals who will adhere to these principles and I feel the best vehicle is the Republican Party. If you are a disgruntled Republican, we want you back. If you are an Independent or Democrat who shares these principles, you are welcome in our party.

How do these principles affect your daily life?

Smaller Government: A smaller government gives you more opportunity. Today Big Government is creeping into nearly every aspect of our lives, eroding our freedoms and opportunities. Bigger government throws up roadblocks to innovation by creating the sort of rules and red tape that keeps bureaucrats in a job and keeps entrepreneurs out of the marketplace. Republicans on the other hand hold to the principle that less government means that you have more choices and more freedom. You get to chose what doctor you can see and where, and how to save for your own retirement, or whether to own a gun or not,

Less government puts citizens back in the driver’s seat, instead of making decisions about how we live by edict and fiat. It leaves the churches, charities, and social organizations to help people, and doesn’t discourage you from giving to them. Government doesn’t own the air you breathe or the water you drink, and it shouldn’t be able to dictate their use to you.

Lower taxes: includes every time you see the word fee on your cable bill, or pay that sticker fee for your car. It means Uncle Same drains less from your paycheck each month and doesn’t demand even more at the end of the year. Take a look at your end of the year tax statement and add up STATE, FEDERAL, FICA, etc. Then add up vehicle taxes, property taxes, telephone fees, and miscellaneous licenses. When you are done, add ever penny of sales tax that you pay at the pump, the grocery store, restaurants, and Wal-Mart. What do you get for all that money? Would having a little less government along with more money in your wallet make your life easier? If you say yes, we have a place for you in the GOP.

Personal Responsibility: Personal responsibility means that you are solely responsible for the decisions that you make and the direction for your life. With all the bailouts in DC and elsewhere, one wonders if bad behavior has consequences anymore. Part of having the freedom to succeed in America comes with the freedom to fail. Not every company can be a Fortune 500 company and not every business will succeed. We should not be punishing those successful companies by increasing taxes and crippling regulations while subsidizing those companies that are less productive.

We are living in an era where the size of government is expanding at an unprecedented pace. Big government is present in every area of our lives. It was Reagan who said, ”Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.” He cautioned, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.”

Remember it is “We the People” that give power to the government not the other way around. If you tired of people receiving bailouts and handouts when you have done everything by the book, we want you to be involved in the Republican Party.

Strong national defense: The primary constitutional role of the Federal government is to protect and defend this nation. America is a safer nation when America is a stronger nation. We must support our men and women in uniform by fulfilling the promises our nation has made to them. We must equip these brave individuals with the best equipment and technology in the world. And we must never cower before rogue regimes or terrorists who threaten to hold us hostage because of our love of freedom and democracy. America is the beacon of liberty and freedom for the world. We owe a great debt to those who have served our nation and who are presently serving for the great sacrifices that have been made to preserve these freedoms.

We won’t split hairs with Democrats who criticize us—that’s just part of politics. And to play that game often serves only to distract from Republicans’ core goals and beliefs. Instead we will focus on attracting new voters. We will continue to work together as a group across every level of government to make life better for all North Carolinians.

Events like a 300 person strong tea party on April 15th and a Lincoln Day Dinner in Blowing Rock that drew more than 250 two weeks ago demonstrate that the limited government ideas of the GOP are still resonating with average North Carolina voters. Conservatism is offering something that people want – more freedom. If you want to learn more about the Republican Party or to get involved, please visit our website at


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