The following were prepared remarks by Daniel Encarnacion, South Carolina state secretary of the RLC, for the Lowcountry Conservative Breakfast in Summerville, SC on January 12, 2013.
The Republican Liberty Caucus was founded in 1991 to promote limited government, free markets, and personal liberty within the Republican Party. With the help of my colleagues here as well as our national leadership and dedicated members, the RLC has become the leading Republican Party organization that represents liberty Republicans and Constitutional Conservatives.
We see things like the fiscal cliff fiasco which just happened in Washington where taxes increased on 77.1% of the American people, spending went up by $330 billion, and the deficit widened by $4 trillion and believe our nation can do better.
We see our Congress giving President Obama the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without due process or right to see a judge on simply the allegation by the President that he is a terrorist, doing a way with nearly a millennium of due process guarantees under Magna Carta and we believe our nation can do better.
We see our nation printing money at a record pace under the control of a central planning board that has complete control of our monetary system – the Federal Reserve System. If government cannot be trusted to centrally plan our food, electronics, or health care – what makes us think it can centrally plan our monetary system? We believe our nation can do better.
We see our government using public works projects in the name of stimulus to try and build a nation’s economic system and centrally plan every aspect of society. But we do not only see this effort of big government central planning here at home – we also see it overseas with this ongoing fascination with nation-building. Nation-building that weakens our national defense by distracting our armed forces from their core mission of protecting the borders of the United States. We believe America can do better.
We see an effort to undermine our nation’s health care system through government boards, mandates, and taxes. We see our Supreme Court stand by doing nothing to enforce the plain meaning of the Constitution that would protect us from this egregious federal over-reach. And of course we see the media and the political lefts to block the implementation of ObamaCare through tools that our founders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison left us like state nullification. We believe our nation can do better.
Here in South Carolina, we see a state with one of the highest income and sales tax rates in the southeast, the highest manufacturing tax in the nation, and double-digit growth per year spending that was nearly $23 billion last year alone. We believe our state and our Republican Legislature can do better.
We also see the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked South Carolina 50th in education last year. We need to offer choice to parents, more free market solutions, and give more control to local officials. We believe that our South Carolina can do better.
We can do a lot of things better and the Republican Liberty Caucus draws attention to these issues through candidate endorsements, grassroots activism, and online activism – which helps connect to and appeal to our key constituency and what we believe we can help the overall Republican Party with: young voters.
It’s because of young voters that I have hope. There are real problems in this country and in this state. Yet we turn on the TV and hear the professional commentators saying we need to be more like the Democrat Party to be relevant. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s a bunch of nonsense and all we have to do is look at voters under 30.
Young people have been voting in higher percentages than they have in a generation. They are engaged and they are demanding real changes. We saw the excitement in our own primaries among young voters for certain candidates like Ron Paul. But they are seeking out a political agenda that is genuine and consistent.
Now do we all here agree with Ron Paul on every issue? Sure. Perhaps you disagree with me on some of the positions I mentioned earlier? But the core philosophy that these young voters believe deep inside and that we in the Republican Liberty Caucus embrace is limited government. We want big government out of our lives. And isn’t that what all of us here believe? Some just go further than others when it comes to particular issues. But we are all heading in the same direction, and while we’re on that journey together, let’s embrace the common ground that we share.
In 2010, the Republican Party won a majority with the help of young voters because its message of limited government, cutting spending, and reducing taxes was embraced by the country. In 2012, the Republican Party lost because it didn’t stick to those principles. We must stick to those principles going forward. And that is what young voters in the liberty movement want.
Because when we see millions of 18 to 30 year olds reading books about free market economics from thinkers like Rothbard, Mises, and Hayek. Isn’t that incredible? That’s not supposed to happen. The statists think that young people are supposed to be manipulated into thinking government has the answers to society’s ills by the state-sponsored diploma mills. But instead millions of young people are studying the truth and know that their government has failed them – because big government doesn’t work. And the Republican Party ought to embrace that. It ought to embrace them. It must not push young activists out of the party or out of Republican groups on Facebook. Our party should welcome their participation and welcome their activism on behalf of limited government, free markets, and personal liberty.
And that is where the Republican Liberty Caucus comes in. We are the voice of liberty Republicans, constitutional conservatives, and young voters dedicated to freedom. And we believe that when the Republican Party embraces our members as well as other tea party conservative groups that the political left and the entrenched political powers that rely on big government to perpetuate their own self-interests will wither away as we promote what we all in our hearts believe to be true: That we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.