Former Vice President Mike Pence delivered a remarkable speech last month in New Hampshire, entitled “The Republican Time for Choosing.” While we aren’t endorsing any presidential candidate, we do believe Mr. Pence’s speech is worth your read.
The Wall Street Journal reprinted an abbreviated version of his excellent remarks that you can read here:
The Republican time for Choosing
by Mike Pence
For the Wall Street Journal
Republican voters face an important choice next year. It will determine both the fate of our party and the course of our nation. Will we be the party of conservatism, or will we follow the siren song of populism unmoored to conservative principles.
The divide between these two factions is unbridgeable. Conservatives like me believe that man’s rights come from God and nature, not from the state. Like our founders, we know the imperfect nature of men and women and that granting them unlimited power imperils liberty. That is why we have a brilliant system of checks and balances, divisions of authority, coequal branches of government and sovereign state governments. Conservatives understand that to advance an agenda on behalf of the American people, we must work through this system.
For decades, conservatism’s ideological rival has been liberalism. The radical left has now taken the Democratic Party into the abyss of progressive socialism under the guise of the woke climate agenda.
But today another strain of this ideology challenges conservatism from within and for control of the Republican Party.
Populist movements have long been part of America’s politics. They have most often been led by Democrats and leftists, such as William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long and Bernie Sanders.
But a populist movement is now rising in the Republican Party. This growing faction would substitute our faith in limited government and traditional values for an agenda stitched together by personal grievances and performative outrage.
Republican populists would abandon American leadership on the world stage, embracing a posture of appeasement in the face of rising threats to freedom.
Republican populists would erode our constitutional norms. A leading candidate last year called for the “termination” of “all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” while his imitators have demonstrated willingness to brandish government power to silence critics.
Republican populists would have us trade in our time-honored principles for passing public opinion.
That isn’t a trade I am willing to make. I am an unapologetic conservative who believes that strong national defense, limited government and traditional values must guide our nation as much today as they have guided our party for the past 50 years.
Should the new populism of the right seize and guide our party, the GOP as we have long known it will cease to exist.
If we are to defeat Joe Biden and turn America around, the GOP must be the party of limited government, free enterprise, fiscal responsibility and traditional values.
Mr. Pence served as vice president, 2017-21, and is a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. This article is adapted from a speech he delivered recently in New Hampshire.