Adam Hasner, one of the candidates striving to join Marco Rubio as a United States senator from Florida, signed the “Contract From America” today. This is a sequel of sorts to the “Contract With America,” a package of policies and principles that helped Republicans nationalize congressional elections back in 1994. Hasner is the first of the Florida Senate candidates to sign it.
“I’m proud to sign the Contract from America without hesitation,” said Hasner in a press release. “The foundational values represented in the Contract are the same pillars of liberty, economic freedom, and limited government that are the foundation of our campaign in Florida. With America facing generational challenges on spending, the debt, and entitlement reforms, values like the ones contained within the Contract are needed now more than ever.”
The importance of a document like the Contract From America extends beyond elevating a House or Senate race into a part of the national narrative. It is a sign of big-picture thinking, attractive to voters who want some idea of a candidate’s core principles, and his grand strategy for addressing the challenges facing the nation. Detailed policy should flow from big ideas.
“The purpose of our government,” the Contract declares, “is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country’s sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.”
In keeping with this sound vision of limited government, the Contract calls for a rejection of the disastrous “cap and trade” energy policy, runaway government spending, pork-barrel spending via earmarks, ObamaCare, and tax increases. It demands a balanced budget, a dramatically simplified tax system, a full audit of federal agencies and programs, and a rational energy policy.
Hasner launched his campaign with his own “Pledge to Floridians,” which included many of the same policies, plus additional promises to oppose taxpayer funding for abortion, defend the Second Amendment, pursue border security, and limit himself to no more than two terms in the Senate.
This kind of clear, concise platform statement is a good idea for any candidate to consider, whether they go with the Contract From America or create their own. This is not a year for handing voters a bag of policies cut into jigsaw puzzle pieces, which the voters must assemble to determine how the candidate sees our nation’s future.