What We Believe

The Modern Whig Party can best be described as sincere, pragmatic and centrist. We believe in rational solutions over ideology, integrity over impunity, and authentic public service above all. 

Our core Modern Whig philosophy relies on several fundamental tenets:

INTEGRITY.  To us, integrity means basic honesty and a commitment to an ethical approach to politics in both thought and action. Whigs practice what they preach, live up to their promises and do not make promises they cannot keep.

Integrity also means accountability; no one is above the law and everyone should live by the same rules. You'll find Modern Whigs nearly mum on issues of social morality. On issues of ethics or integrity, however, we will hold our officers, leaders and candidates to the highest of ethical standards, above today's actual legal requirements.

MERITOCRACY.  Modern Whigs believe society should reward merit -- the combination of intelligence, talent, competence and hard work. An individual’s educational achievements, professional accomplishments, commitment to excellence and personal character should be the chief determinants of their financial and social success.

Similarly, proposed solutions to economic, political and social challenges should be formed and judged on a rational basis, not on prior prejudice, pure self-interest or false beliefs. We believe wholeheartedly in the power of a reasoning mind. 

INDEPENDENT THINKING.  Modern Whigs practice independent critical thought. We believe in challenging all assumptions, mapping and analyzing all possible solutions based on facts and potential outcomes, and not relying on party dogma as a source of political ideology.

Modern Whigs come from a place of discovery. We assume the best solutions are still waiting to be uncovered by an empowered and engaged electorate. An informed electorate who can approach issues with an open mind, without prior prejudice, is what our nation needs to forge bold new solutions built on firm common ground. We have boundless faith in American ingenuity.

Integrity, meritocracy and independent thinking are the foundation of the Modern Whig philosophy. Basing our project on these concepts allows us to look for effective long-term, sustainable policies not just for today's challenges, but for the next generation's as well. Our members are encouraged and expected to contribute to this process by helping to shape the discussion and support competent people for public office.

Modern Whigs are neither conservative nor liberal, and do not fit within a simple political paradigm. In fact, in a purely historical context, "classical liberalism" -- the belief in individual liberty, capitalism, representative government and the rule of law which forms the basis of our political system -- grew out of the first Whig movement in England in the late 1600s. In modern terms, we can be considered "conservative liberals." While we do indeed believe it's high time for a new political reality, the one we seek to create is intended to reinforce our traditional political and social order, not overturn it. 

We often say we favor methodology over ideology, meaning we look at issues through the prism of intelligent analysis and common sense rather than a rigid, predetermined outlook. While we embrace a wide range of viewpoints, we all share the same basic framework for analyzing any particular economic, political or strategic issue.

First, we consider principle: Is the recommendation constitutional? Does the level of government involved actually have the grant of authority necessary to take action? Does it conform to traditional American values of fairness, fair play, respect for individual rights and the rule of law?

Next, we consider practice: Will the proposal or policy actually achieve what it is intended to do? Are there unintended results we should be concerned about? Will it be cost-effective?

And finally we consider pragmatism:  Can the goal actually be reached? Is the policy or program based on a realistic assessment of available resources and capabilities? If it isn't, is it realistic to expect those resources and capabilities can be developed within a reasonable time frame? And how much will it cost?

We apply those three measures -- principle, practice and pragmatism -- to every analysis we perform. As you can easily imagine, working through those points can lead to some pretty robust debates within our party. But we welcome vigorous discussion, and we expect the energetic deliberations we engage in to result in the most rational policy proposals of any organized political party. We pride ourselves on the use of reason.

Ultimately, our core beliefs are easy to summarize. We believe in a transparent and representative government, acting with sincere determination to produce the greatest good for the greatest number while honoring, preserving and protecting the individual rights of all. We believe it's exactly what our Founding Fathers had in mind: a can-do government serving a can-do people.

Principles

Most traditional political issues have two well-argued sides.  Each side ignores the points made by the other and forms their own clean and simple answer to a problem.  To a Modern Whig, however, each of these answers has its own share of pros (included) and cons (arguments raised by the opposing side).  Modern Whigs are not constrained to choosing one of the traditional answers, but instead analyze the issue afresh, including all factors, ideas, and data to determine the best answer for Americans.  This requires careful thought and research to weigh the conflicting ideas and find answers that consider as many factors as is reasonable.  This derived answer is not found by picking a point in the middle.  It is not made easy by ignoring items that do not support it.  It is found by applying reason to a complex world.  These derived answers are seldom straightforward enough to result in a quick and simple answer.  We believe that the Modern Whig answer for a political issue is more complete and honest, however, because of this process.  

Principles, on the other hand, are not complex at all to a Modern Whig.   Exceptions to one of the principles below are rare so it is easy for a Modern Whig to condense them into a few words.  Not everyone sees these principles so clearly, however.  We believe that many failings of our government are caused by politicians making many exceptions these principles.   We therefore take all of these positions very seriously and are not willing to budge on them even a little.   There is not an exception clause or a nuanced position to be found in our understanding of them.  While our platform indicates the result of how we think, our principles are who we are.

We support the Constitution as the basis for the rule of law in this country.

Too many politicians are making up rules as they become deeply entrenched in discordant party lines and challenge any reasonable person who would stop them. We believe this presumptuous, yet all-too-common behavior in politics is dangerous and could undermine the trust Americans have in our constitutional system of checks and balances. When that belief falls below a threshold, the rule of law becomes irrelevant to the governed as well as those who govern. We stand behind the Constitution as written in 1787, as amended over the years, and as interpreted by the Supreme Court. We will defend the Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic.

We stand behind all the liberties guaranteed to us in the Constitution and its amendments.

We will hold out a large stop sign whenever government overreaches its authority and attempts to deny anyone of any of their inalienable rights. These rights cannot be given away, nor can they be taken from us without due process.

We stand for equal representation in government for all citizens. 
Our government no longer represents most Americans. Instead, it represents special interests willing to donate large sums of money to political campaigns for special favors. This is un-American and a shame upon all of us for tolerating it. We do not support candidates that take special interest or corporate donations and never will. We do not believe a democracy can remain healthy while it permits public officials to trade favors from the government for campaign contributions.

We stand for a balance between government’s responsibilities of sound economics, protecting the environment, and promoting the general welfare of all citizens.

We do not believe that raising the priority of one of these three responsibilities well above the others is healthy for society as a whole. We will be poor in spirit, poor in health, or just plain poor if balance is not maintained to provide the best solutions for Americans.

We stand for electing honest and humble public servants who serve all of the people.

We do not need a political aristocracy that believes their constituents are their servants instead of the other way around. We do need public servants who will serve all their constituents, who will work tirelessly to solve their problems, and who have the courage to inform them when a tough decision is needed. One corollary to this is that it is unrealistic to expect that all our public servants will be filled with integrity, humility, and a modest heart if the people they serve are corrupt and sell their vote to the highest bidder. As voters, we have a responsibility to hold ourselves and our elected officials to a higher standard.

We stand for solving problems today rather than kicking the can down the road for political expediency.

We are here to help. Delaying solutions to make an upcoming election more winnable is not why we are here. Once the can is kicked, the kicking never seems to stop. As Harry Truman famously said: “The buck stops here.”

We stand for using the best answer reason can provide to solve a problem rather than using the only answer a given ideology allows.

Parties will claim they use common sense to solve problems, but what they mean is they will draw on the same simple one-sided answer they have always used that never achieved results. Modern Whigs can choose from any viable solution that exists, be it right, left, or center, to find the best possible answer. We will examine all of the data and arguments to solve the problems of our country and fellow citizens. This gives us maximum ability to resolve national, state, and local issues by collaboratively finding what solutions work rather than avoiding compromise and clinging to solutions that do not work.

We stand for preserving our environment

No one wants to breathe pollution, drink contaminated water, or have harmful chemicals introduced into their own bodies. We do not want the ugliness of a scarred land, a garbage filled landscape, or soot coating everything we touch and the inside of our lungs. We neither want the beauty in nature lost nor do we want to show our grandchildren pictures of recently extinct animals. We do not want to ignore the threats of anthropomorphic global warming. By exercising a relatively small level of restraint and respect for nature we can live in a clean world that inspires us and hand it intact to future generations.

We stand for supporting the health, safety, and general welfare of all of our citizens.

A country can be wealthy and allow some of its citizens to suffer, but it cannot be great if it can stop suffering within its borders and it chooses not to. Education, immigration, political violence, social security, and healthcare should all be high priorities, yet nothing is being done to correct well known problems in these areas that threaten our citizens today and in the near future.

We stand for respecting and serving all Americans, not just those with the same viewpoints.

Political divides are reaching dangerous levels. Many groups are losing respect for their fellow citizens and their right to hold an opinion different from their own. People on both sides need to be heard instead of shouted down and silenced. Civility and respect are necessary components of democracy while abuse and hatred put us on the road to dictatorship.

We stand for civility, flexibility, and compromise in negotiating our way through difficult problems with many points of view.

People have a right to a different opinion and even to have their sacred cows, as long as they hold the latter to a reasonable minimum. In a mutually respectful environment, we can find the common ground and guide negotiations to help bring progress in solving problems. The key is being respectful. The opposite is occurring, however. Disrespect overwhelmingly creeps into political discussions. The opposing side of a debate is often seen as deluded, selfish, or just plain evil. Compromise is taken off the table as debaters refuse to negotiate with what they claim is evil. While Modern Whigs understand that negotiating with true evil is itself an evil, calling a difference of opinion between two reasonable sides evil and refusing to negotiate is likewise immoral. Compromise in the latter case shows respect for the opinions of others and allows progress on finding solutions to problems that cause Americans harm. Not compromising makes our citizens suffer without a solution, which is the true evil.

We stand for equal treatment of all groups under the law.

There is no room any longer in this country for dividing people into groups for the purpose of denying one or more groups their rights. The right to pursue happiness is not limited by race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disabilities, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. There have always been arguments put forth claiming that an entire group should have one or more of its civil rights restricted. This is the very definition of prejudice and is unacceptable. When we examine arguments from the past that sought to limit rights for American citizens, the true aim of such positions was often to perpetuate an advantage of one group over another. We must be better than that.

We stand for small government that is responsive to the people and serves them rather than seeks to pick away at liberty and income.

Big government is wasteful of resources and often gets big by providing services without an end goal in mind. Scope creep does the rest. Typical government departments are also, in theory answerable to Congress, but in practice they can levy fines and make directives to citizens without an independent means for citizens to seek relief if they are unfairly fined or if services are withheld. Big government eventually takes on a life of its own, perpetuating a problem rather than finding a solution. Small government that helps people help themselves is more efficient and impinges less on people’s wages and liberties. There are examples in the private sector today such as the United Way, the Star of Hope, and other groups that help people help themselves. Government needs to learn this lesson.

We stand for an end to verbal intimidation and physical violence to silence the political views of others.

The marketplace of free ideas will select the best ideas and scrap the worst ones as long as all ideas have free access. This is the basis for free speech and why it has worked so well for us when it is allowed to flourish. We cannot tolerate any level of intimidation on free speech or we start the process of losing it. Violence or threats of violence used to stop the sharing of any ideas is an anathema to democracy. How then do we respond to those whose viewpoints are also poisonous to our democracy? We respond to these as we always have. We allow people to peacefully express their opinions, no matter how objectionable, and then we give our own opinions on these disparate, even toxic, views. Americans will wholeheartedly reject a message of prejudice and hate. Allow the poison to be aired so they see it rejected and have no fantasies that censorship is preventing their ideas from taking hold. They will fail instead because they have terrible ideas that are incompatible with what America stands for.

We stand for capitalism and free market economies

While unbridled capitalism, as exhibited in the late nineteenth century, was harmful to society as a whole, a number of checks and balances have been placed upon it in the last one hundred years. This very American compromise has removed many of the excesses of capitalism while retaining its wealth-generating abilities for society. While people have argued whether the controls today are too heavy or too light, one can also argue that our economic system has out-performed every other system in generating wealth for all our citizens. Self-interest, when controlled, provides motivation in the form of monetary reward to produce more wealth.

We stand for meritocracy

When the intelligent, creative, talented, and hard-working are denied proper reward from these traits, they have less incentive to use them, and society as a whole suffers. Society must reward achievement with financial and social success or lose a major incentive for our most productive citizens to help drive the economic engine that supports us all.

We stand with the American people rather than for or against an ideology, a party, or a particular person.

If a person or party does something that deserves condemnation, their “side” will rush to their defense, making the same arguments the other “side” made when their person or party did the same thing. This is intellectually dishonest and a waste of a lot of energy. We put our faith in the American people. We are on their side and no one else’s.

We stand behind the right of the voter to choose the candidate that will best represent their interests.

The once powerful privilege of giving all of the political power in this country to the voter has been corrupted beyond recognition. Two candidates have a realistic chance to win an election for most elected offices, but often, neither truly represents the voter. The voter no longer gets a real choice and is therefore robbed of their rightful political power. We cannot allow this most important right to be made so completely irrelevant to the process. We support election reform.

We stand for independent and critical thinking in solving problems

Answers must explain all cases, include all data, consider all dependencies, respect the rights of individuals, conform to traditional standards of fair play, and not contradict any of our other principles.  Further, an answer must reasonably solve the problem, be practical and cost-effective in its implementation, and be carefully examined to mitigate unintended consequences.  Finally, the time and resources involved in implementation must be reasonably accounted for and not be so burdensome as to prohibit success.  This is a much taller order than picking the answer an ideology proscribes, but our nation’s problems can have a very high impact on our lives.  They deserve care in finding the best answer. 

Platform

Because Whigs value differences of opinion and independent thought, we do not necessarily take a position on every particular issue which may be fashionable for the moment. Rather, we propose a program of broad reforms, bold policies and sensible restraint we believe will strengthen our country as it faces the challenges of the 21st Century. Our purpose is to chart a path to a government which truly does, as the preamble to the Constitution says, "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."

As always, the policies we advocate are in line with our core values of integrity, meritocracy and independent thinking. At the very heart of our endeavor is a firm embrace of the clearest, and highest, ethical standard. We start with an unshakable commitment to an ethical public life, and we draw the inspiration for our core beliefs from the United States Military Academy cadet honor code: a Whig "will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do."

Whig elected officials and candidates for office who violate this simple code will be publicly disowned by the party. It is that simple.

In addition, as Whigs we are committed to a pragmatic, meritocratic, fact-based approach to problem solving which is neither clouded by rigid ideological dogma, nor corrupted by the influence of money.

With that, here are some of our positions on several of the key issues of the day. 

Political Modernization

Electoral reform lies at the heart of Modern Whig methodology. We believe all citizens have an equal right to be represented in the democratic process and an equivalent duty to participate in it. We oppose all attempts to limit participation or distort representation. Our current political system unduly restricts political competition and undermines the average citizen's ability to properly exercise their political rights and duties.

Modern Whigs support:

  • The implementation of approval voting for all state and federal elections
  • A runoff election between the two top vote-getters in presidential elections if no candidate wins a majority of the national vote
  • The adoption of the American Anti-Corruption Act as proposed by the non-governmental organization RepresentUs 
  • Ratification of a "right to vote" amendment
  • Redistricting reform, including the establishment of non-partisan citizens committees, to end the practice of gerrymandering 
  • A ban on elected officials working as lobbyists for five years after leaving office, and a similar ban on government employees doing business with their former colleagues after leaving for the private sector
  • Making Election Day a national holiday

Economy

Americans must face the fact that manufacturing, the engine of our economy for much of the 20th Century, can simply no longer generate the job growth our country needs. Globalization, automation, the Information Revolution and intense competition from rising powers such as China and India are the new reality.

Nor can consumer spending alone drive growth in today’s global knowledge-based economy. An economic model relying on people spending money they do not have to buy things they do not really need is a house of cards which will inevitably collapse under a growing mountain of debt. Whigs also do not subscribe to failed models of statist wealth redistribution. What our nation needs is a new economic model based on innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Modern Whig Party proposes:

  • Greater emphasis on and investment in our system of public education so the creative potential of every young person is realized
  • Generous grants and contracts to universities and corporations to support scientific research and development
  • Maintenance of a sound safety net to promote entrepreneurial risk-taking
  • Indirect investment by the general public in the commercialization of new ideas and discoveries through professionally managed public venture funds, with the profits returned to ordinary citizens as a direct "social innovation" dividend  

Education

In an era of unprecedented globalization, American economic competitiveness is dependent on the quality of our schools, colleges and universities. The strength of our civil society and vibrancy of our democracy depend on a well-educated, well-rounded citizenry.

Sadly, as is well documented in the comparative performance of our students on international tests, our public K-12 schools are currently not up to the task. In too many inner cities and rural areas learning conditions are appalling. Even in many prosperous suburbs, the quality of education is not what we believe it should be.

We can ill afford to let other countries take the lead in science, technology, engineering and math while our public schools languish in mediocrity. While charter schools may offer a temporary solution for some of the students currently trapped in low-performing public schools, it is a moral imperative that our public schools be fixed.

Whigs believe:

  • Academic rigor should be the supreme value in our schools. 
  • Getting into a teachers college should be a highly selective process and the training should be first-class.
  • Teacher pay should be based on merit, not seniority. High performers should be rewarded, low performers given additional training, and those who continue to under-perform despite the extra training should be let go and steered toward other careers.
  • Schools should move away from the late-19th Century factory model on which they were initially based and instead should resemble science labs. Teachers should act as mentors who help students discover what they excel at.
  • High schools and colleges should teach entrepreneurial skills and foster collaborative teamwork through inter-disciplinary projects.
  • Learning should be customized to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Testing should be less frequent, more consequential, and emphasize genuine problem-solving skills and depth of knowledge. Standardized multiple-choice tests which invite guessing should be eliminated.
  • State governments should ensure schools in economically disadvantaged areas receive at least similar, if not higher, levels of funding as schools elsewhere. 
  • A public college education should be debt-free.

Another great option as a Whiggish Solution for Education.

Equality

Modern Whigs have always supported equal treatment under the law for all adults.  We do not believe that the inalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are in any way negated by a person’s race, national origin, gender, age, religion, disabilities, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Strong Families

Strong families are the bedrock of all successful societies. In America, we often hear glowing talk about "family values," but the reality is that our country is among the least family-friendly in the world. For example, the United States is one of only three countries, the others being Oman and Papua New Guinea, that offer no paid maternity leave. Most developed countries also mandate some paid paternity leave as well, whereas the U.S. offers none. Developed countries also offer universal affordable child care to its citizens, and have done so for decades, whereas in the United States families struggle to pay thousands of dollars a year just to make sure kids are safe while parents are at work. In today’s globalized economy, where families with two full-time working parents prevail, this is no longer acceptable.

Modern Whigs believe we should:

  • Invest $70 billion annually in high quality pre-school programs to ensure each individual reaches their full potential
  • Commit $10 billion in annual federal grants to expand new parent training programs such as the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)
  • Guarantee at least 26 weeks of paid medical maternity/paternity leave  

Taxes and Spending 

The Modern Whig Party believes the federal tax code needs to be drastically simplified and made more equitable. The vast majority of loopholes, subsidies, exclusions, exemptions and deferrals should be eliminated; capital gains and other forms of passive income should be taxed at the same rate as earned income above a certain income threshold; and untapped sources of revenue (such as a tax on high-speed trading) should be explored to make reducing income tax rates fiscally feasible. 

Modern Whigs further support:

  • Greater use of lump sum payments to the states every fiscal year so governors, state legislators and county officials can effectively allocate funding to address local issues
  • Increased state participation and oversight where applicable to make federal government programs more efficient and responsive to local conditions
  • A top-to-bottom review of unfunded mandates and comprehensive reform of the practice  

Another great option as a Whiggish Solution for Taxes.

Energy Independence and National Security

Energy and national security are tied together. Put simply, our nation cannot be secure as long as we cannot meet our energy needs with our own resources. Without self-sufficiency in energy production and supply, we are subject to the often turbulent winds of international military, political and economic conflict. 

Whigs believe we must:

  • End our dependence on oil and develop alternative sources of energy (wind, solar, nuclear, etc.) in order to satisfy our needs without placing our economy and national security at risk
  • Move as quickly as possible so we also no longer have to support corrupt and autocratic regimes in order to obtain the fuel we need to power our economy  

Another great option as a Whiggish Solution for Energy.

Infrastructure 

Beyond question America’s infrastructure is in dire need of repair, rehabilitation and modernization. It's more than just a matter of falling bridges and failing levees, as important as those things are. The legacy energy, transportation, and communication systems we rely on are far behind those found in other developed countries, and if they are allowed to erode further the cost of restoring our economic competitiveness (and our overall standard of living) will begin to become prohibitive. 

Worse yet, a vulnerable and weak infrastructure poses a tangible national security threat; crippling energy and transportation systems over a century old -- or older -- is an easy thing to do, especially given their lack of redundancy. Waiting any longer to address the issue will only mean greater risks and a bigger job. The time to act is now.  

The Modern Whig Party advocates:

  • Implementing a domestic Marshall Plan focused on replacing our 20th Century infrastructure with modern, 21st Century systems
  • Creating public/private partnerships funded by government guaranteed infrastructure loan banks empowered to issue very low interest, very long-term bonds suitable for financing 100-year capital improvements
  • Encouraging and facilitating broad cooperation between industry and government to bring the combined expertise of two of our most fundamental institutions to bear 

Global Warming and Climate Change 

Modern Whigs value reason above all. For us, the question of whether global warming and the associated changes to our climate is happening, and whether human activity is the primary cause of it, is completely non-political. The best available science indicates unequivocally the use of fossil fuels is gradually driving the average global temperature higher, and as the temperature rises most of the effects will be detrimental to our way of life.

There are two immense challenges in dealing with global warming. The first is our civilization's dependence on fossil fuels as our primary source of energy. The second is the global nature of the problem -- both in terms of the entire planet's changing climate, and the fact any one country's initiatives to reduce emissions will mean little if other nations are increasing theirs. International cooperation is absolutely necessary if we're to avoid what is certain to become a very dangerous situation, eventually.

Ignoring the problem (or denying it exists) is a recipe for ultimate disaster. Focusing solely on cutting emissions will only buy time, and at tremendous cost to the world's economy and the standard of living of people around the globe. A comprehensive, holistic approach to shifting from carbon to sustainable and renewable energy sources is the only logical way forward.

The Modern Whig Party believes:

  • The necessity of rebuilding our infrastructure also presents an opportunity. As we upgrade our transportation, communication and energy systems to a modern, 21st Century standard we can tackle climate change at the same time by simultaneously moving away from our dependence on fossil fuels. And in the process we can develop innovative ways to create and distribute energy -- and share them with, or sell them to, the world
  • The best way forward is to create more energy, not less, and to do it in a sustainable way. The Breakthrough Institute's advocacy for a "high-energy planet" falls squarely within the traditional Whig emphasis on development, industrialization and economic progress. It's built into our DNA.
  • If we are to tackle the challenge of climate change we must tackle the challenge of creating a rising world at the same time. Greater wealth, more energy and a cleaner environment are attainable if we put in the effort -- but it's going to take a global consortium of public and private interests to do what must be done. America, as the leader of the world, should show the way.

Fiscal Responsibility 

Corporations or households aren't exempt from the basic rules of accounting and finance, and government shouldn't be, either. While it's true governments are not the same as households, and they will almost always carry some debt because of the way public budgeting works, overall government revenues and expenditures should match, excessive debt should be avoided, and a reserve fund should be maintained.

Modern Whigs maintain:

  • Deficit spending is truly acceptable only in times of economic crisis, natural disaster or war.
  • Practices such as unfunded mandates and pork-barrel spending are simply unacceptable.
  • Government should be held in a fiduciary trust for the people who fund it: the taxpayers.
  • Our Constitution empowers the government to "provide for the general welfare," not the welfare of specific groups who have either political or financial clout.

Financial Reform

The most recent economic crisis was primarily caused by excessive borrowing on the part of gigantic financial institutions for the purpose of engaging in unregulated betting on the value of derivatives backed by dubious mortgages. The post-crisis financial reforms of the Dodd-Frank Act include sensible measures such as limits on leverage, the regulation of derivatives trading (including market transparency and disclosure requirements and adequate reserve fund rules), annual bank stress tests and, perhaps most important of all, vital protections for consumers who too often have been victimized by unscrupulous business practices. We believe the reforms included in the Dodd-Frank Act represent real progress, and we oppose attempts to water them down.   

A properly-functioning market economy should not require taxpayer bailouts of private companies in order to maintain stability, and a free market economy shouldn't be a free-for-all. A combination of improper regulation and deregulation over the last several decades contributed greatly to the Crash of 2008; we must learn from the mistakes of the past and institute a regulatory regime which honors capitalism and free enterprise while protecting the population at large from the errors, mistakes in judgment and malfeasance of a few well-connected bad actors. 

The Modern Whig Party proposes:

  • Bank executives whose institutions require government bailouts should be "named and shamed," permanently banned from working in financial services and prosecuted if warranted by the evidence.
  • The employment contracts of senior bank executives should be required to include bonus "claw-back" provisions which can be exercised if they are found guilty of financial misconduct. Institutions must also admit wrongdoing as a condition of legal settlements and the fines they pay must be increased.
  • "Too big to fail" financial institutions should be broken up and a bank’s size capped at 3 percent of the total assets in the banking system, or roughly $500 billion.

Another great option as a Whiggish Solution for Financial Rerform.

Health Care 

We believe arguments over whether health care is a right or not are beside the point. Government often takes prudent action to ensure the overall well-being of the population regardless of whether rights are at stake; in the matter of health care, given the more than 50 year history of Medicare and Medicaid, we believe government has clearly established its central role in our health care system.

We think:

  • Health insurance should be available, portable and affordable for all citizens, with means-tested government subsidies for those who cannot pay in full.
  • Health benefits should be separated from employment -- the practice of saddling employers with costly pension and health insurance benefit obligations is hurting the ability of American companies to compete in the global economy.
  • The Affordable Care Act does not do the full job of extending health care coverage to all Americans. More research and work needs to be done, and legislative changes will have to be made in order to correct some of the shortfalls of the ACA while preserving some of its successes.
  • The ultimate goal should be to reduce overall healthcare spending while improving access, quality and efficiency and ensuring health care providers are fairly compensated for the vital services they perform. 

Another great option as a Whiggish Solution for Healthcare.

Immigration 

The United States is and has always been a country of immigrants. The Modern Whig Party understands the dual responsibility of securing our borders while also dealing realistically with those undocumented immigrants already in the country. Presidents as diverse as Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama have recognized the need to deal compassionately and humanely with our population of undocumented immigrants, and we agree; harsh proposals may satisfy some of our less honorable impulses, but do little other than satisfy the anger some feel toward those who have crossed our borders without authorization.

The Modern Whig Party proposes:

  • A program offering undocumented immigrants the opportunity for citizenship if they join the military and serve out their initial contractual term honorably. Undocumented immigrants would not be entitled to jobs requiring security clearances, but would be eligible for the G.I. Bill, Tricare and all other benefits afforded to U.S. service members who serve honorably.
  • Comprehensive reform of our immigration process to attract those whose skills, education and entrepreneurial spirit will enable them to become productive contributors to the knowledge-based economy of tomorrow. As our population ages it is crucial to augment the natural growth of our population with additional taxpayers who are willing emigrate to the United States and become productive, patriotic naturalized Americans.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for all who need them. Assimilation is a key element of our melting pot. While all of us should appreciate the various cultures making up the vast, diverse fabric of our national life, we believe all Americans should ultimately share a common language.

National Security, Foreign Policy and Veterans Affairs

As a patriotic party founded by American veterans, the Modern Whig Party is committed to a strong national defense. We believe America should act to defend its national interests multilaterally whenever possible, and unilaterally if necessary.

Whigs reject isolationism and favor:

  • Strong alliances with reliable partners who are willing to share the burden in the fight against our common enemies. The nature and faces of the threats to America have changed many times, and will undoubtedly change in the future, which requires flexibility in our foreign and defense policies. Whigs believe we should be a trusted friend to those who wish us well, and an implacable enemy to those who wish us harm. 
  • A constructive foreign policy based on our natural principles of freedom and self-determination. We recognize the diversity and complexity of the world around us, and understand the need for a constantly evolving defense and diplomatic strategy. The first priority of our government is the defense of the nation; no expense and no effort should be spared in guaranteeing our security. 
  • Adequate compensation for active duty service members, and access to the highest quality care and services through a well-funded Veterans Administration for those who have served. Adequate pay, pensions and support for both our active duty military personnel and our veterans is a matter of our national honor.