Starting is always the hardest part, so let’s just get to it. My name is Warren Rhea. I am a 29-year old American attorney working in corporate law in Gainesville, Florida. I am also especially interested in the relationship between law, economics, history, and policy.
I think that many of the challenges our country faces could be better understood and resolved through a closer look at where these four factors meet. That is why I am starting this project, which I have called “Rally for the Republic.” This was also the name of a defunct French political party and an event held by Ron Paul supporters – there are no connections to either of those. Anything I write here, I write representing myself alone.
I believe in freedom as a virtue in its own right, but not in the libertarian sense of the word, where government is vice and toll roads are virtue. Rather, I believe in an ordered liberty that thrives by means of an expansive and democratic republic of the sort conceived by the Founding Fathers of our country. I know they were flawed men in many ways – several of them were slaveowners – but their uniquely pragmatic, American approach to creating a framework which sustainably maximizes human freedom is an inheritance to be proud of.
I believe in the value of gradual change and of moderation in all things. Revolution has a poor track record of successfully improving people’s lives, and true leaps of genius are few and far between. The secret to the success of the American Revolution might well have been how modest it really was in revolutionary terms. More than a revolution, it was a restoration by the American colonists of freedoms they’d had and were at risk of losing.
In fact, in looking back to the American Revolution, I am reminded, despite the irony, of a quote from Nelson Mandela about the role of the British Empire in his own political development. From page 639 of Lawrence James’ Rise and Fall of the British Empire:
You must remember I was brought up in a British school, and at the time Britain was the home of everything that was best in the world. I have not discarded the influence which Britain and British history and culture exercised on us. We regarded it as the capital of the world, and visiting the place therefore had this excitement because I was visiting the country that was my pride … You must also remember that Britain is the home of parliamentary democracy; and, as people fighting against a form of tyranny in this country, we look upon Britain to take an active interest to support us in our fight against apartheid.
I think Nelson Mandela was the kind of man our Founding Fathers would have admired. They had the same spirit as he did – they used the best of the past to discard with as much of the bad of the present as they could, thereby building the foundation for a better future.
I believe the past has much to teach us about how to address the present. We Americans are more fortunate than any other people in the world to have a history which is, to its very beginnings, captured in documents written in what is substantially the same English that we speak today. We can all reach into the past to learn more about who we are, as one people from many beginnings, and that is part of what I want to achieve with this project.
I’m going to keep writing as it comes to me, but I have always taken time to edit my work. While I don’t like to take a Stalinist approach to historical truth, I’ve always edited my work after the fact when I look back and decide I don’t like what I originally wrote, so I’ll do that here from time to time. We might even end up with some decent reading.