I am trying to be detached. I am a Republican who has taken a sabbatical until my party gets back to being what George Bush called a compassionate conservative. This is one who believes in free enterprise, competition and having a strong government to control free markets. These conservatives also recognize there are some objectives of society that are better overseen by government rather than the private sector.
My Republican party recognizes free markets purpose is to help meet the needs of society. Society is not here to meet the needs of free markets. Therefore, government has the responsibility of being a fair referee ensuring our markets are indeed free and not controlled by a few entities depriving society of the wonders of competition. Many conservatives today forgot what Milton and Rose Friedman in their book, Capitalism and Freedom, said of the role of government in a free society.
“…But we cannot rely on custom or conscious alone to interpret and enforce the rules; we need an umpire. These then are the basic role of government in a free society; to provide a means where we can modify rules, to mediate differences among us on the meaning of rules, and to enforce compliance with the rules on the part of those few who otherwise would not play the game.”
My Republican party acknowledges there are some functions better controlled by government than markets operating freely with no controls. These functions are generally those providing benefits to society as a whole including defense, basic research and development, preservation and optimal utilization of our natural resources including its people, education, care for the poor and needy, building and maintaining the countries infrastructure and of course the protection of free markets from corruption and unscrupulous behavior.
Sometimes both parties lose their way and presently it is my party, the Republican Party, that has gotten too far off track and needs to take corrective action. The Democrats have also made blunders including their handling of health care reform. We needed health care reform but it went too far and the Democrats, and the country, are now paying the price of not allowing sufficient Republican input into the passage of the bill.