Why Consistency Matters


March 3, 2016 1:59PM

One of the bedrocks of the Beacon Center’s platform is consistency over partisanship. Each year when the members of the Beacon staff meet to discuss our policy initiatives for the following legislative session, the first and most important threshold the policy must meet is that it has to be consistent with our mission. Any policy we take on must empower Tennesseans to reclaim control of their lives from government overreach.

With that being said, we get attacked from both sides of the political spectrum, and part of being consistent means that we have to accept that reality. The Left and even some Republicans came after us hard for our objection to an unaffordable and immoral expansion of Medicaid in Tennessee. At the same time, many groups on the Right attack us for supporting an end to government subsidies for big business and for working with left-of-center organizations like the ACLU to stop the unconstitutional practice of policing for profit.

Historically, one of the politicians I respect most is actually former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. The eccentric Democratic congressman from Ohio, who apparently has seen UFOs, is actually someone for whom I have a great deal of respect. To be clear, I don’t think I agree with one single policy position he holds and would never vote for him in an election of any type, but he is one of the most principled politicians I have ever seen. He is consistent even when it is unpopular in a way that many other politicians are not.

How many Republicans say that they believe in free markets yet support giving select corporations taxpayer money or lobby for ridiculous trade restrictions? How many Democrats say they support small businesses yet support drastically raising the minimum wage and adding additional unnecessary regulations that cost the small business owner both time and money? The answer to both of these questions is almost all of them.

Ultimately, having a consistent policy platform is more important than being loved by everyone. The Beacon Center has continuously chosen principles over politics, and even though some may not agree with all of our policy agenda, we have earned the respect of many on the Right and Left alike. We will continue to stick to our beliefs rather than what is politically popular at the time.