Our state must get back on track — in pursuit of ‘the Colorado way’
Author: Barry Farah - April 9, 2018 - Updated: April 9, 2018
I have a vision for Colorado – I want all Coloradans to be able to securely enjoy the blessings of freedom principles — principles rooted in the American Idea.
The American Idea evolved over millennia through people who had a quest for freedom. The highlights include the Magna Carta in the early 13th century, which established an opening for a shift in power away from one person to many. By the 17th century Holland pioneered private property rights and granted tolerance to people of different religious beliefs. Then, Holland boomed.
By the late 18th century the Colonies made a Declaration that encompassed the American Idea: that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not Government’s to dole out. They are granted by God. Government’s role is to protect them.
The American Idea is not based on a people group, a geography or language. It is more transcendent. It is the idea that you can govern your own life without unnecessary interference from government so that you can speak, worship and live freely. And, while encompassing the concept of private property, the pursuit of happiness is broader and richer. The spectacular results have come to be known as the American Dream.
A century after that famous Declaration, Colorado became a state. We had a few failed runs before we settled on our name and finalized our state constitution. We produced one of the longest constitutional documents in the country. It is possible that we over-compensated for certain things, but the concern was straightforward — we wanted to keep the government in check. We wanted to make sure no single person or political group had too much power. We wanted to remain free.
Colorado means things to us. It means rugged individualism. But, it also means being neighborly. I remember packing a flat tire from 10,000 feet into town (we had no spare). I was 17, had long mountain hair and a big honkin’ truck tire on my backpack. But, once I got to a paved road along the Rio Grande, the first local stopped to pick me up. This was between Creede and Lake City. I had built a log cabin with a buddy before college. The flat tire was one of many as we gathered logs the old-fashioned way. But the point is, people in that area even left their keys in the car to make sure a neighbor would be able to get help in an emergency.
That kind of thoughtfulness comes from the personal security of being self-governed; internalized virtue that leads to adding value to others with purpose. Government should do some things, but with humility and not beyond its bounds.
My concern is that we are losing the Colorado way. Big Government politicians seem more interested in stripping you of your God-given rights than protecting them. Establishment politicians seem to be more interested in cashing in on deals than governing from principle.
As your governor, I will be committed to protecting your pursuit of your own American Dream. I will govern from principles first, not political expediency. For example, I can appoint dozens of judges who esteem freedom; introduce humility to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and DORA with new appointments; bring accountability and transparency to CDOT and PERA. And, I can make sure redistricting is fair and not monopolized by Big Government politicians.
At this time in my life, it would be an honor to bring the skills I have cultivated over 30 years as an executive, a problem-solver and a principled negotiator to set the stage for Colorado to once again honor freedom principles. And, I deeply believe that is best for all Coloradans.