The Blog

Don't Look Back

11:00 PM, Feb 21, 1999 • By JIM GILMORE
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In light of the conclusion of the Senate trial of the president, the editors of THE WEEKLY STANDARD asked 22 writers, thinkers, and political actors the following questions: "President William Jefferson Clinton has been impeached and acquitted. What have we learned? What should we do now?"


THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL of President Clinton is over. No matter what individual feelings are, as a country we should look to the future and not dwell on these recent misdeeds. Democratic and Republican leaders in Washington must now debate tax relief, education, foreign policy, and other issues that clearly divide the two parties.


Republicans must unite, take action, and look towards the future with optimism.


The Republican party must revitalize, not reinvent itself. We must communicate what we are for rather than what we are against. Republican governors are embracing this philosophy through meaningful tax relief and empowering people to better provide for their families.


The Republican party needs to promote and educate people about our initiatives of change -- change in the way we tax and spend the people's money; change in the way we educate our children; and change in making all government programs and services accountable to the people.


Tax relief, quality education, and responsible government promote economic freedom and empowerment. These are winning issues and they are inclusive issues. They allow Republican leaders to reach out to those who have been taken for granted or left behind and to give real hope for a better quality of life to all Americans -- black, white, Asian, and Hispanic; working men and women who can't get ahead; mothers and fathers everywhere who want a safer, more prosperous, and more decent life for their children.


Republicans must forge a new way of thinking. A new way of thinking that frees people to make their own decisions rather than having the government make decisions for them. A new way of thinking that liberates people through the educational opportunities they need to live their dreams, realize their aspirations, and raise their quality of life.


For the 21st century, we must embrace the notion that limited government can empower people with freedom and opportunity rather than burden them with taxes and a "government knows best" mentality. It is time for conservatives to remember why they want hard working families to keep more of what they earn. The role of government must favor the taxpayers by challenging individuals to take risks that promote economic growth.


Through my initiatives in quality education and tax cuts, Virginia's future looks promising. Leaders in Washington need to address these same issues that affect the daily lives of individuals.




Jim Gilmore is governor of Virginia.