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Politics can seem so complicated at times. And if you have ever tried to wade through a 500-page congressional bill, excessive complexity is usually the nicest thing that can be said about it.

But the most important things in politics are actually quite simple.

Here are ten straightforward principles that each citizen can use to guide his or her evaluation of candidates, officials, and their policy proposals.

  1. If the government decides for you, it will rarely be as good as the decision you would make for yourself.
  2. Government will never deliver a utopia. Efforts to do so are dangerous.
  3. No one official should have too much power.
  4. Judges and executives (presidents and governors) should not have the power to make law. That’s too much power in one set of hands.
  5. The federal government was created to do things the states can’t do. So if the federal government intervenes on a state-level issue (such as education), you know two things: it’s acting unconstitutionally, and a lot of money will get wasted.
  6. Government should never get to decide what is orthodox in any matter of public opinion. (That’s straight from a Supreme Court opinion.)
  7. The Second Amendment wasn’t designed to protect hunters; it aimed to ensure that the people can defend themselves against tyranny.
  8. Religious freedom and freedom of speech are for everyone.
  9. Our Constitution guarantees equal opportunity, not equal results.
  10. There is no such thing as government funds; every dollar comes from a taxpayer—either today’s taxpayers or the taxpayers of tomorrow who have to pay for all the deficits we create today.
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