The recent trends have been toward centralization. But the remedy is simple. It consists of sending to Congress men who will strictly construe the powers of the federal government; men who will desert the pork barrel and champion state rights.—Bruce R. McConkie1
Several state delegates have asked how I’ll compromise if elected. I’ve heard these statements: “Everyone must compromise” and “If the Founding Fathers didn’t compromise we wouldn’t have a constitution.”2
Often the next discussion is how they can be sure I’ll remain pure. “How can we be sure you won’t be corrupted?” “How will you avoid flattery?”3
I’ll be happy to compromise as long as the bill has passed our checklist of formulas for good government. For example, if the bill is constitutional, it doesn’t use the force of government to redistribute wealth, it doesn’t decrease freedom or liberty, and it passes every other checklist item then the bill is open for compromise.
But let me make it clear—I will not compromise on constitutional principles we hold inviolate.4 For example, I will not vote for any bill that destroys one iota of the Bill of Rights.
We as a nation must remain hopeful that among every million citizens we can find just one man or woman who will remain faithful, steadfast and firm in their convictions to the principles that made our country great.
If one representative remains resolute then others will follow and inspire millions.
1 Know Your Constitution, The Deseret News, April 6, 1945. Also quoted in The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner, page 255
His next paragraph may be even more applicable, “Congress is in a position to preserve local self-government by rejecting laws which pertain to the domestic and internal affairs of the states. The loss of local self-government provides an easy approach by which the rights and freedoms of the people may be attacked and infringed. If the people were fully aware of this danger they would require their Congress to preserve the integrity of the states and diminish the infuences of the federal government.”
2 There were many compromises at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Perhaps the one the public remembers most is the compromise over slavery which led to the Civil War’s 624,511 military deaths, 475,881 wounded and 514,411 other deaths. In hindsight the damage caused by that compromise was enormous. See Civil War statistics. It is impossible to ascertain if the compromise was necessary or they would have eventually reached another decision.
3 What a great question to ask a candidate! Many good men and women fall victim to flattery. As with all deceptive potholes that can lead us astray, we must decide ahead of time how we’ll act in any given situation.
4 D&C 134:2 “We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.”