Our vision for where America needs to go
For the last few years, No Labels has organized citizens and political leaders around a National Strategic Agenda featuring four goals:
+ Create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years
+ Secure Social Security and Medicare for the next 75 years
+ Balance the federal budget by 2030
+ Make America energy secure by 2024
These goals set a vision for where America needs to go. Now it is time for No Labels to more precisely define the path for how we get there; to articulate the core values that should guide our organization and ultimately the policy choices of our political leaders.
No Labels’ core values—Opportunity, Security, Accountability, and Ingenuity—can respond to the challenges of the present and chart a path to the future. Collectively, these values represent an emerging new center in American politics, one that does not split the difference between left and right offers a principled alternative to both.
Opportunity means that all Americans should be able to go as far as their gifts and drive can take them. The policies best suited to enlarge opportunity are a matter of important debate, but we need such policies. Without them, too many Americans will feel excluded and will be excluded from the American Dream. This value speaks to many people’s sense that the path to the future is blocked, and it frames No Labels’ jobs goal.
If opportunity is a distinctive principle of American government, security is a basic purpose of every government. The reasons are clear: not only do all people crave safety and stability, but also the lack of security generates fear. A fearful people cannot face the future with confidence. No Labels is supportive of measures to protect the physical and economic security of our people and the national security of our nation. At least two of our four goals Social Security / Medicare and energy speak directly to the theme of security.
When powerful institutions—public and private—act without regard to the public good or lack the competence to promote it, they should be held accountable for their mistakes. No Labels’ No Budget, No Pay concept was a blockbuster idea because it drew on this principle of accountability.
Americans see ourselves as problem solvers, and we’ve solved a lot of them over the centuries. If machines aren’t working, we fix them, and similarly for our institutions and policies. The American ingenuity that has produced a stream of world-changing inventions can also reshape the way we govern ourselves, and No Labels stands for and supports bold ideas to reshape government for the benefit of all Americans.
Opportunity, Security, Accountability, Ingenuity —these are the pillars of a New Center. We do not know what policies a New Center will yield. Nor can we predict what institutional form or even party alignment it will take. But the alternative to a coherent and effective New Center is a degree of public discontent that could end by undermining democratic self-government itself.