No Labels Beliefs Statement
America has endured as the world’s greatest democracy for almost 250 years through trials and tribulations much tougher than those we face today.
But our current political situation is not sustainable and the dysfunction is directly threatening the well-being of the American people.
As our parties and culture have become more polarized and our politics more partisan, the great American majority—which desires cooperation and problem solving from our leaders—has been left with few good choices.
Today, the dominant forces in both political tribes speak the language of division and resentment, while offering policies dictated by ideology and identity politics rather than common sense.
This moment demands leaders—Democrats, Republicans and independents—willing to declare their freedom from the tired orthodoxies that are ruining our politics and most importantly, our country.
This does not mean leaders retreating into tepid moderation or liberals and conservatives abandoning their deeply held principles. Instead, it requires American leaders and citizens alike to recommit to the fundamental values that have historically united Americans and provided a common understanding of who we are and where we hope to go.
Now, amid this moment of great uncertainty, is the time to define the path for how we get there.
For a decade, No Labels has been fighting to bring America’s leaders together to develop two-party solutions to meet our toughest problems. Here, in this declaration, we articulate six core beliefs that will guide not just our organization but, we hope, the political and policy choices of our leaders.
- We believe in an ethic of mutual responsibility, in which both government and citizens owe something to one another. Citizens have a responsibility to contribute to our country in the best way they can, be it to our economy, their families, communities or our civic life. And in return, they have a right to expect the government to be responsible for upholding the law, maintaining public safety, helping care for those who cannot care for themselves, and tackling the problems too large for citizens or private actors to solve alone.
- We believe in equality of opportunity, in which every American is empowered to get a good education, to pursue their dreams free from bias or discrimination of any kind, and to go as far as their talents and drive can take them, and that government policy should encourage and cultivate these gifts.
- We believe in Americans’ fundamental right to think, speak, worship and assemble however they choose. We believe the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is first for a reason, because if we ever lose this right, we lose everything.
- We believe there is no such thing as something for nothing, and that resources are not unlimited. The growing tendency of members of parties to support tax cuts or more government spending with no regard for its impact on future generations will lead to a lower quality of life for our children and grandchildren and make it harder for America to tackle future challenges to our national, economic and environmental security.
- We believe safeguarding our democracy is a sacred responsibility of every leader, and that anyone who endorses or perpetuates false claims of voting fraud or suppression is not fit for public office. The will of voters must be respected and if there are legitimate questions about their will, America has a system of local, state and federal courts to answer them. America is the world’s foremost democracy because those who lost elections have accepted the results, and put the national interest over their own self-interest.
- We believe Americans being united at home makes us stronger abroad. Totalitarian regimes in foreign countries threaten American interests and they benefit from and seek to exploit America’s internal divisions. In previous eras, America’s leaders have embraced the idea that “politics should stop at the water’s edge,” and they must do once again.
These beliefs have underpinned American democracy since its founding. If they seem new to some, it is only because too many in our public life have forgotten or ignored them.
These beliefs are the foundation upon which we must rebuild our country and restore America’s faith that democracy remains the best means to enable humans to flourish and reach our full potential.