Editorial: A newspaper that focuses on principles, not partisanship

Los Angeles is a very different place today than it was in 1851, when the Los Angeles Star, the city’s very first newspaper, was co-founded by William Rand. Back then, the county was home to 8,329 residents, as the Star reported in its four-page debut issue.

In 2014, L.A. County boasts more than 10 million residents, the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed last month, including a third of the population that is foreign-born. It is a metropolis rich in resources, culture and diversity.

As the Los Angeles Register debuts today, it aims to reflect that richness. Not only in its news and feature pages, but also, importantly, on its opinion pages.

The accepted wisdom about L.A. is that it is politically and ideologically monolithic. That Angelenos are almost exclusively Democrats. And that they are almost entirely liberal. But, just as L.A. is recognized for its ethnic and cultural diversity, so, too, should it be for its political and philosophical diversity.

Los Angeles Register Opinion aims to infuse a new perspective into the political and public policy debate in our community and lead the charge for a new generation of liberty-minded, free-market intellectuals.

To do so, we deliberately try to ignore party affiliation, focusing instead on principles and ideas with a very simple bright line: What can be done to increase economic and social liberty?

We favor free-market economic and fiscal policy and believe government – at all levels – should exercise budgetary prudence and restraint.

We believe individuals have the right, and are solely suited, to make the incredibly personal decisions about who to love, what to buy and what to consume.

And we believe that thriving cities and regions need a strong advocate for community building and development to support the everyday people who are the lifeblood of any great metropolis.

Free markets, limited government, personal freedom and a strong sense of community are essential to the economic prosperity that lifts all boats, to the deterrence of tyranny and to liberty that allows us, everyone, to realize our ambitions and aspirations.

Perhaps most importantly, your Register Opinion Editorial Board is committed to these principles and, as such, belongs to no political party or special interests and caves to no pressure groups ... and never has. We are reminded of that every anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

When Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals and newspapers throughout the country supported Japanese American internment camps in the aftermath of the Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor attack, the Register Opinion section of the day stood up against them and condemned the actions. Not only that, but in the wake of the internments, the Register fought to get back property that was confiscated from Japanese Americans at that time. That’s an example of how we will stand: firm in our convictions, dedicated to our community.

For those who suggest that the best days for California – and Los Angeles – are permanently past, we respectfully but strenuously disagree. While daunting problems and challenging issues lay before the City of Angels and the Golden State, we do not think them beyond solution, with the right leadership, ideas and commitment.

There is much work to do in the coming days, weeks, months and years to build the most robust opinion page in the nation, with the aim of helping to rekindle a vibrant, optimistic, idea-driven liberty movement so we move Los Angeles and the region forward. It’s not a time for retreat and disengagement. It’s a time of opportunity for advancing the cause of free markets and free minds that leads to a richer and more prosperous community.

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