For over thirty years Keith has worked in higher and secondary education, community non-profits, technology start ups and business development. Keith works to improve greater consent in business, community and in government and is now the founder of Vision Impact Leadership, where he helps organizations get more thriving culture with less power struggle. Keith obtained his Bachelor of Arts from California State University Northridge, and later a Masters from Humboldt State University in the teaching of writing. Keith completed a second Masters in leadership from George Wythe University. He teaches communication and entrepreneurism part time at Dixie State University and currently works as a licensed general contractor at www.kelschconstruction.com. Keith is also the founder of www.localcommonwealth.org, a non-profit business networking organization. You can see Keith at www.genuineoptimist.com where he posts articles and podcasts promoting ways to remove political gridlock in corporate and community cultures using the principles of common consent. Keith has been married for twenty-five years to Malissa Kelsch. She is the founder of The Best of St George, see bestofstgeorge.com. They have three children, Kaden Kelsch, entrepreneur at visionimpactproductions.com, Kyler Kelsch, entrepreneur at Geezy Tees, and Makinzie Kelsch, a senior at Dixie High.
THE FIVE PILLARS
That Guide My Thinking
What is Liberty?
Liberty is the hand that adds value. It begins with individuals giving value to each other and extends to liberty in the community.
The job of an elected representative is to protect liberty. Why? Because the best that liberty has to offer occurs when kept in individual and local hands. Therefore, elected representatives must protect both individual and local liberty. If we give up our personal liberty, we lose voice. If we give our community liberty, we lose culture. If we lose either one, the result is authoritarianism at greater and greater distances.
What is Conservative?
To conserve is to protect what is good. The following principles define what we should conserve the most.
- Wealth conserved in the community is vital to its sustainability. Wealth is value. Adding and conserving value in the community is the purest expression of liberty, and conserving public wealth locally protects the liberty to add more value.
- Responsibility conserved in the community is vital to its freedom. When liberty to add value is taken away by statists, people become less responsible locally. Apathy grows and we depend on the state treasury for support. Therefore, the conservation of local responsibility empowers more local liberty.
- Conserving voice and vote together are central to a thriving culture and when kept together they protect the freedom to associate. The “Count My Vote” movement separates vote from voice. This is very dangerous and explains why “Keep My Voice” is so important. Having an equal vote statewide only empowers the wrong people to influence that vote, namely big money, media, unions and establishment elites. The caucus system preserves both vote and voice within the same local system, which is immune to outside influence. Popular voting on a larger regional or statewide scale is very is destructive to voice. We should be improving the caucus system and not tarring it apart.
- Religious and cultural fundamentalism can usurp wealth, responsibility and voice. When this happens we give up our liberty to more central control.
What is Liberal?
To be liberal is to be freely expressive and to open channels of discussion. The goal is truth, and free open discussion with is the liberal approach to reaching truth.
- “The silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.” Silencing discussion is not liberal; it’s authoritarian. Mill’s essay “On Liberty” and Locke’s essay on “Toleration” serve as classical foundations of both liberalism and liberty.
- Common consent is better than central control, and definitely better than popular voting. The modern liberal has lost site of this. In order to increase more discussion, consent must be improved. When broken into modular form, increasing consent through both voice and vote is the best way to preserve liberty. Consent in modular form (a representative republic) eliminates the problem of power struggles and gives greater voice for all.
- The community is the best level where liberalism can solve for inequality. When liberalism leaves the community to solve for inequality over many communities or over the state or nation, it usurps local liberty and shuts down both consent and discussion.
- Classically liberalism is not statism, socialism, or communism, however it can degenerate into these when it’s contempt for inequality pushes more central control. The only real solution to inequality is to push for more discussion, more representative consent, and more local liberty. When liberalism leaves its central pillar of discussion and toleration, it becomes authoritarian.
What is Leadership?
Leadership is not authority, it is the first person to step up and take responsibility.
- Politicians take responsibility away but they do not take responsibility on themselves. Representatives may take responsibility but never let them take it way from you or from your community.
- Statesmanship is that person who secures the liberty for others to step up and take responsibility (to be leaders). Taking responsibility to increase more local leadership is the role of a statesman. A statesman makes sure others can become leaders with little friction.
What is Good and Evil?
Evil is a Centralizing force; Good is a Decentralizing liberty.
- Standing on the side of a decentralizing liberty is the role of a statesman and the central focus of a representative. Politicians too often stand for a centralizing force in the name of efficiency. Hidden inside that supposed efficiency is a desire for more control.
- In order to be prepared as a representative, you need to understand how secrete combinations work and how they always push for more central control. If you do not understand this, then you are not ready to defend liberty.