Friday, February 19, 2010

Mount Vernon Statement

It seems to a lot of people these days that the leaders of the United States have lost their bearings. They have wandered off the path that was laid out for this nation in 1776. Thus, the Tea Party. People are upset, yes, even angry, that their government leaders are not listening to them. They are upset that their leaders are attempting to cram down their throats policies and laws they have soundly rejected. There is an unrest in the land, and some have likened it to a revolution of sorts. Perhaps it is a revolution.

The revolution may have started on February 17, 2010, when the largest number of conservatives ever assembled met at Mount Vernon and their leaders signed, what has been named, the "Mount Vernon Statement." It is a straight forward statement of the principles upon which the United States was founded in 1776. It calls for a return to the fundamental, foundational truths of those ideals and values that prompted Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the rest to create what has become the United States of America. For those of you who have not read the Mount Vernon Statement, it reprinted here.

May God help us to rise to the occasion and preserve our heritage as Americans.

The Mount Vernon Statement
Conservatism: A Statement for the 21st Century
February 17, 2010

We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.

These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.

Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The self-evident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.

Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new. But where would this lead — forward or backward, up or down? Isn’t this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?

The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles. At this important time, we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature’s God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man’s self-interest but also his capacity for virtue.

The conservatism of the Constitution limits government’s powers but ensures that government performs its proper job effectively. It refines popular will through the filter of representation. It provides checks and balances through the several branches of government and a federal republic. A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world. A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.

  • It applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal.

  • It honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life.

  • It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and economic reforms grounded in market solutions.

  • It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end.

  • It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith.

If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose.

We must begin by retaking and resolutely
defending the high ground of America’s founding principles.

If you agree with this statement, visit the Heritage Foundation and sign the statement.