In light of the challenges facing the country and the need for clarity in the age of Obama, The Mount Vernon Statement, modeled on the Sharon Statement issued on Sept. 11, 1960, is a defining statement of conservative beliefs, values and principles penned by a broad coalition of conservative leaders representing a wide spectrum of the movement including fiscal, social, cultural and national security conservatives.
CONSERVATIVE LEADERS UNITE AND SIGN ON TO THE MOUNT VERNON STATEMENT
Historic Document Defines The Principles, Beliefs And Values Of The Conservative Movement
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Over 80 leaders, representing tens of millions of conservative activists nationwide, today signed The Mount Vernon Statement, a declaration of leadership for a new generation of conservatives that defines the principles, values and beliefs of the conservative movement.
“With this statement, and its many signatories, a new day dawns for the conservative movement,” said Edwin Feulner, Jr., president of the Heritage Foundation, and one of the drafters of the statement. “It reasserts conservative principles, values and beliefs that are embraced by more people in this country than those of any political ideology. Fifty years ago, the federal government threatened to grow exponentially. Visionaries then gathered in Sharon, Connecticut, to articulate essential principles of American governance. Today, that threat is even greater, and so we must articulate anew the nature of Constitutional Conservatism in the 21st Century.”
“This is an historic moment as, since the 2008 election, conservative leaders from across the country have been meeting and planning a comeback. A year ago some pundits claimed that conservatism was effectively dead. But today, as revelations about Washington’s futility in addressing America’s problems continue to mount, the movement is alive and poised for a resurgence of Constitutional Conservative leadership,” said Edwin Meese, former U.S. Attorney General under President Reagan and master of ceremonies for the signing event.
The Mount Vernon Statement
Constitutional Conservatism: A Statement for the 21st Century
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
- 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.
February 17, 2010
We the undersigned join in our support of the guiding principles of The Mount Vernon Statement.
Edwin Meese, former U.S. Attorney General under President Reagan Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America
Edwin Feulner, Jr., president of the Heritage Foundation
Lee Edwards, Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought at the Heritage Foundation, was present at the Sharon Statement signing.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council Becky Norton Dunlop, president of the Council for National Policy
Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center Alfred Regnery, publisher of the American Spectator
David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union David McIntosh, co-founder of the Federalist Society
T. Kenneth Cribb, former domestic policy adviser to President Reagan Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform
William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government Elaine Donnelly, Center for Military Readiness
Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com Kenneth Blackwell, Coalition for a Conservative Majority
Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring Kathryn J. Lopez, National Review
Sign the petition on-line here: http://www.themountvernonstatement.com/
By signing the petition you can send a message to our leaders in Washington about what is important to us. The text of the document lays the foundation for a conservative coalition. It reminds us of the founding fathers’ vision for us. It is time for a return to the values and principles of government that made us a strong and prosperous nation.
Restore the Republic, Restore the American Dream, Reject the Agenda of the Progressive Left!
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free”. – Ronald Reagan