Opposition to ever-bigger government has been well and justly expressed in various forums over the past year. Today, however, a broad coalition of conservative leaders has issued a statement that goes beyond mere opposition to particular liberal policy proposals. “The Mount Vernon Statement” lays out the case for a constitutional conservatism to provide the principles around which economic, social, and national security conservatives can unite to move the country forward.
Calling for a return to our nation’s Founding ideals, the statement reads in part:
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.
Please visit The Mount Vernon Statement Web site to read the whole statement and consider joining the list of signers which includes The Heritage Foundation’s Ed Meese and Ed Feulner, Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist, Concerned Women for America’s Wendy Wright, Americans for Prosperity’s Tim Philips, National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, columnist and talk radio host Herman Cain, and many other conservative leaders.