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  • Morning Bell: The Mount Vernon Statement

    Yesterday, I joined a broad coalition of conservative leaders representing a wide spectrum of the movement including fiscal, social, cultural and national security conservatives, to sign The Mount Vernon Statement. In light of the challenges facing the country and the need for clarity, we needed to produce this defining statement of conservative beliefs, values and principles. It is the culmination of a thoughtful deliberation about our nation’s principles. I was proud to participate in that discussion, and to chair the committee that drafted the 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 selfevident 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.

    The Heritage Foundation was founded to uphold the very principles articulated in this document. Our mission statement reads: “To formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values and a strong national defense.” Our vision statement is “to build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.” That is the same mission, the same vision embraced by the founders and articulated in the Mount Vernon Statement. We’ve been bound, voluntarily and enthusiastically, to those ideals since Heritage’s founding in 1973. I hope you share these principles, and join me in supporting this framework and signing your name here or in the form below.

    By Edwin J. Feulner, President of The Heritage Foundation

    Quick Hits:

    • Townhall will be live-streaming all Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Marriott Ballroom events, starting today, and throughout the conference.
    • Today at 11 AM EST, Reps. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and Tom Rooney (R-FL) will participate in a live Heritage VIDEO WEB CHAT titled “The Stimulus – One Year Later.”  You can view it at Heritage.org or on Facebook. Post your questions for them early on the Heritage Facebook page.
    • According to The Los Angeles Times President Barack Obama’s $862 billion stimulus funded Cash for Caulkers program has only weatherized about 9,000 homes at a cost of $57,362 each.
    • House Republicans are taking a page from the president’s playbook by challenging Democrats to a televised debate about job creation.
    • Another leader of the Afghan Taliban, Kunduz province “shadow governor” Mullah Abdul Salam, has been captured by authorities in Pakistan working in partnership with U.S. intelligence officials.
    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    64 Responses to Morning Bell: The Mount Vernon Statement

    1. Norm Terry, Viera FL says:

      What a bunch of garbaly gook. Nice sounding words but really no commitment there….Norm

    2. Pete Resz Oklahoma says:

      Without the Fair Tax and the Constitutional provision that no more taxes can be raised we will be right back where we are in 8 – 16 yrs. The Tax code must be changed.

      One party is so fond of rewarding its voters with feebies paid for by someone else (Rich people who don't pay their fair share) that if we don't change the tax code soon we will never have the country that she was once again.

      Torte Reform, the abolishment of the National Teachers Union, and the firm Constitutional standard that no person in a Goverment position, city, county, state, or national may ever belong to a union are other reforms that we need ASAP.

    3. William Cole says:


      I've contacted Senator McConnell and Congressman Boehnor that the Republican party needs to have a health care summit prior to the one offered by Presient Obama.

      Should be this weekend or at least by Monday, February 22nd. They should invitye the President, other Democratic leaders to this summit. Here they can lay out their plan to fix health care.

      The meeting on February 25th is going to be boggy trap for Republicans. Please pass this thought on to those in power.

    4. Jim, Newport, RI says:

      While I agree with all that is enumerated in this document, the most important issue is unaddressed, namely state sanctioned abortion.

      Life is an unalienable right. Abortion is a national blight and until we, as a nation, take a stand to eliminate its legal approbation we should not expect to receive the Divine beneficence our nation requires to endure.

      "And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." Thomas Jefferson

    5. Bill Heckman, Ashdow says:

      Signed THE MOUNT VERNON STATEMENT, when asked for my state i could not complete form because state not listed in pull-down. No way to place state on form. I am from Ashdown, Arkansas 71822-8709

    6. jai Archer says:

      Tried to sign up and Arkansas is not listed as a state. Have sent an email to see if we can get this corrected. thanks!

    7. Ron Derry NH says:

      Th eeducaters and politicians alike have allowed the gratification of self hate to prosper, first with the black culture and then into the mass populous using emotionally charged false statements and hope to suplant real working functunalling principles with near religious like promise and hope from nothing.

      We are watching the demise of reality, not just our sweet constitution, but the willful destruction of human value by usurpers who gain power by the surrendering by the masses of their free will.

      This is no small threat as the very foundations of civilization are based on human worth and liberals and progressives are attacking the very core of human values with preposterous claims of utopian soltions that sacrifice the individual to their will, their money and their power.

      This is nothing more than the intellectual elite, and financiers of corruption stealing a nations worth and the worlds to place it under their thumb.

      Our Constitutions magnificence is why they abandon it.

      If we are to survive the Obama's of this world, the Pelosi's, the Rieds and Castro's we must fight and re-vitalize our founding principles before calamities purpose brings down the nation and the worlds hope for security from tyrants such as these.

      Our enemies are from within and must be purged, or we will be slaves to monetary enslavement to servitude to governing masters, who will surely rape the laws to their own advantages and subjugate the people as these before mentioned have done.

      Why the culture that knows slavery better than anyone is first to choose slavery again as a tool for its own demise, is Gods own mystery.

    8. apberusdisvet, FL says:

      It's a shame we all were too involved in attaining the "good life" to recognize the insidious growth of Progressivism. In the past 40 years, public education has dramatically declined to the point that indoctrination is more prevalent than actual education. The last 2 generations will, unfortunately, realize the damage that has been done; unfortunately, it will be too late.

    9. Blue Dog in Mich. says:

      Dear Dr. Feulner, Thank you and the Heritage Foundation (of which I am a contributing member) for formulating the Mt. Vernon Statement. I have forwarded the statement to some friends and family members. The work you do and the information you provide is essential to the preservation of our constitutional republic.

      In gratitude, Blue Dog

    10. Sally Baynton in San says:

      This is an awesome statement. It reminds us of our duty to assume personal responsibility for our actions under the directive of a document that was brilliantly composed for all time. There is nothing "out-dated" about the Contsitution. What is "out-dated" is the people who are trying to re-write it. Shame on them and shame on us for letting this happen.

      God Bless America

    11. Evan, Anchorage says:

      OK, you guys finally wrote down your first principals. Now where's our contract with America on how you are going to make it happen. May I suggest mandatory clean elections. I want my representative on the job–not on the street begging for money all the time. Also lets leave controversal issues up to the states. There is only one issue I care about–fiscal responsiblity. Why isn't fiscal responsiblity even one of HF 10 principals on the home page of their web-site? I think because they only believe in it when the democrats are in power–when the republics are in power fiscal responsiblity is called optional with no real harm done–per Rush Limbaugh.

    12. Dr. Ben Slack says:

      very good and sound concepts that will save our republic if implimented…

    13. George W. Jefferson says:

      It is evident that Congress is unaware that that its constitutional powers are limited to those in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. They have no constitutional authority to legislate personal entitlements. The Supreme Court has stated that no person is entitled to a valuable government benefit. Fleming v. Nestor (1960). In spite of that, the Court found a procedural barrier, not a substantive protection, in the Fourteenth Amendment. The court created a "property interest" as the result of an extra-constitutional entitlement procedurally protected by the 14th Amendment liberty clause. Such legislation gave rise to an expectation of a property interest.

      Needless to say, all congressional legislative acts of personal entitlements are unconstitutional: that includes federal public health care.

      G W Jefferson.

    14. W.A. Dahlstrom says:

      It is to bad that the main stream media will not respond to this GREAT declaration.

      This IS the founding principals of our founding fathers and should be taught in every school in this great land but, sadly, the opposite is true.

      Please keep up your great works and maybe it will filter through to the vast majority of our people who love this country and desire to remain free.

    15. Bernard Goggins, Goo says:

      I want to discuss the fact that energies are mot matter. They affect matter without being matter. Light, heat, gravity, magnetic energy… are not matter. Is it possible that this may be of interest to any educational institution?

    16. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Thank you Ed!

    17. bigdave, ocala fl says:

      Retake and defend? you must be kidding. We have already lost! Hollywood and the Media have made Obama the leader of a revolution made up of the 50% in this country who PAY ZERO INCOME TAXES! The DEMOCRAT party, made up of the homeless, illegal aliens, convicts, militant homosexuals, feminists, UNIONS, and downright horrible people like John Edwards, John Murtha, Ted Kennedy, Nazi Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Obama, Axlerod and their gang of CZARS have driven a stake into the very heart of our country. We have allowed this gang of crooks to run rampant over our constitution, which they revile as much as our HISTORY which they change on a daily basis to make THEM look good…and we sit by and let them stick it up our collective butts, while we PRETEND its all gonna be OK! Oh Yeah! HOW?! I guess George Washington( THE FATHER OF OUR COUNTRY and the MAN THE DEMS PUT BEHIND MLK, JR for a holiday, not to diminish the great American King,but come on now people!) just sat around wondering WHO would step forward and DO something…talking gets you only so far, especially when the enemy(leftists) out talk, out lie and are backed to the hilt by a MEDIA which does the same and complete idiots in Hollywood who think they will be insullated in the destruction of our country. Guess what Hollywierd fools, there are NO big stars in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Somalia nor any other country Obama has us on a course to become so he can be dictator for life. Only a fool will laugh at this, only a fool supports stimulus/bailouts/takeovers, and unfortunately, the 25% of this country who are FOOLS seem to be running things as the rest of the people are consumed with working and raising their families. HERITAGE has a unique CHALLENGE to get the word out! I sincerely hope you are up to it, otherwise we all go down with the GOOD SHIP AMERICA>

    18. Jay Ferris, Western says:

      Dear Ed,

      (It's been many years.) The statement is too critical, and as a result loses the historic substance and value of the Declaration. What's needed now is a new "Declaration," clarified by lessons learned since the original, and with the same force of history and principle.

      It is a well known truism of political economy that, "What is taxed decreases, and what is subsidized increases."

      All that is necessary to determine "what" has gone wrong is to figure out "what" to put in that equation.

      ACCOUNTABILITY works at all times and in all places!

      RESPONSIBILITY and INTEGRITY also work well in figuring out how we got into this mess, and why it continues to get worse.

    19. Dave White, Provo, U says:

      This should be the standard by which we judge every candidate for every office. When ever they put any bill or ordinance forward to become law this is where we begin the discussion. For example all the Presidential Executive orders signed by John F. Kennedy that essentially did away with the basic rights of all Americans was recinded by Richard M. Nixon because he felt they were against the constitution. (Too bad he was so paranoid. He would have been recognized as one of the better Presidents.)

      I'm printing a copy to take with me to the primary caucus meetings and will try to get every candidate to take a stand. Unless we act, our freedoms will be taken away by those who feel we are sheep.

    20. aposematic says:

      I don't know who you are trying to fool.

      This Morning Briefing (2/18/2010) is a short review of the Constitution, and then you add the Mt. Vernon Declaration.

      This Mt. Vernon Declaration should be a reminder to all Conservatives that Declarations of this sort is an attempt by "so called" Conservatives to deceive the public.

      You, Heritage Foundation, are one very big disappointment to me right now.

    21. Ronald Sikes Ennis T says:

      I want to thank all of you at Heritage Foundation for your hard work.I feel it is time to remove any Congressman or Senator that does not stand with the Constitution and Bill of Rights whether they are DEMS or REPUBS,it is also time for term limits and to take away all the extra incentives they have given themselves.The elites of the polical hordes over the years have been recieving all types of advantages that the Regular Citizens do not recieve,and it is a privelidge to serve the Country not a given endowment to do so.I would love to be recieving a pention that I never paid into or livetime insurance I didn't pay for.Thanks to all the TEA PARTY MEMBERS that take time to FIGHT for our Rights

    22. George, Akron, Ohio says:

      I heard about the Mount Vernon Statement on the radio on Thursday evening and couldn't wait to get to the office this morning to get online and sign my name to the document. What is the most repulsive to me is that we even have to do such a thing! The very people that have been elected to office and swore to uphold the Constitution are the ones publicly seeking to make it irrelevant. Whether through verbal chicanery, out and out bribery, flat out lying, and a complete abandonment of all things honest and decent, these officials have succumbed to the aphrodisiac of power and money, and are seeking to destroy the very republic that allowed them to achieve the positions they now hold. How absurdly foolish!! Thank you to all that helped to frame the Mt. Vernon Statement and to give those of us that hold this great country and it's founding Fathers and Documents in the highest esteem, the privilege of signing our names along with theirs.

    23. charles fisenne bald says:

      I signed up on the Mount Vernon Statement; but we all are scheduled to be shot at dawn unless you have a really good escape plan. My grandchildren have already been sold off to a tyrant who has been buying their debt.

    24. Jim Morris, Texas says:

      "The Heritage Foundation was founded to uphold the very principles articulated in this document."

      The quote from your article uses the word "articulated". We can articulate anything we want…that's the standard practice of Obama and his Islamocrats.

      The determination to carry these principles through to fruition would seem to require the use of the word "inculcated".

      I'm not trying to become involved in semantics here. I seek to point out that "we the people" don't want labor pains…we want babies!


    25. David, Madison Co., says:

      No problem with this document BUT all we really need is to read (and FOLLOW) the US Constitution. Much of what has passed since 1862 has further eroded the principles of the founding fathers of this country (strong states, weak Federal). We must elect people who, first, will follow our founding ideals; second, will serve their office with honor; and, third, will not set themselves above others. The Federal Government has far exceeded it's constitutional defined limit.

    26. Mike Robinson, Annap says:

      The Declaration of Independence and Constitution say nothing about advancing freedom in the world. The focus is on this country. This "global police" mentality is a modern and mistaken view, and is reponsible for draining our national treasure and creating anger towards the U.S. throughout the world.

    27. Blair, Franconia, NH says:

      We fought the American Revolution over Taxation Without Representation. What part

      of no, don't King Harry and Queen Nancy, understand?

    28. Ladyhawk, CA says:

      Great statement. Let us move forward to retain our rights as Americans. The Tea Party movement is working, keep up the good work for all the folks out there fighing for our rights. Thank you Heritage Foundation for all that you do for America. God Bless you all.

    29. Dennis Social Circle says:

      The Constitution is the back bone of thsi country, those that say it is outdated are wrong. The principles of this document, the dedication to this document, those that have fought and died for this document, and the hard work of our citizens have made this country great in its on right. We must get back to these principles and stop the "guverment" from taking this country down the tubes.

      I agree the people that are elected to Congress should be held accountable to the people and the Constitution, for it is the law of the country. It is past time that those in CONGRESS STOP ENJOYING THE FREE RIDE, THE FREE PERKS, AND THE HUGE TERMS AND SALARY. We need a term limit for all in Congress and the office of President. I do understand that a senator is trying to repeal the term limits for President. This needs to never happen.

      We are in deep trouble now, the people have been told and grown used to the idea that the "guvernment" will take care of all our needs, and most of our wants. It is past time for people to go to work, support themselves, and get off the hand out programs.

    30. Richard Henry Eiselt says:

      Thank you. I agree — sign me on.

    31. Barbara Fennell Char says:

      We need to get the government, both parties, to stop unnecessary spending, unnecessary litigation and stop the fraud in the programs already in effect.

    32. Pingback: Morning Bell: The Mount Vernon Statement | The Foundry … | Trends

    33. Steve Wilson Jamesbu says:

      Ed, I could agree with you more. We must start to also correct the problem at the elementary level. Why is it against the educational system to teach our children about history or even have a civics class? This reminds me of Hitler when he would turn children against their parents to achieve his plan. You would thinj that the congress and senate would have some ba–s and stand up to a very simple prinicple that they only have to follow. Heck its not that hard, I being a stupid as- could do their job better. They have an errector set with our Constitution, all the ground work was laid in place. All the idiots have to do is read it. remember it and vote it.

      We do not need hundreds of lawyers on capital hill telling us what the Constitution means. Hell fire they dont know what it means themselves. We need to protect our borders, stop giving all the illegals food, medical, housing, CELL phones. Bet you would see them exit faster then they came to our country. I now understand the muslims are trying to make it a crime to say anything against their religion. They are fighting to take God off our currency, eliminate it from our governmental buildings, cannot express religious freedom as we are guarenteed to have. The country as a whole needs to grow some body parts that we have hidden and tell them to hit the trail and take all the so called congressmen and senators with them. God Bless all the service men and women fighting for my freedom and risking their lives for the lying bunch of crooks in capital hill and the socialist czar in the white house.

    34. Norbert Stager says:

      I am thankful for the Heritage Foundation.I wish I had seen the light earlier. My family has been in this Great Country for over 7 generations. One of my ancestors fought in the American Revolution. It is high time to throw off the shackles that the progressive movement seeks to bind us in and enslave us to a new politcal elite. It is time to reclaim our freedoms that so many have given their last ounce of devotion for.

    35. May Ross Hondo, TX says:

      This appears to be a wonderful statement for the Tea Party Movement to require any Republican who wants to win the race be willing to embrace. As long as we can get good candidates to truly stand up for the Constitution we can get our country back in order. I would like to know if Congress is required to prove that they have read the Constitution! Sometimes it looks like many have no clue as to what it is all about. And let's get classes teaching the Constitution back in our schools. 7th grade through college!!

    36. Cliff, North Little says:

      Sincere THANKS to Mr. Edwin Feulner, the entire Heritage Staff and ALL it's supporting members/sources for the hard work behind the Constitutional conservatism first principles policy agenda and the Mount

      Vernon Statement.

      If this effort is open to addendums, please consider …

      * It calls for it's citizenry to practice personal responsibility alongside the

      many bountiful virtues of individual liberty.

      … or something along these lines. Our Nation has so many issues to combat and deal with from such a wide variety of fronts, I think genuine

      endeavors such as this are absolutely imperative in order to define ourselves and establish our sovereignty … yea or nay.

    37. Ron Wilner, New York says:

      The Mount Vernon Statement is certainly intended to be a rallying call to defend our conservative principles and our Constitution. But with our current breed of "Constitutional Scholars" in DC, it will have little import or influence. Basically, there are two camps represented neither of which are supportive of the common man.

      "In the politically charged atmosphere of today’s two-party system, there exists a dichotomy between two camps: the "do-gooders" and the "good-doers". Generally speaking, the "do-gooders" are steeped in a tradition of helping those less fortunate and the "good-doers" are steamed by a tradition of those helping to lessen their fortunes". In this scenario where is the common man?

      The common man will be heard and more than adequately represented in the polls and by the Taboo Party.

      Ron Wilner

      Founder and Creator of the Taboo Party

      Acronym for Throw All Bums Out of Office

    38. Pete Speer says:

      I regret to say that I do not see any reference to the functioning family — the most effective and efficient level of governance and the only one with the authority and responsibility to instill moral values in its members. It is a necessary but nort sufficient condition for a Republic.

      The three other conditions are

      1. the availability of interclass mobility serving the upward aspirations of the family and its members

      2. the presence of geographic mobility, making it possible and prefereable to go to where opportunity exists

      3. the existence of an educational system (starting in the home) which will provide the literacy and the numeracy to enable interclass mobility.

      These are the joists on which the planks of a free society are laid

    39. John Mourning, mesa, says:

      This is non-information because it is lacking any specific goals, such as:

      A balanced budget amendment.

      Repeal of the 16th Amendment so that tax system can not be used for social engineering. An alternate source of revenue would be required.

      Constitutional amendment to require all spending bills contain only germane amendments.

      Constitutional amendment to disenfranchise the Supreme Court from negating legislation passed by a "super majority" of Congress.

      And other specific ideas should be articulated.

      These kinds of words are the kind that all politicians spout because they sound good but bind them to nothing.

    40. Eddie MacIsaaac, Uni says:

      Very well said:

      The only addition is at this location:

      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.

      To this section at the end "Bill of Rights" should be added.

      True intent is not determined by viewing one, there needs to be agreement between all three! Otherwise things can be taken out of context; i.e., Abortion

      and Constitutional Rights for foreign born terrorists.

    41. Barbara Clapp says:

      Dear Dr. Feulner,

      The Mount Vernon Statement is magnificent and it touches every area that is presently imperiled in our country. Our Declaration of Independence and the Constituion have been under attack and chiseled away over many years and now at warp speed with the current administration.

      The one good thing of obama administration is it has awakened so many Americans who had taken little or no interest and time to partake of their rights.

      We are a nation under God and we are a Republic for the people and BY the people.

      Thank you and others at The Heritage Foundation who worked together to create The Mount Vernon Statement which is a beginning of taking our country back from the clutches of progressives.

    42. Packard, Blacksburg, says:

      The Mount Vernon Statement is about as effective as a drum circle full of hippies.

    43. Ken in SB says:

      The sentiment expressed in favor of Ed's piece marks a sad state of affairs for this country. It is ambiguous and deceitful at its worst. What bothers me most is that people might blindly try to follow the delusion.

      As I quote from the Heritage Foundation booklet containing and declaring the Declaration and Constitution, "serve not only as powerful beacons,..but also as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere… they still define us as a people."

      What HF neglected to mention is how the HF defines "us". They do not like in general terms, most Democrats, fewer liberals or progressives. Yet those groups defined the majority vote for the House, Senate, and executive branches in 2008..

      What the Heritage clearly leaves out of any discussion is the Pledge of allegiance. They have no way of explaining liberty and justice for "all". There is little attempt in the comments or in articulating conservatism by the authors of standing behind the republic for which we stand as a nation under God and indivisible determined to bring justice and liberty to all of its people. Fortunately the truth is found deep within links used as reference or source the HF and authors hope it readership will not read fully. The fact that the HF uses itself as reference and support is a wonder but not a complete surprise.

      Comments from this section are of a tyrant, socialist, Marxist, unconstitutional, liar, representing liberalism, progressive thinking and who hates pro life, republicans and conservatism leading his army against the righteous. There is little done by the founder to promote peace by coexistence rather by fear threats of disaster, quantity size, and more expensive armament.

      It can be said that in a fight the first punch is always free. It is the prevalent attitude of this site and it is by all accounts against all civil and spiritual teaching.Despite what can be construed from David from Madison, the 13th 14th and 15th amendments were necessary and ratified in 1865, 68,70, and after 1862.

      I am gladdened that some who wish to stay informed about conservatism and its growing and likely intentionally divided camps still write and let others know that some of us will and do intend to seek balance and wisdom from both sides and don't let some badger and try to bully or badger others us into submission or quiet submission.

    44. honeybee57, South Fl says:

      They have been casting out the old and putting in the new and look where it got us. We were the most respected country in the world until Obama. Now China after all the help we have given them is dumping us in our hour of need. A good lesson and example of what could come if we don't get back to the old.

    45. Gerard Wenham, Washi says:

      First principles? You mean, like Consent of the Governed?

      "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."

      And yet half-a-million-plus Americans have been Governed Without Consent, for more than two centuries, their participation in the national consensus denied, their inalienable (innate, inherent, intrinsic) right as free citizens to a fair and equal vote with the rest of their countrymen in determining the affairs of the nation. Artificial, anachronistic, and arbitrary provisions notwithstanding, under the first Priniple of "Consent of the Governed", the national legislature has no legitimate right or authority to assert Absolute Power, as of 1801 (as in "Congress shall have the power … to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such District"), than the British Parliament had in 1766 to assert similar power over a similarly unrepresented minority (at the time) of the British nation. No legitimate basis exists to exclude otherwise eligible citizens from full participation in the national debate and concensus simply because of location or proximity. Concepts such as court eunuchs and royal demense are antiquated and feudal, with no place in a government conceptually based on participatory principles such as "All men are created equal". Treating fellow citizens and countrymen in effect as house-slaves, a lower caste, outcasts, expatriates, pariahs and/or exiles, simply because of the location of their residence, diminishes the honor of the nation, and the legitimacy of the government.

    46. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Mike Robinson: WWII demonstrated that isolationism doesn't work and like it or not we must participate in global affairs – but from a view point of defending our country. Historians have observed that few if any democracies have attacked other democracies. So, if our efforts result in a nation leaving a dictatorship (or theocracy) and becoming a true democracy then they will not likley be foes but allies. Nation building is not something I suggest we embrace but rather let it happen with perhaps a gentle nudge. For me, its about the saftey and lifestyle for my kids when they are my age. It is for them that I have become politcally involved.

    47. Anne in California says:

      The Founders did not talk much about the human capacity for virtue but rather about human nature being fallen in theological terms so they did not trust power in the hands of anyone including themselves–thus, limiting government to assigned delegated powers in a framework of checks & balances with a division of power not only among the three federal branches but between central and state governments–our federal republic. The statements are a good outline of what should guide us but I would like to see a greater acknowledgment that human nature cannot be trusted with power. I would like to see Lord Acton's observation be our flagship so to speak –namely, "Power TENDS to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely"–and I would add, the more power, the greater the inclination toward abuse & corruption.

    48. Tom Bosse Needville says:

      It is time we put all candidates on notice that whatever party they are associated with does not mean they will automatically win election. Only true constitutional

      consevatives need apply. There are candidates of both major parties who should

      not be elected or re-elected.

    49. Pingback: Morning Bell: The Mount Vernon Statement | The Foundry … | the world cares.com

    50. Charles Reidelbach, says:

      These truths are self evident and are written in a way that any educated person can comprehend what has been layed out for us in our founding documents from the Declaration of Independence to the founding of our Constitution. I believe that this was done so that there could be no doubt as to what is being stated and meant in these documents. We wouldn't need for example a lawyer or a dipolmat to interpret what is being stated in any of these documents, they are self evident, true, and simple enough for the common man!!!!!!!!! I love these documents!!!! my favorite is the Decloration of Independence, which spells out the whole thing. All men are created equal and endowed by their creator certain inalienable rights, among these are Life! Libery! and the persuit of Happineess!!! how much clearer could it possibly be??? C;huck.

    51. Judith in Michigan says:

      One of the more remarkable things to become evident recently is that for the first time in decades, the American people are becoming re-acquainted with our Founding Documents. It is not awkward to discuss them openly anymore. People are getting involved and realizing that we are on the verge of losing everything due to our apathy. Not anymore.

      I'm aware that this statement is just the beginning, and much needs to be done, but I have confidence in the American people

      I am a proud member of Heritage and depend on this fine foundation to keep me well informed. I signed the statement immediately. To your critics, they are not paying attention or are in denial,

    52. Dekeman, Scotts Vall says:

      In 1969 I moved to a small conservative community to raise my children. I tool part in local politics, only to see a rapid decline in conservative values, and a takeover by "progressives" when the University of California was admitted to our community. This was followed by a number of students on special assignment from the Saul Alinsky Institute to create political upheaval. We are now a broken progressive community with an embedded education system that seeks to brain wash and corrupt our students, and a nationwide favorite landing place for the homeless.

      I have seen and experienced the manner in which progressives take over a community and my words of advice to the nation is to stop them before they get a foothold, and continue to fight them everytime they rise up.

      I would be glad to answer in more detail questions anyone may have.

      twitter me

    53. Dekeman, Scotts Vall says:

      dekeman1 on twitter

    54. Roy Callahan says:

      Your Mr. Vernon statement was beautifully written. I subscribe to the Morning Bell and Hot Sheet reading what you send daily. Other than the Constitutional issue ignited over Individual mandates, I seldom see you mention the Constiuttion, assuming you don't because your basic task is to counter what the progressives of both parties throw our way. This writing was superb, historically accurate, and portrays the founding in a way not often expressed. Well Done!! You reaffirmed my faith in the Heritage Foundation. I'd love to see the Constitution mentioned more often in your writings.

    55. Ron, Wesley Chapel, says:

      For years I have been one of the silent majority, allowing our elected officials to move away from this country's founding principles. No More! It is time to take our country back and remove from office (via the electoral process) those who have taken the Oath Of Office to defend the Constitution and then once in office ignoring that oath by pampering to special interests.

    56. Larry Frazer Hot Spr says:

      While I agree with these statements in principle, they are just words with no quantitative or specific commitment. You can take many of these statements and stretch them from the far right to the far left to fit your individual intent depending on you personal philosophy.

      If you want to make a real statement of conservative values then define those values you can with specific commitments such as:

      1. Limit the size of Government to a specific size such as a percent of population or percent of the average state population, except for the Military in time of national emergency or war.

      2. Limit the size of the Federal Budget to a percent of the average of the last five years GDP.

      3. Resolve to have NO “earmarks” or “pork barrel” spending in Legislation. (This type of spending should be funded through it’s own Legislation going through the Appropriations cycle and stand up to the scrutiny of Congress and the Public under the light of day and be traceable to a Federal Budget line item.)

      4. Resolve to have NO OFF Budget spending except as required due to National Emergency or National Security Threat.

      5. Resolve to have Federal Bonuses tied to America’s economic performance over the last two fiscal years GDP Growth. (This includes all Bonuses paid out of taxpayer dollars, so it includes Legislative staff, Federal employees and the Administration.) Also, condition Bonuses on staying within Departmental or Organizational budget limits.

      6. Resolve to tie any Federal, Congressional and/or Administration (that includes all paychecks paid out of Taxpayer Dollars) pay increases to a fraction of the average of the last two years GDP Growth. And if the economy tanks, as in 2009, then pay cuts are in order.

      7. Limit Legislative and Administration allocated budgets to a percent of the Federal Budget.

      8. Commit to trace all Legislation back to the Constitutional authority.

      9. Commit to look for Private Sector solutions first for all Government required operations and functions.

      10. Commit to placing a referendum on the national ballot every two years authorizing pay increases of Congress.

      The above are the type of quantitative commitments that a conservative should sign up for and live by. I’m not saying this is the total list or the exact commitment but there needs to be some “meat” in this type of Statement, not just Rosie words.

    57. gary g says:

      Gee, the founding fathers, does this include slavery, witch trials and burning innocent people, lynching, runaway slaves, Poor medical and dental treatment.

      No I much prefer to stay in the present. Our individual freedoms are just fine……

    58. David, Midland TX says:

      If we get back to a country run on the basis of the principles of the Constitution, then most of what y'all are talking about will be solved – not overnight, mind you, but it will be in the long run. at least to the point that it will be better than it is now.

    59. Robert, Albuquerque says:

      You folks need to drop constant references to super-natural creatures and worshiping same. There are those of us that do not find supernatural creature worship rational and do not feel it to be germane in governance.

    60. Lee White Tanks AZ says:

      This is an outstanding document. It articulates in just enough detail the beliefs that are the "glue" that holds this Republic on course.

      It Also recognizes the fact that we have veered significantly away from this course so carefully laid out by the Founders.

      Great Job. I for one am enthused.

      A suggestion, this needs to be boiled down into a "Flash Card" presentation of bullets similar to the last part of this document. Something that can reach through the nanosecond attention span of the typical young American.

      Let there be no doubt, the "Hope and Change" mantra was sheer genius.

      "You Betcha" as in "We Can Do It" may be a good rallying point in the short term.

      PC is Thought Control


    61. Ole Johansen,Norway says:

      As a paleocon from abroad,and with the advantage,I think,with a bit of distance.

      I will recommend this piece that summond up the most important thing,I belive,missing in this statement.


      Thank you.

    62. Donald says:

      I agree with the concept put forth by Larry Frazer. Enough of the flowery words that are too often used to express lofty ideals, when a few words can be used that are direct and to the point. Sounds somewhat like a newsletter from a politician who is up for reelection. Enough already.

    63. Karl Born, Indianapo says:

      I do not usually write "lol" while I am online. That is because I almost never literally "laugh out loud" at what I am reading, but I did when I read Gary G's comment, which begins by accuses the founding fathers of supporting witch-burnings (before their time), lynchings (after their time), slavery (throughout the history of the world, though while some founders defended it — and, admittedly, just one would have been too many — others resisted this to the extent of their ability and successfully abolished slavery throughout most of the states and U.S. territories). Having not yet finished his sentence, however, Gary then groups slavery, lynchings, and witch-burnings with "poor medical and dental care." This is one of the funniest things that I have read on the internet, even though the only indication that it was a joke is its own innate absurdity!

      Concerning his first three criticisms (slavery, witch-burnings, and lynchings), though, I would like to acknowledge one thing: the purpose of our conservatism is not to return us altogether to the ways of another year or era, believing that year or era to be better than the present. The Conservative Idea is to collect and value the lessons from throughout history, through the time of the American Revolution but also through the present, refusing to discard the best ideas and traditions simply because they came from an imperfect society or distant time, or because they would obstruct a self-important, ideological, hubristic modern conception of "progress." It is not progress to make our changes by abandoning the most important advancements in the history of humanity, taking little interest in what their purpose ever was, or else casually dismissing the idea that they even had one.

    64. Karl Born, Indianapo says:

      Larry Frazer and Donald, I agree with the need for specifics, at some point. I would like to see something like that as soon as possible, and more importantly, I want the House Republicans to agree to bring its provisions to a vote in the event that they regain a majority this Fall and for the Senate Republicans to agree to do the same, to whatever extent the Senate rules leave that decision to them. However, I also think that there is a need for a statement of principles in the conservative movement, right now, and the Mount Vernon Statement might be just what we need (or part of what we need, at least). It has become difficult to accurately predict what another person believes, knowing only that that other person calls himself a conservative. We need to do something about that in order to be able to plan for the advancement of an agenda of conservative reform over the decades, to know who actually agrees with us, and as a way of actually increasing the number of "conservatives" who truly understand conservatism. I am actually behind a similar but somewhat longer, more detailed statement of principles, the Twelve Points (http://the12points.com/p/twelve-points.html), which I now consider to be complementary with the Mount Vernon Statement. The Twelve Points do not include actual policy proposals, either, but I think that they would help a lot of people to understand what standards a bill of policy proposals would need to meet.

      Also, Larry, do you know anyone who is in a position to draft model bills based on the suggestions that you made above or to push GOP congressional leaders to promise to bring them to a vote? If not, we probably should try to find some people like that. They do need to produce an agenda like that, and the better it is, the better off the country will be.

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