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  • First Principles

    The future of liberty depends on reclaiming America’s first principles.

    The Fight Has Only Begun

    Constitutional conservatism is alive and well in America today. From conservatives in Congress working to roll back big government spending to the backlash over Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate, it’s clear that Americans are clinging to the foundational principles of our country. Two years ago, the Tea Party movement launched grassroots conservative … More

    Is Capitalism Good for You?

    Most politicians and political commentators insist that this year’s election rests on economic concerns, not “social values” (contraception, abortion, gay marriage, and the like). But in America’s free market system, economics and values are in fact closely joined. Not only is capitalism the most successful system for generating wealth, but … More

    What Would Our Founders Say About Elections Today?

    With Super Tuesday coming up, Americans are reflecting on the Republican presidential campaign: Has the fighting among candidates been normal? Is the presidential campaign process too long? How important are debates? Reflecting on these questions can be put into better context by looking at the evolution of the presidential selection … More

    Postmodern Memorial Will Strip Eisenhower's Legacy

    This week two more Congressmen, Dan Lungren (R–CA) and Aaron Schock (R–IL), joined the Eisenhower family in opposing Frank Gehry’s design for the Dwight D. Eisenhower memorial, which disrobes a statesman of his legacy and slaps Eisenhower’s name on what is, in fact, a monument to the national experiment in … More

    Another Congressman Doesn’t See What the Constitution Has to Do with Obamacare?

    Before Obamacare became the law of the land, members of Congress could not escape the question: Does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate? Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) responded that constitutional questions were not serious questions. Convinced those constitutional questions were serious, one citizen … More

    Beware the Nullification Temptation

    With state legislatures back in session, legislators are looking for options to reassert their legitimate role in the constitutional structure of federalism. Sadly, a few otherwise well-intentioned legislators are once again turning to the discredited and unconstitutional doctrine of nullification—the claim that an individual state legislature has the authority to … More

    Despotism, Thy Name Is Obamacare

    Two years ago, everything about Obamacare was in the future. Recall the revealing comment at the time by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) that Congress had to pass the legislation to see what was in it. Now that the disputed law is in its implementation stage, Americans are beginning to see … More

    How Would You Grade the Presidents?

    If we were to grade our presidents on an A-F scale, which ones would make the cut? While most contemporary books about presidents focus on leadership and personality, author Steven F. Hayward prefers a different approach – how closely each president adheres to the Constitution. He recently discussed this approach … More

    Morning Bell: Washington, the Indispensable Man of the Revolution

    Poor George Washington. His birthday, spontaneously celebrated since the Revolution and formally declared a holiday in 1879, has slowly morphed into the insipid Presidents Day you’ll hear about today. George Washington, the “indispensable man” of the Revolution who was rightly extolled for being “first in war, first in peace, and … More

    PODCAST: Presidents' Day or Washington's Birthday?

    In this week’s Heritage in Focus, Heritage Vice President and first principles scholar Matt Spalding discusses the importance of Presidents’ Day. Click here to listen. Should the holiday be designated as Presidents’ Day or George Washington’s Birthday? What principles did President Washington embody that are worth celebrating? What’s the most important thing … More