Leaders of conservative organizations will gather this morning at the Collingwood Library and Museum in Alexandria, Virginia to sign a restatement of conservative principles which they intend to offer to grassroots America as a rallying point.
As John Gizzi reported yesterday, “The Mount Vernon Statement” is in the form of a declaration to which grassroots Americans – Tea Party members, Republicans, and anyone else who rejects the run amok liberalism that the Obama administration has delivered – will be welcome to sign.
The full document will be available at about 3:00 pm today.
Excerpts from the Mount Vernon Statement provided to HUMAN EVENTS say:
“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 Mount Vernon Statement comes 50 years after William F. Buckley launched the conservative organization Young Americans for Freedom at his Sharon, Conn. home. Buckley, along with fellow conservative activists, adopted the manifesto “The Sharon Statement,” which in particular emphasized the principles of individual free-will, government’s protection of freedom through Constitutional law and national defense, the economic freedom of the market economy, and national defense against international Communism.
“In this time of moral and political crises, it is the responsibility of the youth of America to affirm certain eternal truths,” the statement reads.
“Foremost among the transcendent values is the individual’s use of his God-given free will, whence derives his right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force.”
Buckley’s conservative manifesto focused on international Communism as the greatest threat to American liberty, while the “Mount Vernon Statement” states that the present culture, as well as the universities and politics of today, pose as the chief threats to the principles of the American founding.
Also, the “Mount Vernon statement” mentions “true religious liberty” as one of the principles of conservatism, and asserts a defense of “family, neighborhood, community, and faith.” The “Sharon Statement” does not specifically mention religion, but rather “God-given free will.”
Included in the list of conservatives signing the Mount Vernon Statement are president of the Heritage Foundation Ed Feulner, president of the American Conservative Union David Keene, former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese, Human Events Editor in Chief Thomas Winter and RedState Managing Editor Erick Erickson.