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A new conservative credo

Today saw the release of The Mount Vernon Statement, a relatively small collection of ideas and beliefs that have been embraced by a wide variety of conservative leaders. I think it's something that most Tea Party followers would be comfortable with. Perhaps most importantly to me—being a libertarian who reluctantly votes Republican—the statement is essentially devoid of any references to social issues, concentrating instead on the need for smaller government and individual liberty. It's a little vague for my tastes, but it's a nice way to begin to focus a much-needed debate. Highlights:

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.

[The Declaration] 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.

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.

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. 

HT: Glenn Reynolds

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