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A new commitment centers conservatism in freedom & free markets

Today, I am joining nearly 100 other free market leaders from across the nation in signing a statement of principles for American Conservatism.


These are principles enshrined in our Constitution and Declaration. It is a statement of what we are for, not what we're against. I join others in offering real solutions - not dreams or authoritarian schemes.


These principles affirm our commitment to free enterprise, free trade, free speech, strong families, balanced budgets, and the rule of law.


Those who have signed the document represent a range of disciplines, roles, and philosophies. Some are journalists, authors, and public intellectuals. Others have worked in federal, state, or local government, or on political campaigns. Still others teach at schools or universities, or litigate cases, or have enjoyed success in business or other professions and serve the conservative movement primarily as donors, board members, and advisors.


This is what we believe.


On September 11, 1960, a group of young conservatives gathered in the home of William F. Buckley, Jr., in Sharon, Connecticut. For decades, the timeless ideals embodied in the document they produced animated the American conservative movement.


Today’s public policy challenges are different than the ones faced by the Sharon Statement signatories in 1960. Authoritarianism is on the rise both at home and abroad. More and more people on the left and right reject the distinctive creed that made America great: that individual liberty is essential to the moral and physical strength of the nation.

In order to ensure that America’s best days are ahead, we affirm the following principles:


  1. Liberty. Among Americans’ most fundamental rights is the right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force: a right that, in turn, derives from the inseparability of free will from what it means to be human. Liberty is indivisible, and political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom.

  2. The pursuit of happiness. Most individuals are happiest in loving families, and within stable and prosperous communities in which parents are free to engage in meaningful work, and to raise and educate their children according to their values.

  3. The foundation of prosperity. The free enterprise system is the foundation of prosperity. Americans can only prosper in an economy in which they can afford the basics of everyday life: food, shelter, health care, and energy. A corrosive combination of government intervention and private cronyism is making these basics unaffordable to many Americans. We commit to reducing the cost of living through competitive markets, greater individual choice, and free trade with free people, while upholding the rule of law, freedom of contract, and freedom of association.

  4. Full faith and credit. The skyrocketing federal debt—which now exceeds the annual economic output of the United States—is an existential threat to the future prosperity, liberty, and happiness of Americans. We commit to building a constructive reform agenda that can restore America’s fiscal sustainability, ensuring that future generations inherit a more prosperous and secure nation than the one we now inhabit.

  5. A nation of laws, not men. Equality under the law is a foundational principle of American liberty. Unfortunately, today this principle is under attack from those who believe that the rule of law does not apply to them. One manifestation of this problem is the explosion of unaccountable and unelected regulators who routinely exceed their statutory authority and abridge Americans’ constitutional rights. The President should only nominate policymakers and judges who are committed to upholding these rights.

  6. Americans by choice. Immigration is a principal driver of American prosperity and achievement. America is exceptional because anyone—from any corner of the earth—can seek to live in America and become an American. Nearly all American citizens descend from someone who came here from somewhere else, and we must treat all citizens equally under the law. To this end, the United States, as a sovereign nation, has the right to secure its borders and design a rational immigration policy—built on the rule of law—that advances the interests and values of American citizens.

  7. Out of many, one. The best way to unify a large and diverse nation like the United States is to transfer as many public policy choices as possible to families and communities. Much of the discord in America today comes from the fact that too many decisions are made for us by centralized authorities. The Constitution of the United States is the best arrangement yet devised for granting government the just authority to fulfill its proper role, while restraining it from the concentration and abuse of power.

  8. America’s promissory note. Martin Luther King, Jr. described the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as containing “magnificent words…a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” Prior to 1964, however, slavery and segregation were enforced by state governments and, in many cases, by the federal government. Many who descend from victims of this system now face economic and personal hurdles that are the direct result of this legacy. We commit to expanding opportunity for those who face challenges due to past government restrictions on individual and economic freedom. We adamantly oppose racial discrimination in all its forms, either against or for any person or group of people.

  9. The shining city on a hill. American foreign policy must be judged by one criterion above all: its service to the just interests of the United States. Americans are safest and freest in a peaceful world, led by the United States, in which other nations uphold individual liberty and the sovereignty of their neighbors.

  10. Freedom of conscience. Essential to a free society is the freedom to say and think what one believes to be true. Under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, federal and state governments have a legal obligation to uphold and protect these freedoms. Private institutions have a moral obligation to do the same.


Note: Signatories to this statement speak only for themselves as individuals, and not for any institutions with which they are affiliated. Institutional affiliations listed below are for informational purposes only.


Ian Adams • @IAtheTeapot International Center for Law and Economics


Sara Albrecht • @SaraWynne Liberty Justice Center


Tim Andrews • @Tim_Andrews Americans for Tax Reform


Richard K. Armey • @DickArmey Former U.S. House Majority Leader


Benji Backer • @BenjiBacker American Conservation Coalition


David L. Bahnsen • @DavidBahnsen National Review Institute / Acton Institute


Jeffrey Bailey • @JeffreyBaileyMA Grace Baptist Christian Academy


Ashley Baker • @AndAshleySays Committee for Justice


Ashley Baker • @AndAshleySays Committee for Justice


Garrett Ballengee • @GBalleng Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy


André Béliveau • @TheRealBeliveau National Taxpayers Union Foundation / John Locke Foundation


Ralph Benko • @TheWebster The Capitalist League


Brian Blase • @Brian_Blase Paragon Health Institute


Drew Bond • @BondDrewBond Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions


Donald Boudreaux Mercatus Center at George Mason University


Adam Brandon • @Adam_Brandon FreedomWorks


Buzz Brockway • @BuzzBrockway Georgia Center for Opportunity


Matthew Brouillette • @MattBrouillette Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs


Donald Bryson • @DonaldBryson John Locke Foundation


Jeb Bush • @JebBush Foundation for Excellence in Education / Former Governor of Florida


Jack Butler • @JackButler4815 National Review


John Byrnes • @JohnByrnes13 Concerned Veterans for America


Chris Cargill • @MtnStatesPolicy Mountain States Policy Center


Douglas Carswell • @DouglasCarswell Mississippi Center for Public Policy


Cindy Cerquitella America’s Future


Alejandro Chafuen • @Chafuen Chase Foundation of Virginia


Mona Charen • @MonaCharen The Bulwark


Lanhee Chen • @LanheeChen Hoover Institution at Stanford University


Neil Chilson • @Neil_Chilson Center for Growth and Opportunity


Akash Chougule • @AkashJC Americans for Prosperity


Andrew Cline • @DrewHampshire Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy


John Colman Ave Maria University


Carrie Conko • @CConko State Policy Network


Charles C.W. Cooke • @CharlesCWCooke National Review


James R. Copland • @JamesRCopland Manhattan Institute


Kurt Couchman • @KurtCouchman Americans for Prosperity


Johnny B. Davis Helms School of Government, Liberty University


Soren Dayton • @SorenDayton Niskanen Center


Ben DeGrow • @BenDeGrow Foundation for Excellence in Education


Donald Devine • @DonaldDevineCo1 The Fund for American Studies


Daniel Di Martino • @DanielDiMartino Manhattan Institute / Dissident Project


Trey Dimsdale • @TreyDimsdale Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy


Claire Kittle Dixon • @TalentMarket Talent Market


Tiana Lowe Doescher • @TianaTheFirst Washington Examiner


John Dodd North Carolina Center-Right Coalition


Rick Esenberg • @RickEsenberg Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty


Williamson Evers Independent Institute


Michael Franc The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity


James Franko Kansas Policy Institute


Caleb Fuller • @CalebSFuller Grove City College


Brian Garst • @BrianGarst Center for Freedom & Prosperity


Peter Gattuso • @PhilliesGattuso Connecticut College


Rick Geddes Cornell University


Vance Ginn • @VanceGinn Pelican Center for Public Policy


James K. Glassman • @JamesKGlassman1 Former U.S. Under Secretary of State


Judge Glock • @JudgeGlock Manhattan Institute


Jonah Goldberg • @JonahDispatch The Dispatch / American Enterprise Institute


Francisco Gonzalez • @FGonzalez1978 Economic Club of Miami


Andrew D. Graham Alliance Defending Freedom


Dan Greenberg Competitive Enterprise Institute


Russ Greene • @GreenPlusAnE Stand Together Trust


Samuel Gregg • @DrSamuelGregg American Institute for Economic Research


Alyssa Farah Griffin • @AlyssaFarah The View / CNN


Joel Griffith • @JoelGriffith Heritage Foundation


James Gwartney Florida State University


David Harsanyi • @DavidHarsanyi The Federalist / National Review


John Hart • @JohnHart333 Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions


Jon Hartley • @Jon_Hartley_ The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity / Stanford University


Kevin Hassett Hoover Institution at Stanford University


Steven F. Hayward • @StevenFHayward University of California, Berkeley


Christie Herrera Philanthropy Roundtable


Todd Hester Yorktown Foundation for Public Policy


Randy Hicks Georgia Center for Opportunity


Quin Hillyer • @QuinHillyer The Washington Examiner


Charles Hilu • @CharlesHilu73 Intercollegiate Studies Institute / Washington Free Beacon


G. William Hoagland • @BillHoagland Bipartisan Policy Center


Stacy Hock • @SAWHock Texas Public Policy Foundation / UATX


Kim Holmes • @KimSmithHolmes Former Assistant Secretary of State


John Hood • @JohnHoodNC John William Pope Foundation


Alexandra Hudson • @LexiOHudson Civic Renaissance


Scott Immergut • @ScottImmergut Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson & Good Fellows


Paul Johnson • @OptAmerican The Optimistic American • Former Mayor of Phoenix


Gordon Jones Mount Liberty College


Pete Kaliner • @PeteKaliner The Pete Kaliner Show


Daniel Klein George Mason University


Andrew Langer Institute for Liberty


Kent Lassman • @KentatCEI Competitive Enterprise Institute


Russ Latino • @RussLatino Magnolia Tribune Institute


Bill Laub Nevada Policy Research Institute


Frank Lavin • @HelloFrankLavin Hoover Institution at Stanford University


Joseph G. Lehman Mackinac Center for Public Policy


Eli Lehrer • @EliLehrerDC R Street Institute


Matt Lewis • @MattKLewis The Daily Beast


Carol Platt Liebau • @CPLiebau Yankee Institute for Public Policy


Dan Lips • @DanLips The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity / Foundation for American Innovation


Mario H. Lopez • @MarioHLopez Hispanic Leadership Fund


Richard Lorenc • @RLorenc Iron Light


Rachel Lu • @RCLu Liberty Fund


Carrie Lukas • @CarrieLukas Independent Women’s Forum


James Manley College of Central Florida


Bethany Marcum Alaska Policy Forum


Casey Mattox • @CaseyMattox_ Americans for Prosperity


Derrick Max • @DerrickAMax Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy


Heath Mayo • @HeathMayo Principles First


Wilfred McClay Hillsdale College


Brooke Medina • @Brooke_Medina_ John Locke Foundation


Annette Meeks • @MeeksGOP Freedom Foundation of Minnesota


Adam Meyerson Stand Together


Mark Miller Pacific Legal Foundation


Adam Millsap • @AA_Millsap Stand Together Trust


Daniel J. Mitchell • @DanielJMitchell Center for Freedom and Prosperity


Lorenzo Montanari • @LorenzMontanari Tholos Foundation / Property Rights Alliance


Buckley Morlot Leaders on the Rise


Jon Murphy • @JMurphy8289 Nicholls State University


Iain Murray • @ISMurray Competitive Enterprise Institute


Todd Myers • @WAPolicyGreen Washington Policy Center


Grover Norquist • @GroverNorquist Americans for Tax Reform


Brent Orrell • @OrrellAEI American Enterprise Institute


Catherine R. Pakaluk • @CRPakaluk Catholic University


Mike Palicz • @Mike_Palicz Americans for Tax Reform


James Patterson • @McGillPatterson Ave Maria University


Dan Peters Philanthropy Partners


John Phelan • @Minnesotanomics Center of the American Experiment


Andrea Picciotti-Bayer • @BayerPicciotti The Conscience Project


Juliana Geran Pilon The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization


Danielle Pletka • @DPletka American Enterprise Institute


Ramesh Ponnuru • @RameshPonnuru National Review / American Enterprise Institute


Art Pope John William Pope Foundation


Phillip Prange • @PhilPrange Bradley Impact Fund


Jason Pye • @Pye Due Process Institute


Roger Ream • @RogerRReam The Fund for American Studies


Vikrant Reddy • @VPReddy Stand Together


Richard M. Reinsch II • @Reinsch84 Law & Liberty


Tim Rice • @TimERice1 Washington Free Beacon


Jay Richards • @DrJayRichards Discovery Institute


McKenzie Richards • @McK_Richards Pacific Research Institute


Victor Riches Goldwater Institute


Kevin Riffe • @Kevin_Riffe West Virginia Center-Right Coalition


Jenna A. Robinson • @JARobinson1 James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal


Dalibor Roháč • @DaliborRohac American Enterprise Institute


Noah Rothman • @NoahCRothman National Review


Benjamin Rothove • @BenjaminRothove Keep Nine Coalition


Karl Rove • @KarlRove The Wall Street Journal


Avik Roy • @Avik The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity / Forbes


Lucca Ruggieri • @Lucca_Ruggieri Keep Nine Coalition


Peter St. Onge • @ProfStOnge Heritage Foundation


Jack Salmon • @_JackSalmon_ Philanthropy Roundtable


Alexander Salter Rawls College of Business and Free Market Institute, Texas Tech University


Jeff Sandefer ED Foundation


Christina Sandefur • @CMSandefur Goldwater Institute


Gabriel Scheinmann • @GabeScheinmann Alexander Hamilton Society


Christian Schneider • @Schneider_CM National Review


Ilya Shapiro • @IShapiro Manhattan Institute


Colin Sharkey • @ColinAAE Association of American Educators


Steven Sheffrin • @SSheffrin Tulane University


Timothy R. Snowball • @LibertyLaw1776 Freedom Foundation


Andrew Spiropoulos Oklahoma City University School of Law


Justin Stapley • @JustinWStapley Freemen Foundation


Michael Steele • @MichaelSteele U.S. Vote Foundation


Jim Stergios • @JimStergios Pioneer Institute


Aaron Stover • @ADStover Heartland Institute


Will Swaim • @WillSwaim California Policy Center


Tyler Syck • @TylerSyck University of Pikeville / The Vital Center


Charlie Sykes • @SykesCharlie The Bulwark


Ed Tarnowski • @EdTarnowski EdChoice


Andrew J. Taylor • @AJTFOSP Free & Open Societies Project, North Carolina State University


Fernando Tesón • @FTeson Florida State University College of Law


Wayne Thorburn Former Executive Director, Young Americans for Freedom


John Toedtman Caesar Rodney Institute


John Tillman • @JohnMTillman American Culture Project


Mark Tooley • @MarkDTooley Institute on Religion & Democracy


John Tsarpalas • @JTsarpalas Nevada Policy Research Institute


Jim Vokal • @Jim_Vokal Platte Institute


Joe Walsh • @WalshFreedom White Flag with Joe Walsh


Jim Waters • @JimWatersBIPPS Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions


Devon Westhill • @DevonWesthill Center for Equal Opportunity


Joel C. White • @JWhite_Health Council for Affordable Health Coverage


George F. Will • @GeorgeWill The Washington Post


Kevin Williamson The Dispatch


Paul Winfree • @PaulWinfree Economic Policy Innovation Center


Scott Winship • @SWinshi American Enterprise Institute


Dan Winslow New England Legal Foundation


Aaron Withe • @AaronWithe Freedom Foundation


Ryan Wolfe • @RyanWolfeTFAS The Fund for American Studies


Tony Woodlief • @TonyWoodlief State Policy Network


Kenny Xu • @KennyMXu Color Us United

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