top of page

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

bottom of page