Along with several other statements and platforms being developed/released this year by right-leaning groups, The Mount Vernon Statement has been released today, outlining the principles of “Constitutional Conservatism”.
This statement is the best I’ve seen in terms of defining exactly what conservatism means in 2010 America. It isn’t a platform. The mistake that has been made by critics such as David Frum, or “Allahpundit” over at HotAir is assuming this is some kind of policy outline–like the “Contract From America,” which I find to be ironically much less representative of Americans in general, or even conservatives, and more about what tea party leaders want. That’s not cool.
The Mount Vernon Statement, at least from what I can tell, is an attempt to gather the diverse right-of-center factions under common expressed principles. What is needed most at this hour in conservative politics is unity, and this statement is meant to do just that. It doesn’t lay out specific policies that we would likely disagree on, but it lays out important guiding beliefs about the role of government, which ultimately draws the line in the sand once the voting booth curtain is drawn.
If we’re going to reach the true ideological independents we need a consistent and cohesive message. If this isn’t it, it’s a great start.