The Mount Vernon Statement

Yeah, this is good, very good.  I especially like this passage, a bit of much-needed taking the plank out of our own eyes:

“A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. 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.”

That’s it exactly.  Win or lose in any given battle, we have to remember it is all always about the Constitution.

See, what the left does – consistently does – is baffle their opposition – namely us – by forcing us to conflate outcomes with structures.  We have to both defend our deeply desired political goals at the same time we prevent them from entirely changing the rules of the game.  It’s as if they said, “It’s urgently important that the Red Sox win, therefore we’re removing the foul lines when they’re at bat.”  We never know whether to argue that, no, the Yankees should win or, hey, put those foul lines back, you cheaters.

Abortion, of course, is the great example.  So passionate are the feelings about this on both sides that it requires great patience and restraint to say, “No, wait, the first point is not whether there should be legal abortions or not, the first point is that we, the people, should decide whether there are legal abortions in our states or communities, and a bunch of so-called justices have taken that right away from us by arbitrarily rewriting what the Constitution says.”

That governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed seems to me an inarguable statement.  Where else does a government’s legitimacy come from?  The sterling moral character of our representatives?  The wisdom of our intellectual elites?  If it were so, the human race would be screwed beyond any possibility of being unscrewed.  No, we, the people with all our flaws are the only source of government’s rightful power, and constitutionally mandated limited government is the only protection that source has.  End run around the Constitution, interpret its restrictions out of existence, create “rights” that are, in fact, only a means of stripping the people of their sovereign right to decide through their local representatives, and you may achieve some theoretical good, but it’ll be worthless ultimately because you’ll no longer be free.

I would rather lose any individual political fight  than lose the Constitution because you can win a political fight another day but once freedom’s gone only bloodshed will bring it back.

The Mount Vernon Statement was, I believe, meant to give the Tea Party movement a more articulate voice.  It does.  Three cheers for it.

Hat tip to the incomparable Instapundit, where I found the statement.

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  • Howard Veit

    Not so simple. The Left operates from the Saul Alinsky attack playbook that nobody on the Right seems to have read and so we sit there in the cross hairs like a two dollar whore at a bus depot. Alinsky rule one is to isolate a target, this is so every attack is focused; rule two is then endlessly ridicule that target because nobody can stand up to it over time. This is happening to Sara Palin right now and happened to Bush (in his case he was destroyed by it) over his entire term. These “comedic” bits come from every TV show, comedy network, print and web media, plus snide news commentary. All this has nothing to do with any constitutional bs you might come up with. Palin and us must develop tools to neutralize ridicule and turn it around

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  • Hunter Baker

    I am a Christian, a social conservative, and a serious pro-lifer. The Obama presidency has focused my mind wonderfully. I realize that the Constitution must regain its prominence in our system. And it must be interpreted properly. In many ways, we have given up on that. It is time to take up the quest anew.

  • mike baron

    The Mt. Vernon Statement is very good and very important.

  • Bret Palmer (AMERIKAN ZOMBIE)

    Awesomely put, we’ve got to redefine The Debate & Reclaim The Constitution in amongst The B.S. of Made 4 T.V. Punditry.
    Their misguided Philosophies collapse beneath The Logic of our Constitution every time..