Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Mount Vernon Statement

First there was the Manhattan Declaration and now there's The Mount Vernon Statement.

Over 100 conservative leaders signed the statement yesterday saying they 'recommit' themselves to the ideas of the Founding Fathers including those stated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. There's nothing bad about the document, but it seems a bit redundant. After all, we already have the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and we already know that the founding principles are under attack by progressives and liberals. The statement is also kind of vague: "If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose." Which critical battles? Which purpose?

There's a preachy tone to the statement as well with: "We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America’s founding principles." Why? Because the conservative leaders say so? I think this is the objection of Ann Kane in her American Thinker piece. The notion of a conservative establishment is as troubling to her as that of a liberal establishment.

While there's no particular reason to compare the two, The Mount Vernon Statement lacks for me some of the punch of the Manhattan Declaration. The latter defines the culture wars in our society, draws a line in the sand and calls on Christians to defend their beliefs in the public square. I'm not sure exactly what the Mount Vernon Statement does.

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